Elbel Golf Course in South Bend, Indiana

by Joe Molnar on October 28, 2008

Elbel Golf Course at Sunset

Elbel Golf Course at Sunset

Elbel Golf Course on South Bend’s far northwest side is one of the best public courses in Northern Indiana. It is a gorgeous parkland style course full of mature trees and bordering on some of the most beautiful wetlands in the area. Elbel offers a great test of your skills but is not unfair in any way. Kentucky bluegrass fairways and bent grass greens are kept in terrific condition. The greens are usually fast and have lots of slope for some tricky putts. Several holes feature severe doglegs that reward the long hitters who can cut the corners with good opportunities to score but if you miss your drive you will suffer the consequences of these high risk, high reward T shots with a blocked second shot or worse, a lost ball. Many of the holes border on wetland areas or heavily wooded areas that love to eat wayward golf balls.

Hole #13 is a 200 yard par 3 that will eat your lunch but several par 5’s (#6, #11 and #15) are reachable in 2. The par 5 #6 hole begs you to cut the corner across a wide wetland. Not only do you go over the wetlands, but there is a row of very tall mature Oak trees about 200 yards out that you must carry to make it to the fairway. Come up short and it will cost you at least an extra shot but make it and you are going for the green in 2. The #18 par 4 is a beautiful finishing hole that rewards a good drive (220 yards plus) with a 160 yard second shot over a deep valley to the green. There are woods and wetlands to the left that are like ball magnets and cause many a golfer a bit of pain. A good approach shot is something like a high 7 iron that floats in for a soft landing.

Elbel is a fun course that is beautiful and challenging. I never get tired of playing at Elbel and neither will you. The price is cheap for the quality of the course. If our fall weather permits, try to take the time to experience Elbel for yourself. You won’t be sorry. Green fees on the weekend are $24 to walk or $39 to ride. You need to call early for weekend T times because the course is very popular. I suggest calling on Sunday morning if you want an early T time the following weekend.


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