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Crooked Stick Golf Club Membership Cost

Crooked Stick was stop number two on a long weekend trip around Kentucky and Indiana. After playing Valhalla the day before, I made the drive of a little over two hours to the northern suburbs of Indianapolis to check out Crooked Stick. It was well worth the drive! There were a number of things that made a trip to Crooked Stick interested to me. First among them was the connection that Pete Dye has to the club. Where Pinehurst was Donald Ross’s baby, and Muirfield Village is Jack Nicklaus’s baby, this club is Pete Dye’s baby. Not only was it the club that put Pete and Alice Dye on the map, but it’s a club that’s in their backyard…literally! Pete lives on the 18th hole, and is known to walk his dog “Sixty” around the course daily when he’s in town (the dog gets his name from the price he paid for a “free” dog many years ago after all the shots and such…all his dogs ever since have been named Sixty). Around these parts, Pete Dye isn’t a celebrity. He’s just Pete, one of the founders of the club, somewhat of a curmudgeon, and the source of all the tweaks, renovations, and improvements that Crooked Stick has seen. From playing 18 holes with two gracious members, it was clear how Pete is just “one of the guys,” and some of the stories I heard were fantastic. In the event that I didn’t respect Pete Dye coming into this round, I sure would after hearing the legend of Pete as told by those who knew his best.

This is a club were no details are ignored, and you get the feel that you’re in a special place from the moment you drive into the parking lot. From the Rolex clock that greets you in front of the clubhouse to the ProV1 practice balls on the range, putting greens, and short game area, it almost feels like you’re about to tee off in a Tour event. Then after taking a walk through the clubhouse, it’s clear how proud the club is of the championships it’s hosted, and for good reason. The John Daly PGA Championship put the club of the map, but there have been a number of USGA events, a Solheim Cub, and a BMW Championship that have taken place at The Stick since Long John first came on the scene.

So onto the club itself. Crooked Stick was built in to parts. Today’s back nine was built first. After that, money was a bit short, and the club sat back and continued to collect on farming revenues from the land that would become the second nine while Pete went to Ohio to design The Golf Club. After finishing there, he came back to Carmel to complete Crooked Stick by building what would now be the front nine. The front nine sets on the North side of the property, with the back nine to the South. From the day the club opened until today, the routing has been essentially unchanged. The first tee was formerly well right of where it is today. It was moved to the left to make room for today’s practice range. Also, the 17th green was formerly well left of where it is today-closer to the 18th tees. Some ponds were expanded, bunkers added, and greens expanded and such, but the course is mainly what it was when it founded in 1964.

What stands today is a course with classic Pete Dye features, but a course that’s more fun and playable than the resort courses that made him famous. The course has plenty of excellent risk/reward features, but doesn’t beat you up on every shot, and ask you to pack a dozen golf balls in your bag just in case (I lost just one ball at Crooked Stick). With that said, there’s plenty of challenge here. The rough is healthy and thick, the greens are tricky, and hazards are still in plenty of relevant spots to catch a mis-placed shot.

Four sets of tees make up Crooked Stick, with additional tees on some holes to make Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods sweat. The Gold Tees are the tips on the scorecard and play to 7,159 yards, and a rating / slope of 76.0 / 141 and a par of 72. The Black Tees aren’t on the scorecard, and are the set that the pros play. They stretch beyond the golds and play to a rating slope of 77.8 / 149. Those tees were certainly not going to happen, especially since I’m a Northern golfer and this was golf in May. Therefore, I was plenty happy when the member suggested we play the Blue Tees, which play to 6,647 yards, and 73.1 / 136.