Nearby South Bend is a micro-hub for golf in Indiana, hosting Notre Dame’s Warren among other courses on Top100’s list, but those looking to cross the border from Michigan can find quality golf in nearby Bristol as well. It was here that William Diddel laid out the Elcona Country Club’s course during the mid-’50s.
The course is spread across a wide piece of property, nearly 350 acres, which has been certified as an Audubon Sanctuary program (for those looking to do more than just golf, the club also features more than five miles of hiking trails...presumably no carts allowed).
While the trees present a challenge for those struggling from the tee, Diddel (and later renovator Arthur Hills) provide green defense in the form of both small ponds (see nos. 3 and 15) and bunkering.
No. 7 is a reachable par five that features several a variety of sand hazards to enforce its strategy. A monstrous bunker tightens the fairway from the right and those who cross it may think of going for the green. Even the lay-up shot requires thought, however: Get closer to the green by challenging the bunkers that split the fairway in two, or lay-up left, which will require a third shot over a cluster of bunkers?