Located just outside the small town of Bedford in southern Indiana, a town best known for being the home of Indiana University’s great Damon Bailey and the “Limestone Capital of the World”, lies the beautiful little municipal golf course, Otis Park. I grew up playing this golf course and practically lived there when I was a teenager. At the time I took the golf course for granted for what it truly was and until recently I still did. One of things that you must know about Otis is that if you can not hit a golf ball unless it is on a flat lie then you might not want to bother because there are few places on this rolling hilly terrain that you are going to find a flat lie. The enthusiast of old school architecture would love this design with the tree lined holes that play back and forth, small greens (and I mean small greens), and non manipulated hilly terrain this course is a jump in the past for architecture.
Otis Park is located on 150 acres that was donated in 1935 to the city of Bedford by Fred B. Otis. While it has changed quite a bit since its inception Otis Park has not deviated from its roots. Once you drive up to the facility you will get a feel for the character of Bedford, Indiana. This place is not like the golf courses in French Lick just 45 minutes down the road, it is not going to chew you up and spit you out and the budget is much smaller; however, the staff do a great job of taking care of Otis. And at 6400 yards from the tips the golf course will not over power you with length but you better have a great wedge game, because you are going to need it. The greens are the teeth of this golf course especially when they speed them up as they are small and have some movement in them.
The picturesque hole on the golf course is the longest hole on the golf course as well, #17. This par 5 is a blast starting from the tee shot which is from a cliff to a valley below over a creek. This is a go get it type of hole if you can stay out of the creek and the bunkers. Plus you better score on this hole because #18 is part of the trifecta at Otis, with your final hole being a par 3 that is all carry, just like the other two par 3’s on the course.
Otis Park is a picturesque golf course with an old school style of architecture and historical landmarks. For the better player it might be an easy place to play but that is not what should be valued at Otis as it is not designed to be difficult. Otis shows off the character of Bedford and of southern Indiana. The limestone walls, limestone bandshell, red brick mansion and the rolling hills are what make Otis a great place to visit. As I said earlier I grew up playing this place and my children will as well.