Situated 25 miles to the south west of Lafayette, the course at Harrison Hills Golf and Country Club was set out by William Langford in 1924, with Tim Liddy carrying out an upgrade seventy years later.
When you play Harrison Hills, you play two courses in one: a Langford & Moreau gem representing the original nine holes (eight of which still exist), and a mid-1990s mostly wide-open parkland style designed by Tim Liddy. Not to discount Liddy’s work, because there’s nothing wrong with it per se, but the Langford & Moreau nine is the star of the show. The rolling terrain and expert routing come together to produce some extremely memorable shots, mostly on the original nine. That said, holes 4-8 (obviously limited by terrain) make the player feel as though he/she is on a separate planet than the rest of the course. If the look and feel of those five holes could have replicated the rest of the course, the experience would be drastically improved.
The best holes include the semi-blind par three #2, the sweeping dogleg left par four #9 (the only Liddy hole on my “best holes” list), and the exemplary stretch of par four holes #14-#16, which features a hulking green complex fronted by two massive bunkers on #15. I don’t know of another stretch of three straight par fours in the state of Indiana that is better. If one exists, I have not played it.
My theory: had the “stigma” of being a nine-hole course not been such an issue in the late 1990s/early 2000s which drove the expansion, this course would be thriving today without the addition of the second nine. It quite clearly would be one of the best handful of nine holers in the country. Instead, it’s a good, memorable, but flawed eighteen.
Played October 18 & 20, 2009