Innsbrook Country Club
|White (W)||72||5961 yards||74.5||134|
|Red (W)||72||5089 yards||69.7||124|
|Black M: 72.4/133||356||442||433||140||512||524||191||468||190||3256||457||192||495||440||207||612||175||457||368||3403||6659|
|Blue M: 71.3/132||344||432||424||132||506||501||184||466||168||3157||440||169||462||431||194||581||164||449||350||3240||6397|
|White M: 69.2/128 W: 74.4/134||332||358||408||124||500||487||177||450||159||2995||414||161||426||422||181||449||153||420||340||2966||5961|
|Red W: 69.6/123||305||304||312||107||438||403||121||411||101||2502||345||139||397||336||150||442||128||368||282||2587||5089|
I was fortunate to have an invite to play from a long-time member. We had a weather delay, which allowed for lunch in the Member's Grill, which was a good feed, great service and a nice view of the 9th green. The clubhouse, men's locker room and overall vibe is pretty vintage. The course dates to 1919 and while the facilities have been updated, the nostalgia remains. I liked it.
The course is in phenomenal shape; dense turf everywhere, nice level tee boxes and really solid greens. More on those later. Worth a comment is the status of the bunkers: it is refreshing to see sand and actual grooming being done. I realize golf courses might be challenged regarding maintenance costs, but far too often I see just dreadful bunkers. Not here, they were fantastic (even in light of the moisture).
The course has the unique routing of six par 4s, six par 5s and six par 3s. Merrillville isn't particularly hilly, but the routing does a good job of working across the creek multiple times and kinda maximizes the use of the small elevation changes. There's a hint of Donald Ross in this place, with the canted greens (stay below the hole) and many tee boxes are just a short walk from the adjacent green. They recently renovated the cart paths (which are mostly kept to the side, not infringing play, with some crushed paths to complement the tarmac).
The greens were flawless; a little slower than normal due to rain, but still quick, true. The bunkering and routing are pretty much right in front of you, the course mostly asks you to choose a good line off the tee (not a lot of hidden features). There are a few holes that dogleg enough that you can go for a hero shot and cut the corner (but you do so at your own peril, there's some trees out there waiting in deep rough). Of note is a few brutes in the Par 4 department; six par 3s means some "extra" yardage out there and they found on a home on multiple par 4s over 420yds (from the Blues). Swing away! You get some respite with a few shorter par 5s, if you're in the fairway.
I really like the stretch from 3 to 6, the sixth offering you a chance at glory if you can carry the creek, setting up a shortish 2nd shot into a par 5. Eighteen is a risk/reward finisher with a nasty green: pray for a 1 putt.
I was a miserable hack today, but still had fun (when I occasionally got it together). Really great course and facilities, easily a candidate for your membership dollars if you live in The Region. Looking forward to another visit soon.