Any Pete (and Alice) Dye course is ripe for debate as far as enjoyability goes for both professionals and amateurs. Most of Dye’s courses are designed with elite golfers in mind. This results in a fair amount of blind shots, carries and course management coming at a premium.
From what I grasp, Dye’s reputation skews positive in the golf world. Crooked Stick embodies its creator in that it tends to receive more praise than criticism.
Perhaps that has something to do with the inspiration for the design.
According to Golf Digest, which ranks Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana, No. 93 in the U.S., Dye paid tribute to Donald Ross on the course’s front nine “with pedestal putting surfaces and deceptive bunkers well short of some greens.” The back nine was tribute to another legendary architect Alister McKenzie with boomerang shaped greens.
The final product resulted in a more subdued version of Dye’s courses. The local geography is relatively flat save for a few rolling slopes, making this course more straight in front of you than, say, TPC Sawgrass or Whistling Straits.
There are no absolutely breathtaking views, but the course offers a clean, classic look.
Crooked Stick’s pedigree aside from hosting the 2012 and 2016 BMW Championship is pretty strong.
John Daly baptized Crooked Stick on the major championship stage with his win at the 1991 PGA Championship. That’s Crooked Stick’s only men’s major, but since it’s hosted the U.S. Women’s Open, Solheim Cup and U.S. Senior Open.
Like every other state on this list, an underrated golf state like Indiana doesn’t always get a Tour event. Playing there each year is unlikely, but it seems hard to pass up hitting the Hoosier state at least every few years. If that’ll be the case, Crooked Stick is at the top for hosting again in the future.