When I took up golf in 2002, I was still a student at Miami University. In between studies, I did get in a few rounds. My options were pretty much exclusively at one of two courses: Hueston Woods and Indian Ridge.
These courses are very different. Hueston Woods is a parkland layout with lots of trees and doglegs. Indian Ridge has quite a bit more variety in its layout.
Unfortunately, Indian Ridge has had quite a bit of drama in its short history. The course opened for play in 1999 and was a nice addition to the Cincinnati/Dayton golf scene. In 2004, while driving back late at night to my Oxford apartment, I saw a huge fire coming from the facility. Turns out that was the cart barn burning down. In 2007, the Southwest Ohio area had a bad drought. Without access to city water, Indian Ridge’s ponds went dry. While the greens remained well intact, everything else burned out. To make matters worse, the clubhouse burned down due to arson in 2009.
I hadn’t played Indian Ridge between 2007 and when I played again in 2015. The course had been through a few owners, and apparently the penultimate owners let the place go to crap. Most the grass wasn’t in good shape, cart paths had gone into disrepair, and all the bunkers on premises were not maintained. Having learned to play the game on this course, it was really depressing to hear what had happened.
In 2015, the course was under new ownership. Knowing that they had an upwards hill to climb, greens fees are reduced from previous years. I had heard that they were making an honest effort in turning the place around. So, in May 2015, I saw for myself.
What I can say from that visit is things are improving, but there’s still a long way to go. I hadn’t realized the previous owner’s malpractice until I saw it for myself. What used to be perfect greens had lots of evidence of crab grass. I was told by the new owners they know the grass has issues, but they’re making efforts to improve it. I could see areas of improvement, and I wish them well in their restorative efforts.
I was also told they were re-doing every bunker. When I visited, they were 5 in. They hoped to be done by September 2015 with the other 50 or so.
Lastly, a humongous retention pond was being built around the area of 12’s old secondary green (which I never saw in play anyways). It’s so big, it actually comes into play on the par 5 14th, which makes that tee shot even more difficult to go for a big one. This was desperately needed if the course had any chance of being maintained to its previous standard.
For varying reasons, I probably won’t make it back to Indian Ridge to see how things are progressing. For my nostalgia’s sake, I hope the new owners can bring the course back to its previous standard of excellent conditioning and some of the best greens in the area. If you’re reading this and have played it more recently than May 2015, drop me a note and let me know how it’s progressing.