Laid out within a redeveloped parcel of land on the old Fort Benjamin Harrison US Army post, the course at The Fort Golf Resort is a Pete Dye and Tim Liddy layout that made its first appearance in 1997.
The Fort is a good golf course in a beautiful state park with interesting history, but it still managed to disappoint me, though I can’t put my finger on why. I had planned on playing Brickyard Crossing the weekend I visited Indianapolis, but it was closed for an LPGA event. No matter, I counseled some local help and determined that The Fort was the next best thing as far as Indy-area public courses went. I love Pete Dye’s work and have enjoyed a few Tim Liddy courses in the past as well. But with this course, there was just something that didn’t work for me. It played to a difficult 75.0/143 from the back tees, which was a welcome test as a “prep” round for a tournament at Crooked Stick. But I found the condition severely lacking; the bentgrass fairways were shaggy, the greens were somewhat bumpy even first thing in the morning, and the rough seemed like it hadn’t been mowed in weeks. It had not rained the few days prior, but balls were still plugging in most fairways and some of the rough.
The front nine winds up and down hills through a mostly forested area, while the back nine (after hole 11) has a flatter, more parkland-style style. In my opinion, the last seven holes are the strongest on the course. #15 is quintessential Pete Dye, a slight dogleg left par four with crazy angles on both the tee and semi-blind approach shot.
I think if the course played firm and fast it could potentially be 4-5 stars, but it’s clearly being overwatered now. Beautiful scenery and a decent routing can only do so much.
Played August 19, 2018