INDIANAPOLIS -- Say you find yourself in The Circle City with a little time, a little money and a lot of desire to play some golf. Well, my par-shooting pal, you are in luck because you are in one of America's best-kept golf secrets: Indianapolis.
There are golf courses all over Indy and the surrounding towns -- and good golf courses at that. There are so many, rates tend to be far below other metropolitan locales. In fact, if you wanted to blow half your wad on one round, you could head over to the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and pay peak rates. But that would be rash, as you'd miss out on a lot of other great tracks.
So let's set some ground rules: We'll say it's a long weekend -- so peak days -- but we do not pay peak rates.
Race to a course
True race fans are going to want to play Brickyard Crossing, as four holes are actually located inside the racetrack itself. So book a tee time after 4 p.m., which will run you just $60, leaving $140.
If you're not a race fan, swap out Brickyard Crossing for the Fort Golf Resort, with weekend twilight rates of just $49 (and save $11). Let's go with the lower one for now, so that's $151 left.
The top-rated Indy-area course on GolfAdvisor.com is Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. At this Robert Trent Jones Jr. design (the only one in Indiana), twilight rates of $49 start at 3 p.m. $102 remaining.
The second-most highly rated Indy course on GolfAdvisor.com is Bear Slide Golf Club in Cicero, and twilight rates start here at 3 p.m., too, and run $47.
That's three rounds at top Indy courses for a total of just $145.
Get your morning swings
Now that your evenings are planned out, what about morning rounds? You've still got $55. Head over to Saddlebrook Golf Club, where weekend rates are just $27 with a cart.
With your remaining $57, you can walk (yes, walk –- get some exercise for Hogan's sake) either the Sycamore Course or Pines Course at Eagle Creek Golf Club, Indy's premier municipal facility, for just $29 for either one between 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on the weekends.
Aw, hell. That's $201. But seriously, I just showed you how to play five rounds of golf over three days at some of the best golf courses in Indianapolis for $201. You really can't complain about that.
Keep in mind, however, that there are many, many more courses in and around Indianapolis. And the rates above are seriously the highest low rates I could scour from the web. Online specials abound on GolfNow.com for dozens of courses in the Indianapolis area. Seriously, the problem here is having too many options for budget golf, rather than too few.
Unlike most major metropolitan areas, with $200 and some online sleuthing, you could play pretty much every day for a week.