Otter Creek Golf Course
The Capital of Hoosier Golf
By Mike May
If you are an Indiana golfer, you have heard about the Otter Creek Golf Course, near Columbus. If you are a serious Indiana golfer, then you have probably played Otter Creek. And, if you are a good golfer living anywhere in the world, please put Otter Creek on your 'bucket list.'
Simply put, Otter Creek (www.ottercreekgolf.com; 812-579-5227) is one of Indiana's top golf courses. It's a public course. There is no pool. There are no tennis courts. And, there is no spa. It is simply a golf course. And, it's a great golf course. Always has been and always will be.
Opened in 1964, Otter Creek - designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Sr. - has matured like a fine wine. It has gotten better with age! Otter Creek is as appealing now as it was back in '64.
"Building tournament golf courses today usually involves large-scale earth moving equipment," says Chad Cockerham, head golf professional at Otter Creek. "Course architects can begin with a clean canvas and build the landscape they desire. Fifty years ago, architects took the landscape and designed the course into it. You could say the golf course was always here. Mr. Jones just chipped way the rough pieces. What was left was a fair test that provides a stage where champions distinguish themselves from the rest of the field."
Otter Creek now has 27 holes. In 1995, nine more holes - now called the East course, designed by Rees Jones - were added. The original 18 holes were renamed the North and the West.
This course was originally owned by Cummins Engine, the largest employer in the area. The course was intended to be used by Cummins' employees, but soon after opening, the company donated the course to the City of Columbus. Thank you, Cummins Engine.
Amateur golf is indebted to Otter Creek's existence. Why? Because the Indiana State Amateur Golf Tournament was held there from 1965 - 1990 and on five other occasions since then. Otter Creek is where Indiana's amateur golfers go to earn their golfing credibility.
"There are, on very few occasions, some things that pass the test of time and become timeless," reflects Cockerham. "The test of golf offered by Otter Creek is, indeed, timeless."
When you play Otter Creek, it creates a big impression.
"In the last 40 years of my golfing life, including some on a minor competitive level, Otter Creek is still one of my favorite places in the world to be," says Andy Applewhite of nearby Seymour, Indiana.
As for the golf course itself, it will reward you with the chance of a good score if you have accurate tee shots. No funny bounces at Otter Creek.
Otter Creek is a golf course that gives you options on many holes. You can get a good idea of how every hole should play by simply standing on the tee.
Otter Creek is aging gracefully and looks forward to many more years of hosting golfers from around the world. Make plans to play Otter Creek and then send a note of thanks to Cummins Engine. It's been a gift that keeps on giving - year after year.
Revised: 04/11/2017 - Article Viewed 1,627 Times - View Golf Course Profile
Written By: Mike May
Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
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