Best golf courses: Around Indy & Cincinnati

Indiana's largest city is home to a number of top-quality public golf courses. Among them is Purgatory, a challenging course with a number of tee selections for different skill levels, and the championship layout at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, a Pete Dye design whose history dates back to 1929. Your Cincinnati itinerary may include the top-ranked Balterra Golf Course, a stay-and-play facility with a well-maintained championship layout. If you're visiting Louisville, the spectacular Sultan's Run Golf Course, whose landscape of verdant parkland and rolling hills has made it sought-after among avid golfers.

5-star: Fabulous – courses don’t get much better than this.
Rsrt guests only
Louisville
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Rsrt guests only

Nearest city

Louisville

Designer

Pete Dye (2009). Located 2 mi SE of the Dye course is the resort's original course (Valley Links), an 18-hole layout designed by Tom Bendelow (1907) and later revamped into a 9-hole layout (by Lee Schmidt, 2006) when ground was given up to build the casino.

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
(Closed in 2018)
Indianapolis
Smyers, Steve

Visitors?

(Closed in 2018)

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Steve Smyers

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Louisville
Jones & Sternberg

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Louisville

Designer

Original design by Tom Jones & Allen Sternberg; redesigned by Tim Liddy (late-2000s).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Smyers & Zoeller

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Original design by Jim Soutar and Paul “Pooch” Harrell (1957). Significant redesign by Steve Smyers & Fuzzy Zoeller (2020).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Cincinnati
Fazio, Tom

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Tom Fazio

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Kern, Ron

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Ron Kern

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Cincinnati
Osterfeld, Jeff

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Jeff Osterfeld (designer & owner).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Original nine designed by Roy Robertson. Revamped and extended to 18 holes by Pete Dye (1963).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Cincinnati
Bates, Gene

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Gene Bates

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

The Kampen-Cosler course (formerly North course) was substantially redesigned by Pete Dye (1994).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Must book in advance.
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Must book in advance.

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

The Ackerman-Allen course (formerly known as Purdue South course, then Ackerman Hills from 1998) was designed by William "Bill" Diddel (1934). Redesign by Larry Packard (1968), and further improved in 1998. Improved and renovated by Pete Dye (2015).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Husband/wife team of Pete & Alice Dye

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Cincinnati
Norman, Greg

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Greg Norman

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Cincinnati
Hills, Arthur

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Arthur Hills designed the original 18-hole Shaker Run course (1979), comprising the Red (formerly Woodlands) and Green (Lakeside) nines. The White-nine (formerly Meadows) was designed by Dr Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry (1999).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Jones Sr, Robert Trent

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Original 18-hole design by Robert Trent Jones Sr (1964); Rees Jones (Robert's son) designed the third nine (1995).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Jones II, Robert Trent

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Robert Trent Jones Jr.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Refram, Dean

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Dean Refram

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Liddy, Tim

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Tim Liddy

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye & Liddy

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Pete Dye & Tim Liddy

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Louisville
Ross, Donald

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Louisville

Designer

Original design by Donald Ross (1917), revamped by Lee Schmidt (2006). Located 2.2 mi NE of the Ross course is the resort's original course (Valley Links), an 18-hole layout designed by Tom Bendelow (1907) and later revamped into a 9-hole layout (by Lee Schmidt, 2006) when ground was given up to build the casino.

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Pete Dye

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
(Closed in 2019)
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete & P.B.

Visitors?

(Closed in 2019)

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Father/son team of Pete & P.B. Dye.

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Visitors welcome
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Pete Dye in collaboration with his wife Alice. The great man's first ever 18-hole layout.

Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
Private club
Cincinnati
Campbell, Alex

Visitors?

Private club

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Alex "Nipper" Campbell (1930); restored by Keith Foster (2015).

Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
Private club
Indianapolis
Dye, Pete

Visitors?

Private club

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Husband & wife team of Pete & Alice Dye.

Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
Private club
Indianapolis
Nicklaus, Jack

Visitors?

Private club

Nearest city

Indianapolis

Designer

Jack Nicklaus

Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
Private club
Cincinnati
Wilson, Dick

Visitors?

Private club

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Dick Wilson designed both the North and South courses.

Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
Private club
Cincinnati
Raynor, Seth

Visitors?

Private club

Nearest city

Cincinnati

Designer

Original design by Seth Raynor & Charles Banks (1925); later minor improvements by Tom Doak (1984, 2000).

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Tournaments

124th US Open: the No.2 Course at Pinehurst once again plays host to this most illustrious championship (June 13-16). Wyndham Clark defends his title, having won at Los Angeles CC in 2023.

79th Women’s US Open: the second women’s major championship of the season gets underway at Lancaster CC in Pennsylvania. It’s the second time the championship has been held here.
(May 30-June 2).

Who's Who

Nelly Korda: won the Mizuho Americas Open (May 16-19) at Liberty National GC, continuing her extraordinary form in LPGA events. This was her sixth win in seven starts in 2024.

Xander Schauffele: recorded his first major championship win, and second record-equalling low score of 62 in a major. Only he, Branden Grace, Rickie Fowler and Shane Lowry have achieved this feat in a men’s major championship.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

Prince's Golf Club, Kent (UK)

Here at Prince’s Golf Club you'll find 27 excellent holes of links golf. Just over the fence and sharing similar terrain is Royal St George’s; but Prince’s is far from overshadowed by its venerable neighbour. The three nine-hole loops at Prince's, laid out over gently undulating terrain, are sure to bring a smile of satisfaction to all lovers of links golf.

Stay&Play at Prince's: excellent onsite Lodge accommodation available

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