By Grady Michael Gaynor
Lifelong Carmel resident Derrick Wegner has been playing golf at Brookshire Golf Course since 1981. As the course nears its 50th anniversary, he reminisced on his memories of it.
“There is something about being surrounded by those large, weathered trees, some as old as our country, that induces a historic, comforting nuance to the course,” Wegner said. “Over the last 10 years, I have witnessed Brookshire transform from a humble, natural beauty into a sophisticated, well-respected place in the golf community.”
Brookshire Golf Course will celebrate its 50th year anniversary on June 25. Designed by Carmel architect William Diddel in 1970, the course opened the following year near 116th Street and Gray Road. It is the City of Carmel’s only municipal golf course.
Originally established as a private course, the city purchased Brookshire for $2.6 million in 2007 to save it from development and preserve it as a public amenity. The course earns about $1.5 million a year in revenue and receives about $200 ,000 a year in city subsidies.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Brookshire has adopted a new logo, upgraded the 18-hole course and added features at the 2-year-old clubhouse. The new logo was inspired by the pillars that welcome guests to the course.
Brookshire’s pro shop has been revamped and offers new merchandise such as T-shirts, pullovers, headwear, polos, tumblers, poker chips and other items featuring the new logo. It also sells new clothing apparel lines such as Nike, Bad Birdie, Levelwear and Black Clover.
Brookshire has a state-of-the-art fleet of carts with GPS distancing to the hole. The course has newly paved cart paths and an expedited food and beverage center. The features help with the pace of play and enhances the overall experience. The clubhouse has meeting rooms, with the largest able to hold 200 people. The rooms are marketed for weddings, graduation parties and corporate events.
“The golf course is also continuing to see improvements with new bridges going in, and we continue to work on getting paved cart paths all the way around the course,” said Brian Ballard, PGA director of golf at Brookshire. “We are also installing two state-of-the-art indoor golf simulators in our new clubhouse in hopes of offering year-round golf experiences in Carmel.”
Brookshire staff members have aimed to go above and beyond to ensure that enjoying the course remains a safe activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Golf carts are wiped down in between users; tables in the clubhouse are regularly cleaned; and all staff members have been vaccinated.
“Through the tutelage of Brian Ballard, the current staff has been outstanding. They have this course running at an optimum level geared for the customer experience,” Wegner said. “The way they handled the last year, in regard to sanitation and safety, should be the gold standard. Their adaptability and dedication to service really shined during a confusing and frustrating time in our society.”
Brookshire is one of three municipal golf courses in Hamilton County. The others are the 9-hole Forest Park Golf Course and the 27-hole Fox Prairie Golf Course, both in Noblesville.
Tee times and memberships are available. For more, visit BrookshireGolf.com.
Brookshire Golf Course timeline
- 1970 — Course designed by William Diddel
- 1971 — First round of golf played
- 2007 — City purchased course
- 2019 — Brookshire Clubhouse renovated
- 2021 — Brookshire celebrates 50 years with course improvements, new logo