Golf courses

These are the best golf courses you can play in southwest Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Southwestern Indiana has some of the best golf courses in the state. From Evansville to French Lick via Vincennes, there is no shortage of quality facilities.

Some are rated higher than others. Some are only accessible to a lucky few. But if you’re looking for a fun day on the links, you have options.

Here are the best golf courses you can play in southwest Indiana, starting with the public courses.

Pete Dye Lessons at French Lick

This is the best and toughest public golf course in Southwestern Indiana. Named after its designer – Pete Dye was one of the world’s best-known course designers before his death in 2020 – it is ranked the 51st best public course in the country by Golfweek.

The Pete Dye Course is one of the best public golf courses in the country

As part of the French Lick Resort in Orange County, the Dye Course opened in 2009 to critical acclaim. Built on the second highest point of land in the state, the course is known for its sloping terrain and narrow fairways. It’s also 8,102 yards from the pro tees.

The Pete Dye Course hosted the Senior PGA Championship in 2015 with champion Colin Montgomerie calling it “one of the iconic courses” in America. It has also hosted the last four LPGA Senior Championships.

Green fees with cart: $350

Donald Ross course

Built in 1917, this 7,000-yard facility gives the French Lick Resort two of the best public courses in the Midwest. It was rated the 2nd public course in the state by Golfweek.

Aerial view of the Donald Ross course in French Lick, Ind.

Designed by renowned architect Donald Ross, the Ross Course features 80 signature bunkers with deep faces as well as steeply undulating greens. Thirty-five of the original bunkers have been on the course since it was built over a century ago.

It was the site of the 1927 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen. The course received a $5 million restoration in 2007.

Green fees with cart: $125

Sultan’s Run Golf Club

This track has been one of Indiana’s best public courses since it opened in 1992. Its designer, Tim Liddy, was a disciple of the legendary Pete Dye.

A view of the 18th green at Sultan's Run Golf Club in Jasper

Located in Jasper on over 300 acres, the course is a challenge for all skill levels with back tees spanning nearly 6,900 yards. Tees and fairways are zoysia grass with a rough putting surface and curved Bermuda grass. It is the host of the meeting of the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference and the Jasper Division.

The course also offers beautiful views, including its signature 18th hole.

Green fees with cart: depends on age and time, $50-80

Country Oaks Golf Club

Located on US 50 just west of Montgomery, this nearly 7,000 yard layout can rival most public courses in the area.

It’s challenging with narrow fairways and multiple penalty areas, but also offers the possibility of low scores – if you keep the ball straight. It hosts the IHSAA Boys and Girls Regional Championship each year. Worth the trip for a good price.

Green fees with cart: $37-42

Golfers and caddies wait patiently on the fifth hole as the group lead finishes during the final round of the Women's City Golf Tournament at Cambridge Golf Course on Sunday July 1, 2018.

Cambridge Golf Course

Another Tim Liddy design located a few miles north of Evansville. But it stands out among other good public courses in the region for its layout.

A challenging 7,200m course, this is a Scottish style course with long rough fescue for those who really miss the fairway. The layout also includes nine in-game lakes and several bunkers.

There is a risk/reward design philosophy that emphasizes accurate tee shots.

Green fee with cart: $40-45

Here are some other public picks for those interested in a solid day of golf: Helfrich Hills (Evansville), Christmas Lake (Santa Claus), Fendrich (Evansville), Cypress Hills (Vincennes), Buffalo Trace (Jasper).

A list of the best golf courses in southwest Indiana would be incomplete if it focused only on public amenities. Some of the best trails in the area and state are just a short drive from Evansville.

Of course, the catch is that you must be a member of each of these courses or know someone who is able to play as a guest.

Brandon Wu, front, crosses a bridge to the sixth hole during the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance at the Victoria National Golf Course in Newburgh, Ind., Sunday August 30, 2020.

Victoria National Golf Club

Rated the 47th best modern course in the country by Golfweek, this is a must-see course if you ever get the chance.

Built atop an abandoned strip mine northwest of Newburgh, this Tom Fazio design is arguably Indiana’s toughest course. Built in 1998, it hosts the Korn Terry Tour Championship. The home stretch on the back nine is considered one of the toughest closing holes on the Tour.

Rolling Hills Country Club

Also located in Newburgh, it is the toughest of the four annual Evansville Men’s Urban Tournament courses. It features a challenging 6,700 yard layout and even more challenging greens. You better come ready to play.

Clint Keown putts on the 18th green during the final round of the Evansville Men's Urban Tournament at the Evansville Country Club on Sunday afternoon, August 9, 2020.

Evansville Country Club

This 6,100-yard layout on the north side of Evansville is deceptively difficult. A tight front nine requires solid play before a more open back nine gives the potential for lower scores. The course annually hosts the final round of the city’s men’s tournament.

Several holes will undergo renovation this fall after the completion of the town tournament.

Oak Meadow Country Club

Located in McCutchanville on the north side, this is another top course near Evansville. The championship tees span 6,800 yards with tree lined fairways and fast greens.

Follow Courier & Press sports reporter Kyle Sokeland on Twitter @kylesokeland.