The 10 best golf courses in Indiana (2022/2023)

crooked stick golf course

Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.

Getty Images

As part of GOLF’s course rating process for 2022-23, our fleet of 100-plus expert panelists identified the best golf courses in Indiana. Browse the links below to check out all of our course rankings, or scroll down to see the best courses in Indiana.

GOLF’s other course rankings: Top 100 Courses in the World | Top 100 Courses in the U.S. | Top 100 Courses You Can Play | Top 100 Value Courses in the U.S. | America’s Best Municipal Courses | The 100 Best Short Courses in the World

1 = Top 100 Course in the U.S.
P = Public/Resort Course
V = Top 100 Value Course in the U.S.
M = Top 30 Municipal Course in the U.S.

Ed. note: Some courses were omitted from our rankings because they did not receive enough votes.

The best golf courses in Indiana (2022/2023)

1. Crooked Stick GC (Carmel)

2. Victoria National (Newburgh)

3. Culver Academies Golf Course (Culver) [9 holes]

4. French Lick Resort – Donald Ross Course (French Lick) [P, V]

To say that both the property and the greens are rolling is an understatement! Whatever preconceived notions you might have about Donald Ross greens, they will be blown out of the water with one tour around this 1917 design, which was deemed such a good test that it quickly hosted the 1924 PGA Championship. The 8th green, with its six feet of fall from back to front, gets most of the attention, but a green like 17 that drops more than three feet from its high right plateau to a lower left tier is just as astonishing. Three of the par-3s measure 240, 250 and 250 yards and may well constitute Ross’s most bruising collection of one-shotters.

5. Warren Golf Course (Notre Dame) [P]

Victoria National in Newburgh, Ind. Getty Images

6. French Lick Resort – Pete Dye Course (French Lick) [P]

7. The Pfau Course at Indiana University (Bloomington) [P, V]

A bright spot for Midwest golfers last year came in the form of this course opening on IU’s Bloomington campus. Rave reviews quickly followed for a design that features tree-lined fairways on the more secluded front side and a wide-open feel on the back. Named for a major donor to the project, the course can extend to a meaty 7,908 yards (leave that for the college team!), but every green, save the 18th , accepts run-up shots. There are nearly 150 bunkers — the sharp dogleg-right 14th, the shortest par-4 on the course, has 10 alone on the right side of fairway — but architect Steve Smyers gives you a respite on the sand-free par-4 5th and 6th.

8. Broadmoor CC (Indianapolis)

9. Sycamore Hills GC (Fort Wayne)

10. Brickyard Crossing (Indianapolis) [P]

How we rank our courses

For GOLF’s course rankings lists, each panelist is provided a list of hundreds of courses and “buckets,” or groupings. If they believe the course to be among the best in its category (World, U.S. Value, etc.), they check the corresponding box to place it in a specific bucket. Panelists are also free to write in courses they felt should have been included on the ballot. Points were assigned to each bucket; to arrive at an average score for each course, we divide its aggregate score by the number of votes. From those point tallies, the courses are then ranked accordingly.

The key to the process is the experience and expertise of our panel. Hailing from 15 nations and all the worldwide golf meccas, each of our 115 handpicked panelists has a keen eye for architecture, both regionally and globally. Many of our panelists have played more than 1,000 courses in 20-plus countries.

Because we don’t prescribe a set method to assess courses as other ranks do, no one opinion carries the day — our rank is a democracy. Some panelists believe that enjoyment is the ultimate goal, and thus prioritize design attributes such as width and playing angles, while frowning on upon having to constantly hunt for balls in thick rough. Other panelists value challenge and the demands of hitting every club in the bag. Still others consider a course’s surroundings and overall environment of paramount importance, thereby emphasizing the setting and naturalness of the course. In the end, allowing raters to freely express their tastes is what produces the desired eclecticism in our Top 100 lists.

Panelist integrity is vital. Voters with any ties or associations to eligible courses must flag such conflicts. Panelists also know not to let the quality of their play influence their ballot — same for a luxe experience or clubhouse. While opulence may make for a more a memorable outing, it’s not what GOLF’s course lists are about. Our focus is on design and architecture. We study the course, not the trappings around it.

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