The answer to this question is: No, the A golf course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not a real golf course, but it is a wonderful piece of urban landscape design. For years, racing fans have visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to witness the heart-pounding speeds and breathtaking jumps by their favorite drivers. While at the Speedway, they have also spent time playing golf. When organizers of the IMS decided to renovate and extend the golf course, they had to find a way to pay homage to the greatest racing tournament in history while also providing their golfers with a challenging 18-hole experience. This article will go over the details of how the IMS golf course stacks up against a real golf course.
Real Versus Apparent Golf Courses
If you are new to the idea of golf, then visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway may feel like a real golf retreat. There are no other structures in sight, just rolling lawns, some wooden benches to rest in, and a golf course that feels like it goes on forever. But just because it’s a bit of a walk to the next tee doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to create a real golf course feel at the Speedway. The key is in the greens and fairways. A real golf course has natural bumps, hollows, and hillocks that make it look like a real place. The IMS golf course doesn’t offer anything like that. Instead, the golfers hit onto a flat, hard surface, which could make it harder for them to shoot a decent score.
Even the sand on the course is artificial! You may have seen golf courses with sand placed in cups on the fairway so that the sun can help warm up the surface for the players. In most cases, these sand “cavenots” are positioned to imitate the hollows, ridges, and curves of a real golf course. The IMS course doesn’t have any of those, so it feels more like a theme park than a real golf course, even though it’s still technically a golf course.
Tees And Greens
While the layout of the whole golf course might give you the impression that it’s more like a park than a true golf course, the tees and greens are where it is at. A true golf course has well-groomed tees and greens that allow the players to aim at a target and make long, smooth strokes. At the IMS, the greens are of the putting variety, which are easier to aim and place shorter strokes on. The surface is smooth, without the natural bumps and hollows of a real greens. That makes it harder to place your putts on target, and you’ll end up having to make more strokes to get the same result.
One of the greatest things about playing golf on a real golf course is that you can count on getting your ball wet. The rain, while sometimes annoying, helps keep the greens fresh. On the IMS course, the greens are watered with a sprinkler system, so even on the off-chance that it does rain, the water supply won’t be affected. The same goes for the sand on the course. A real, natural course would be affected by any kind of rain or watering, causing the sand to turn to mud, making it harder for players to navigate the greens. That, in turn, would affect your score badly if you are playing a real golf course. The IMS golf course has no natural water source aside from some underground springs, so in case of heavy rain, you’ll have to make sure that the sprinklers are turned off to prevent any unexpected flooding. Otherwise, you’ll end up either playing in the rain or wet sand, both of which are uncomfortable for the players and make for a less enjoyable experience on the whole.
Bumps, Divots, And Hills
If you’ve ever been to a real golf course, you know that they aren’t perfect. There are always bumps, divots, and hills in the fairway that the golfers have to deal with, as they play through the round. The IMS golf course has no bumps, divots, or hills, which you’d normally expect from a golf course. It’s as flat as a board! This makes it easier for the golfers to play a straight course and keep their ball in the fairway, but it also makes it harder for them to achieve many birdies or eights, as they won’t be able to roll the ball around the course as easily as they could on a real golf course. The lack of these fairway imperfections makes the whole experience more like playing on a practice facility than a true golf course.
Anyone who has ever played golf in a real golf course knows just how difficult it can be to give a true assessment of the course’s difficulty level. Because there are always people around taking notes, it is hard to gauge how tough the greens are without comparing it to some other course that you may know. The IMS golf course is considered a “warm-up” course for amateur golfers, due to its lack of challenging holes and gentle slope. Professional golfers use other courses as preparation for the IMS, since it doesn’t challenge them as much as they’d like, for fear of injuring themselves. This is also why it is considered a practice facility, since the golfers are not used to the extreme speeds and demands that they will face on the course itself.
A true golf course has an overall feel, or tone, that you cannot really put into words. You just know it when you play there. The IMS golf course has a very specific vibe, mainly due to its artificial nature. It is more like an extension of the IMS, with lots of greens, fairways, and tees that blend into each other. While it has some charm, there isn’t much character to it.
When it comes to the look of the course, the green paint and white stripes along the fairway make it feel more like a corporate retreat than a traditional golfing spot. That’s not meant as a knock; it’s just different compared to a real golf course!
Overall, the IMS golf course is a great addition to the IMS, and considering the amenities that the Speedway has to offer, it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon. It’s just that it doesn’t feel like a real golf course once you’ve played there a couple of times. You’ll never get that feeling on a walk through, which is what you normally get on a real golf course. For that reason, the IMS golf course doesn’t really measure up, on paper, to a traditional golf course.
On the other hand, it’s not a bad idea for recreational golfers who want to have some fun, relax, and get away from it all. It’s just that it doesn’t feel like a traditional golf course. Plus, since it is a warm-up for amateurs, it doesn’t offer much in the way of challenges, which can make it harder to have that traditional golfing experience. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and if you want a more traditional golfing experience, then visit a real golf course instead, since there are plenty of them around, including one at the IMS that you can play right next to the hotel where you’re staying.