I just returned from playing 18 holes at Plum Creek Golf Club – a semi-private course nestled in a neighborhood in suburban Indianapolis (Carmel, to be specific) – part of Indiana’s Pete Dye Golf Trail. While Plum Creek lacks the rolling hills of some of the other courses along the Trail (namely, The Fort Golf Course and The Pete Dye Golf Course at French Lick) and is a fairly open course, if you don’t have your short game in check, this course can really do a number on you.
From the intimidating championship tees to the more forgiving forward tees, this unique Pete Dye design was specially designed with varying degrees of difficulty so the whole family could enjoy the game. With blind shots, undulating greens, colorful contours, and fairway moguls and bunkers, it’s the perfect example of modern golf architecture.
In fact, Pete Dye spent the spring of 1989 circling the old Lynnwood barn, surveying the land himself. Within a few months, he returned with plans for a course that seemed to emerge out of the landscape as if it was simply uncovered for you to enjoy.
The front nine at Plum Creek winds through and around the Plum Creek neighborhood and offers fairly straightaway holes with the only real water hazard on the first hole. There’s also a nice surprise on the 4th hole. It features a split fairway, with Plum Creek bisecting it. Stay on the right fairway for a safer shot off the tee, but take the chance of shooting over the creek and you’ll have a much easier approach for your second shot.
The back nine winds around the Lynwood Barn and features more water hazards. The 17th and 18th holes were my favorite on the back nine as the 17th fairway goes straight out a couple hundred yards and doglegs 90 degrees to the right to finish the Par 5 hole. The 18th hole is a great Par 4 where you really have to be careful of the water hazard to the right of the fairway on your drive, then aim your chip shot onto the green just right to avoid the water hazard to the left of the green.
Overall, Plum Creek is a great course for any golfer. Experienced players will enjoy the intricacies of this great course while causal golfers will find a surprisingly approachable Pete Dye-designed course. As someone who enjoys golf, but is by no means a pro, I appreciated the fact that I was able to enjoy a great, challenging course without feeling like I was the odd man out skill-wise. While Plum Creek might not be the most difficult course, it’s a great course for all skill levels.
There any famous folks who were born or raised in Indiana, from President Benjamin Harrison to David Letterman. For golfers, there is one name that stands above the rest: Pete Dye. Known by many as the father of modern golf course architecture, Mr. Dye has left an indelible mark on the game of golf and Indiana proudly lays claim to having more Pete Dye designed courses than any place in the world. The Pete Dye Golf Trail showcases this incredible collection of courses for the golf traveler while paying tribute to this golf visionary. Find out more at PeteDyeGolfTrail.com