At o’dark thirty (4:30am) I backed the WRX out of the garage and hustled on up to Cicero, Indiana (North East of Indianapolis, IN) to play the highly regarded, although maybe not well known, Bear Slide Golf Course. Three large coffees and 2 hours 15 minutes later I pulled into Bear Slide’s parking lot. No sooner than I could get out of my car a golf cart was parked near my trunk. WOW, great service! I met up with some friends who live in Indy. We only have the chance to play golf together a few times a year. I picked the golf course this time, as everything I have read said that Bear Slide Golf Course is a great play.
Someone once told me, "Believe nothing you hear and only half what you read on paper young man." Well, when it comes to Bear Slide believe everything you hear AND everything that you read on paper. I am sure many golfers wonder why the course has a silly sounding name like "Bear Slide". Well, the course is named after nearby Bear Slide Creek and the former use of the land was farming. The name of the farm was Bear Slide Farm. Simple enough huh? Just so you know, we didn’t see any black bears running around, although there are two bear paw prints near the first green. This golf course SIMPLY RULES.
The front nine is a "wee bit" Scottish/Irish style links layout that is pretty much wide open and you can bomb it away. The only real danger is the heather grass and assuming you find your wayward ball, it’s not too difficult to punch it out and advance it at the same time. All of the greens have good undulations that are fair. I noticed that the greens were recently airated (weird time for that around here?) but the holes were super small, unlike the usual large holes and they DID NOT affect anyone’s putting or the green speed. These greens are really NICE. The back nine is very different from the front in that you need to be a little more strategic on where you place your shots. Local knowledge helps on a few holes as well. I didn’t feel that the back nine holes were "tight" in any circumstance (well, maybe #18 off of the tee), but you still had to concentrate on placing your shots well. The only thing that I disliked about this golf course, and I am being picky, was the silly waste area on the par 4, 13th hole. I thought that the waste area as designed really detracted from the style of the rest of the course. It would look and play much better with some of those tough heathery bunkers or mounding akin to the other holes found elsewhere on the course. This golf course really does rate OVER a 10 on scale of 1-10 in my opinion! If you are anywhere near Indianapolis be sure and pay this place a visit! (if you would like to view larger pics of Bear Slide, go here: www.hetzelfamily.org/golf/bearslide)
Black Tees 6998 (74.1/136)
Blue Tees 6571 (72.0/131)
White Tees 5966 (69.4/122)
Gold Tees 5120 (65.3/111)
Red Tees 4834 (68.2/117)
Hole #1 green complete with scary "Bear Track" bunkers.
Hole #2 tee box view.
Sunrise on the par 5 #3 hole.
Long, slightly uphill par 4 #5. Tough hole, with a smallish green.
Great hole. Par 4 #9 back to the clubhouse. Scenic.
Tee box view of hole #10. Tighter than it looks, yet no bailout left.
View of shot into the 10th green.
Great short par 4. Better place your tee shot straight at the trap!
Green to previous picture. Hole #10. Your tee shot determines
what you can do for your second shot.
#12 is the only par 5 on the back nine. Wide open off tee. Shot into
the greens demands a lot of accuracy.
Backwards view of hole #12 from #13 teebox.
#13’s large waste area looks nicer on camera than in person.
Par 3 14th hole. Loved the Donald Ross looking green complex.
Short par 4 #15. Maybe the BEST hole on the course. All kinds
of options off the tee! You can make eagle, birdie, par or WORSE
here and all of them with ease!
Downhill target golf par 3 # 16. Another GREAT hole. Although
you cannot tell, there is a narrow bailout area in front and below the stone
This hole gave us fits. Short, uphill dogleg left par 4 #17. Do NOT
(like I did) hit into that hefty grass bunker on the right!
The MOST INTIMIDATING tee shot on the course, for sure! Hole
#18 is a really tough closing hole.
View from cart path on hole #18. Nice.
The home hole is tucked into the hillside. Don’t bet on getting on
in regulation unless you hit "THE" tee shot.