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Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Fort G.C. - Indianapolis, IN

6002 N. Post Rd.
Indianapolis, IN
Cost: $58, $42 twilight (military $44/$32 - nice touch!)

Architect: original design unknown, nine holes in 1970 attributed to William Diddel, 1994 reno/redesign by Pete Dye
with assistance from associate Tim Liddy
Par - 72
Design - Five stars
Natural Setting - Four stars
Conditioning - Four and 1/2 stars
Value - Six stars
Overall - Five stars

What a nice, low impact, inexpensive day. With a twilight rate of only $35, Pete Dye's renovation of the old army base course at Fort Benjamin Harrison has great horizontal movement in the fairways, no water hazards (although there is some internal OB) and some great alternate shot patterns.

It gets 28,000 rounds a year, yet the fairways were in good condition. If you play late in the day, so the greens were a little bumpy and on the slow side, but the hole shapes are variations on holes we've seen at PGA West 5 (the fifteenth at Fort...just sub sand for the water) and 14-15 at Sawgrass....fade off the tee, draw into the green, then draw off the tee fade into the green.

Perhaps the best stretch is 5-8. 5 is a downhill par-3 with an "E" shaped bunker (I made a sandie). 6 and 7 are back to back par-5s with different alt shot patterns. On six, three bunkers bisect the fairway in two offering great variety of options and angles.

Finally, 8 doesn't look like much at first blush, but the green's axis is angled to the left...right toward a specimen tree...the closer to the tree, the better the angle...HOWEVER...for shorter hitters who are on the right, the green tests distance control, not accuracy. If you're really long, you can drive it the 337/308.

Look, it may not be Bethpage Black, but its really inexpensive and Dye took great pride in infusing strategy on every hole, so Hoosiers are rightly proud of her.

Pic: The par-3 5th with its "E" bunker.


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