Indianwood Golf and Country Club dates back to the Roaring Twenties and the Old course was fashioned by English golf professional turned architect, Wilfred Reid and William Connellan. Indianwood (Old) is without doubt team Reid and Connellan’s finest design and it has more than a hint of Reid’s homeland. The club hosted the 1930 Western Open, which was won by Gene Sarazen and Indianwood also played host to the Michigan PGA Championship in 1948 and 1949.
The Indianwood clubhouse emanates baronial splendour with its tower entrance and ancient tapestries adorning the interior walls. You expect Lancelot to emerge from Indianwood in hot pursuit of a dragon. But despite its history, Indianwood fell into near terminal decline during the 1960s and was resurrected, like a phoenix from the ashes, by businessman and Anglophile Stan Aldridge.
Both the Old and New courses at Indianwood are links-like in style but the Old course is the most authentic of the two designs with numerous, deep pot bunkers and waving fescue grasses. Recent home to the Michigan PGA Championship and host to the 1989 and 1994 US Women’s Open, Indianwood is used to big tournaments but the club’s highest profile tournament is yet to come.
Indianwood was selected to host the 2012 US Senior Open, which naturally pleased owner Stan Aldridge. "Indianwood is thrilled to host the Senior Open, it's our intent to make it one of the top Senior Opens in history." A top event it was too, with England's Roger Chapman winning by two shots from Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer.
This is a really fun course located about an hour north of Detroit. The club was founded in 1925 with the Old course hosting numerous USGA events. The opening five holes throw you head first into the rolling nature of the land. Large dips and rises are plentiful. I really enjoyed the approach shots into the 2nd and 4th holes, where the greens sat below the level of the fairway. The 4th hole is a 100-degree dogleg right with a raised fairway. It was a thrilling hole all the way through, where you hit up to the elevated corner of the dogleg and then are faced with a downhill approach which is really fun. The greens on the Old course are mostly perfect circles and small in size. A course this old has bundles of charm and no shortage of quirky green-sites. It begins to show its teeth from the 6th hole onwards. In addition to the rolling terrain, there is a stretch of long par 4s that lead you to the fabulous short par 4 9th. The back nine is much tougher than the front, especially with the par 3 13th and 17th holes playing 200+ yards each. I was really impressed with the green-site locations and how exciting it must have been to find them all those years ago. There is an amphitheater feel to most of the approach shots and I highly recommend this old classic.