Located on the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky sits the little town of Florence, Indiana. This town of just over 1,000 people would never be considered a place for tourism, yet it has one major attraction that has people traveling from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indianapolis, Belterra Casino. A year after the casino officially opened, Tom Fazio designed Belterra Golf Club, opened in 2001.
Belterra Golf Club is an absolute hidden gem that does not get the attention that it should. Holes 1,2,3, and 18 are just across the parking lot from the hotel and casino while 4-17 are just across the road. There are ten ponds, tons of trees, and well placed Fazio style bunkering that help make Belterra a beautiful and strategically challenging golf course.
ON THE COURSE
From the back tees, you will start your day on the slightly right to left 427 yard par 4. The first shot of your day leads to an important decision: a) you go for the left side of the fairway and then have to carry the greenside bunker that protects the left side of the green or b) go down the right side of the fairway where a fairway bunker from 239 – 288 yards is protecting against this angle; however, if you find the right side of the fairway you will have an unimpeded approach shot to the green.
When you cross the road you will be welcomed by a 543 yard par 5 with rolling hills, bunkers and water to the left, and trees on the right. Longer hitters who go for the green in two will have to hit to a fairly blind hole position over a bunker. Many will choose to go for the bail out area to the right opening up to the entire green complex. The 5th hole is the hardest hole on the golf course, a downhill 478 yard dogleg left par 4 with a pond protecting the left side of the fairway and green. While it means you will have to carry the pond and possibly a bunker hitting down the left side of the fairway is the best way to play this hole, as you will stay clear of the trees and the fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway.
The final four holes are a brutal test to finish your day with the 2nd, 16th, 6th, and 4th hardest holes on the course. Starting with the blind uphill 465 yard par 4, 15th you must hit your tee shot center to right side of the fairway. And while this does lengthen the second shot it gives you the opportunity to play your shot between the two greenside bunkers and clear of the pond left of the green. The 522 yard par 5, 18th is the most scenic of them all. With the hotel in the background and a pond running down the entire right side of the fairway. This dogleg right hole is a beautiful finishing hole, but don’t be fooled, besides the pond there are nine bunkers including three greenside bunkers leaving little to no room for an errant shot into this green.
After playing one of Tom Fazio’s masterpieces head to your room and clean up for a dinner at 19 Steak & Seafood. Indiana was the 19th state in the union which 19 Steak & Seafood pays homage to that fact.
Belterra is an absolute must when you play golf in Indiana. There is much to challenge and enjoy at this Tom Fazio design. Learn more at: Belterra Casino
Picture Resources: golfadvisor.com and google images