124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



Best in State

The best golf courses in Indiana

Pete Dye was born in Ohio but lived in Indiana (and Florida) for most of his life. His early ventures into architecture occurred mostly in this state and his imprint remains everywhere. A player could chart the evolution of his design ideas simply by playing his courses, from Crooked Stick where his early Scottish links inspirations (small greens, pot bunkers, chipping hollows and native grasses) first came to light, to "peak" muscular Dye at Brickyard Crossing and Purdue's Kampen Course, and hiis late expressionist style at the Dye Course at French Lick. But Dye doesn't dominate the state rankings—Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Coore and Crenshaw, and Tim Liddy also score hits in Indiana.

Below you'll find our 2023-'24 ranking of the Best Golf Courses in Indiana.

We urge you to click through to each individual course page for bonus photography, drone footage and reviews from our course panelists. Plus, you can now leave your own ratings on the courses you’ve played … to make your case why your favorite should be ranked higher.

1. (1) Victoria National Golf Club
Private
1. (1) Victoria National Golf Club
Newburgh, IN, United States
4.7
121 Panelists
Built atop Peabody Coal Company’s long-abandoned Victoria strip mine in southern Indiana, Victoria National was a simple routing for Tom Fazio. He just followed the corridors (the perfect width for fairways) that existed between mining spoil mounds (long since overgrown with trees) and some 40 acres of fingery lagoons that had formed as steam shovels carving out coal deposits hit the water table. Chosen as Best New Private Course of 1999, Victoria National stunned most panelists. One gushed it was, “the most unusual, unpolished and unpretentious Fazio design ever.” Another called it, “probably the hardest Fazio course I’ve played. More penal than Pine Valley.” Fazio concurred with that assessment. “It’s U.S. Open-quality now,” he said soon after it opened. “If the wind blew, it’d be too hard.”
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2. (2) Crooked Stick Golf Club
Private
2. (2) Crooked Stick Golf Club
Carmel, IN, United States
Crooked Stick is the course where Pete Dye became Pete Dye. Conceived following an extended tour of British courses, Pete founded Crooked Stick, located the land, raised the funds and designed the course, rejecting conventional golf holes in favor of radical ones, using bulkheads of vertical telephone poles to create abrupt change and long expanses of sand to emulate dunes. What’s more, he built it himself, pressing even his wife, Alice, and young sons Perry and P.B. into construction work. They opened the back nine first, in 1965, with Mackenzie-style boomerang greens; the front nine came two years later, with lines and angles appropriated from Donald Ross. Crooked Stick was the first Dye course to host a major championship, the 1991 PGA Championship.
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3. (3) French Lick Resort: Pete Dye Course
Public
3. (3) French Lick Resort: Pete Dye Course
French Lick, IN, United States
Pete Dye’s mountaintop design, Golf Digest’s 2009 Best New Public winner, established that at age 80 the designer still had fresh ideas, including rumpled chipping swales, country-lane cart paths and volcano bunkers. Measuring just over 8,100 yards from the tips, Pete Dye at French Lick is not the first course over 8,000 yards to land on our rankings. That would be Runaway Brook in Massachusetts, now called the Pines Course at The International Golf Club. It was 8,040 yards when ranked in 1967. Today it’s 8,325 yards. The world’s longest is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China at 8,415 yards. The yardage may be a talking point, but what golfers will remember about Dye's French Lick course are the multi-mile views in all direction, the roominess of the fairways and greens that hang out over the edges of the sweeping land formations.
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4. (4) Sycamore Hills Golf Club
Private
4. (4) Sycamore Hills Golf Club
Fort Wayne, IN
Jack Nicklaus has redesigned some aspect of every hole at No. 16 Muirfield Village over the decades, in efforts to make sure that course remains competitive as annual host of the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament. But he’s done no major remodeling at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, just modest adjustments. Although the course sees its share of amateur competitions, Nicklaus has seen no need to toughen it for everyday member play. After all, it has always had plenty of challenge, like the long freeform bunker left of the fairway on the par-4 third, the 14 bunkers scattered about the par-5 fifth and the serpentine stream that crosses the fairway four times from tee to green at the par-5 15th. Sycamore Hills is Nicklaus at his most imaginative, with strategic golf on some holes, gambling golf on other holes and target golf on still others.
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5. (5) The Pfau Course At Indiana University
Public
5. (5) The Pfau Course At Indiana University
Bloomington, IN, United States
College golf courses can be the most challenging of assignments for architects because of the need to accommodate the broad range of abilities that play the course day to day. On one hand the design needs to be enjoyable for students, faculty and local play, and on the other it has to have the mettle to test the skills of the best amateurs in the country. At Indiana, Smyers, a nationally competitive amateur player himself, has thought deeply about the topic. He challenges talented players, including the Hoosiers’ golf teams, with length, subtly angled drives, compressed landing areas bordered by light rough and contouring slopes around the edges of greens. But the course is also broad where handicap players drive the ball, the greens are open in front and the bunkers are shallow. Native grass roughs and groves of hardwoods add an idyllic touch.
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7. (8) Brickyard Crossing Golf Course
Public
7. (8) Brickyard Crossing Golf Course
Indianapolis, IN
3.9
43 Panelists
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9. (NR) Holliday Farms Golf Club: Championship Course
4.2
25 Panelists
This private golf and residential development outside of Indianapolis is one of the last courses Dye worked on—he passed in early 2020. The most scenic areas on the course pass through woodlands and along creeks, and others open into meadows with hole reminiscent of The Golf Club and Crooked Stick. Tim Liddy and P.B. Dye, who both have long histories with Dye (P.B. is his son) and were best positioned to carry out Dye’s ideas, helped finish building the course.
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10. (12) Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
Public
10. (12) Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN, United States
4.2
50 Panelists
Given there is very little elevation change on Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course, it was an impressive feat by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to create a captivating design that compensates for the bland terrain with subtle doglegs moving in each direction, with strategically placed bunkers and trees creating high shot values. As is typical of Coore and Crenshaw designs, the course blends into the natural terrain and creates ample challenge not with bold, artificial features but thoughtful hazards and hole shapes. The course sits on 250 wooded acres just north of campus and is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Home to the university’s men’s and women’s golf teams, the course has hosted numerous NCAA regionals as well as the 2019 U.S. Senior Open. Steve Stricker won his first USGA championship, winning by six shots over David Toms.
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11. (10) The Sagamore Club
Private
11. (10) The Sagamore Club
Noblesville, IN
3.8
34 Panelists
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12. (9) South Bend Country Club
Private
12. (9) South Bend Country Club
South Bend, IN, United States
3.8
49 Panelists
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13. (NR) The Club At Chatham Hills
Private
13. (NR) The Club At Chatham Hills
Westfield, IN
3.5
33 Panelists
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15. (11) Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex: Ackerman-Allen
3.8
54 Panelists
The Ackerman-Allen course at Purdue’s 36-hole Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex was originally designed by Bill Diddel and opened in 1934. The Purdue South Course, as it was known back then, hosted the 1955 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 1961 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, the latter of which was won by Purdue, with Jack Nicklaus claiming the individual title. Pete Dye, who designed the sibling Kampen course, redesigned the Ackerman-Allen layout in 2015-’16.
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