By Jennifer Myers
TERRE HAUTE — If I could have fall weather year-round, I would take it. I love the crisp air, the blue skies, and the bright sunshine. Ever since my childhood I have associated a beautiful fall day with Turkey Run State Park, one of my favorite places to go, especially in the fall. This is Covered Bridge Festival week so many other people are seeing the beauty of the fall in the trees, rivers and bridges in Parke County too!
Not everyone is content with shopping, flea markets and visiting bridges, though. Some of us still need to get a little exercise, hopefully while hitting a little white ball around a golf course! Parke County has just the thing for us, too. There are three courses in Parke County that are worth a visit. If you must see a covered bridge, one of them even has that!
Turkey Run Golf Course is located six miles east of Turkey Run State Park on State Road 47. It is an 18-hole course with four sets of tees, with the longest tees measuring 6,567 yards. The slope is 120 and the rating is 71.1. The course layout presents multiple challenges, with rolling terrain, undulating greens and water hazards. Mature hardwoods and maples cover the landscape, which make for a picturesque adventure at this time of year, regardless of how your game is going on that day!
Turkey Run Golf Course is offering special fall rates. On a weekday with a cart, it is only $10 for nine holes or $16 for 18 holes. On weekends, those rates are $14 and $20. However, the course offers additional incentives on weekdays: Mondays and Thursdays, it is only $14 to ride for 18 holes for all golfers, or $20 to play all day. On Tuesdays, those rates are applicable for students or teachers. On Wednesdays, $14 will get you 18 holes if you’re 55 or older ($20 all day). Wednesday, there is a senior scramble that starts at 9 a.m. If you’re interested in playing in that, call the pro shop and they will fit you into a group. Fridays are special days because Friday is Hero Day. That’s the day the course honors police, firefighters and military with special rates of $14 for 18 holes. For tee times, call (765) 435-2048, or visit their Web site at www.turkeyrungolf.com for more information.
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Raccoon Lake Golf Course is east of Rockville and north of Mansfield, just south of U.S. 36 on Walker Boat Ramp Road, nestled between the waters of Raccoon Lake (also known as Cecil Harden Lake). Although it is a short 3,200-yard par-36 course, it has tight fairways, rolling hills and an abundance of trees to make the track a tricky one. They have some special rates now for the fall, so ask about them when you make your tee time. If you’re there on a weekend, you can enjoy a fine meal in the 125-year-old farmhouse at The Clubhouse Restaurant. They also have a Sunday buffet from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For tee times or reservations at The Clubhouse Restaurant, call (765) 344-1143. For pictures of the course and more information visit their Web site, www.
Another golf course that is especially inviting this time of year is the Parke County Golf Course. Located just north of the Parke County fairgrounds on U.S. 41 in Rockville, this 9-hole layout would make for a fun afternoon. Designed by William Diddle and built in 1960 on rolling terrain with water hazards on every hole, this course also has its own historic covered bridge! The Catlin Bridge was relocated to the County Golf Course in 1961, from its former home over Bill Diddle Creek. This authentic covered bridge, built in 1907 by Clark McDaniels, measures 54 feet long. The Parke County Golf Course is running special rates for the fall also: $15 for 18 holes including cart. Even though it is a 9-hole course, there are various tee locations making for a slightly different layout on your second time around. Call (765) 569-3556 to make your tee reservation.
Fall is perfect golf weather, and Parke County is the perfect area to visit in the fall, so give one of these three courses a try. With the economy the way it has been, we’re all watching our budgets, so finding courses nearby with great rates is a hard bargain to pass up!
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Quote of the day: “John Wayne gave up golf. How could a guy who won the West, recaptured Bataan and won the battle of Iwo Jima let himself be defeated by a little hole in the ground?” — James Edward Grant, screenwriter