Southern Indiana, known for its picturesque rolling hills near the Hoosier National Forest, offers quite the surroundings to set up a few days away from everyday life. Mining for gems at nearby Marengo Cave, a notable National Landmark, is common for spelunkers. When it comes to hitting the links, golfers often want to find hidden gems of their own, and not necessarily the secrets to the perfect putting stroke. If it’s an overnight stay and a championship golf experience you desire, Lucas Oil Golf Course in English has the perfect combination.
At Lucas Oil Golf Course, convenience in planning a golfing and outdoor excursion couldn’t be easier.
The 18-hole course offers relaxing accommodations on property, with golf cart use at the front doorstep. The ranch-style houses are situated near the 10th hole, a par-four not far from the clubhouse and a full restaurant.
It’s a stay where golf, food, relaxation and fun times can be had with only a golf cart needed.
“What makes it unique is we give them access to a golf cart at the house so they don’t have to load and unload their clubs each time they want to play,” said Ron Schitter, the course’s director of golf. “Once the golf season gets going, it’s a great convenience.”
“What makes it unique is we give them access to a golf cart at the house so they don’t have to load and unload their clubs each time they want to play. Once the golf season gets going, it’s a great convenience.” – Ron Schitter, Director of Golf
Two houses, with four comfortable bedrooms in each, are the lodging options. Two beds are in each room, comfortably sleeping eight. Throw in the additions of sleeper sofas and the occupancy can reach 10-12.
“We have had as many as 20 at one time between the two houses,” said Schitter. “There are full kitchens and dining areas in each. There are TVs scattered all around. House one has an attached deck on the back with a 65-inch TV. In house two, we have a 32-by-40-foot shelter house off the back with a 65-inch TV, too. It’s great for playing cornhole, cards, watching people play golf or watching wildlife.”
Stay-and-play golf has been growing in popularity in recent years.
“The lodging gives golfers the option to stay and continue to play,” said Schitter. “If you want to take long weekends, it’s a perfect opportunity to do that. It’s convenient. We rent them out year-round. Even if the course isn’t open, we still have people in the area looking for lodging or family wanting to use it in the offseason if it is available.”
The location, about 10 minutes north off I-64 at the intersection of State Highway 64 and State Road 237, is central to several other Southern Indiana activities as well. Families and groups can make use of the lodging to spend time at Marengo Cave (10 minutes away), Patoka Lake (30 minutes away), French Lick Casino (30 minutes away) and Holiday World (45 minutes away). Hiking trails are plentiful in the area, including the beautiful rock formations and waterfall at Hemlock Cliffs.
Families and groups can make use of the lodging to spend time at Marengo Cave, Patoka Lake, French Lick Casino, and Holiday World. Hiking trails are plentiful in the area, including the beautiful rock formations and waterfall at Hemlock Cliffs.
“I recently put it on VRBO and anyone can come,” said Schitter. “It’s a great market when it’s golf season or off season because we have some great attractions around us along with golf. If you get a couple families, the golfers can play golf while the others hit the road to Patoka, Holiday World or other attractions.”
The popularity of the rentals is gaining steam. Schitter said he has one group who has booked a weekend over the course of the next five years. Others are coming from Indianapolis, Cincinnati and other cities to spend the weekend at Lucas Oil Golf Course.
The Donald Ross Course in neighboring French Lick hosts an LPGA Symetra tour event annually, with some of those professionals electing to stay at Lucas Oil Golf Course.
“They love the setup and what we offer,” Schitter said of those who book the stay-and-play options.
Pricing is based on the season and number of people staying and playing. Meal plans are also available and can be found at lucasoilgolfcourse.com.
The Club House Restaurant at Lucas Oil G.C. offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“The restaurant is very convenient,” said Schitter. “There are some groups that will want to grill out at the house, but a vast majority eat at our restaurant. We open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 on the weekends.”
On the course, there are multiple tee boxes, setting up a great round for various levels of golfers. It can play 5,000 yards or back to 7,000, depending on your skill.
“The grounds crew has been doing tree work on the golf course for the upcoming season,” said Schitter. “It’s been in really great shape and is great to play.”
Located in the forest area, Lucas Oil Golf Course is certainly unique as it takes full advantage of elevation changes throughout the round. Some holes offer brilliant views, some 100-plus feet above a valley. The back nine presents the most challenges in terms of elevation. There are several creeks and lakes that come into play as well. The par-72 is a gem.
And now, the opportunity to play the next day is even easier. •
The course can be reached at 812-338-3748 to book a tee time or reserve a stay-and-play package.
Story by Brian Smith // Photos by Elisa Lucas Photography