As I’ve been preparing for this trip to Indianapolis and the surrounding regions, I’ve been looking forward to my first round at Brickyard Crossing. With its unique association with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I had all sorts of clever puns to use in the headline for the first post of this trip.
The one I had already settled on was “Gentleman, Start Your Engine!” I thought it was a clever play, especially since it was the beginning of the trip. However, I kind of blew that idea out of the water today. To put it simply, I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow to tee it up and get started a little earlier!
My flights from Orange County to Dallas to Indianapolis all went smoothly and on-time. I got into the Indy airport at 4:20 and was able to get my baggage and rental car pretty quickly. As I drove toward my motel here in Speedway, I knew I’d easily be able to get nine twilight holes in somewhere. That somewhere was The Fort Golf Course, just north of the city.
I headed over there and got there around 6:30. It didn’t seem too crowded, so there was also a slim possibility I’d get in all 18 before dark (which they told me was around 9:00 this time of year). I cruised through the front nine, but then ran into groups on the back. Even though I could have squeezed in a few more holes, I decided to head back in after 12 holes. It still gave me a great sampling of this great course. The price was only $30 (9-hole rate with cart), so not too bad.
When this trip was only going to be four states, The Fort was on the list of courses to play. But once I added in Michigan and Illinois, it was one I had to cut out and it’s a decision I kept second-guessing. Some sites have this course ranked as Indiana’s top public track and it’s a Pete Dye design, so it’s hard to go too wrong with that kind of pedigree.
I’m glad I was able to experience this course today. It was a really nice evening here with a cool breeze, so probably some of the best weather I’ll get all week. It’s a beautiful layout that borders Fort Harrison State Park and uses the natural terrain and beauty to its advantage. It rolls through some hills and thick forested areas. Like so many Dye designs, it features plenty of undulation from tee to green. It’s a very pretty course in a great environment for golf.
It was very green out here, but the conditions were not entirely great. The fairways for the most part were lush and green, but the turf was kind of thin and damp, so it made for many big divots and fat shots. There were a number of small dead areas throughout the fairways, as well. Minor problems and not bad for the middle of summer. The greens were OK, but were a bit beat up because they were also kind of thin and soft. A lot of dents and unrepaired ball marks. Those, when paired with the spike marks that late in the day, made the greens a bit too slow and bumpy.
Overall, the course was in nice shape and had plenty of green to complement all the beautiful natural surroundings. Definitely a course worth checking out if you are in the Indianapolis area.
Unfortunately, in my haste to leave my motel room and get out to the course as quickly as possible, I left my normal camera behind and had to use my phone. Not bad, but the images are not as consistent as my normal one.
Some pictures from The Fort Golf Course (8/11/12):
Another reason I quit early was because I was starving. On my drive over to the course, I was looking for an interesting place to eat. To my surprise, I saw a lot of Mexican restaurants and markets in the area by the course. I hadn’t planned on eating any Mexican on this trip, but that showed me there was a much larger Hispanic population in Indianapolis than I had realized.
I went to a place called Chile Verde and it was alright. It was definitely “different” than I’m used to in California, but decent food all around.
Tomorrow, I’ll get started for real. I’ll be playing Brickyard Crossing here in Indianapolis and then heading up into Michigan for a late afternoon/evening round at St. Ives in Stanwood. Stay tuned…