November 20, 2017
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On Par

Area country clubs offer more than fairways
Evansville Country Club. Photo by Jerry Butts

Known primarily for their golf courses, country clubs offer much more than fairways, greens, and the 19th hole for refreshments. Our area is home to several notable country clubs, each with a unique history and a landscape showing off the natural beauty of the golf course. Evansville Country Club, Oak Meadow Country Club, and Rolling Hills Country Club, in Newburgh, Indiana, each offer leisure pursuits for the whole family.

“Oak Meadow was founded as a private country club,” says Karen Blankenberger, co-owner of Oak Meadow Country Club. “The private club golf course and grounds encompasses 165 acres. With it also being a somewhat historic property, we wanted to preserve the beautiful property that has trees that are over 100 years old. It is truly a spectacular piece of property and a hidden gem of the Tri-State.”

Evansville Country Club began in 1900 as a fishing and dining club with many renovations and additions throughout the years. In 1955, a group of businessmen found a slice of paradise in Paradise, Indiana, when they decided to create Rolling Hills amid the beautiful landscape. Oak Meadow once belonged to D. Mead Johnson as an estate and horse farm, but was purchased by Dick Heath of Robinson, Illinois, and candy bar fame, in the 1970s and converted into the country club Evansville knows today.

“The key is to make everything an experience, take it one step further than other people,” says Gary Shetler, general manager of the Evansville Country Club. “When you make the experience something members can share with other people, they remember you.”

Though they operate as private country clubs, each local club welcomes guests of members. In the summer months, many country club activities center around youth swim teams.

“Other clubs focus on their course, but we focus on the family oriented feel,” says Allison Bunys, sales manager at Rolling Hills Country Club. “We’re welcoming. It’s not a stiff or intimidating atmosphere.”

Attracting new members and retaining longtime members requires continuous improvements. Rolling Hills is adding a new lounge overlooking the pool. Taken from a portion of the men’s locker room, the lounge will include full dining service with televisions to accommodate the growing membership. Oak Meadow built new “gardens” in the wedding ceremony and reception area last year. Then on the northeast side of town, Evansville Country Club has started preparations on new wine lockers and a new wine room to store a more extensive collection of vintages.

For more information about Evansville Country Club, call 812-425-2243 or visit evansvillecountryclub.org. For information on Rolling Hills Country Club, call
812-925-3336 or visit
rollinghillsindiana.com. For information about Oak Meadow Country Club, call 812-867-1900 or visit oakmeadowcc.com.

Other Area Clubs:

Henderson Country Club
Right across the river in Henderson, Kentucky, Henderson Country Club rests among the beautiful hills. Established in 1899, the club offers an 18-hole golf course designed by Ted Locke, which all skill levels can enjoy.
1030 Country Club Drive, 270-826-2176, hendersoncountryclub.org

Western Hills Country Club
In Mount Vernon, Indiana, the 9-hole regulation golf course offers a challenge with its longest tee at 2,865 yards and the course at a par of 35. “We have a really top notch club,” says Heath Rigsby, general manager at the member-owned private club. “We’re a small golf club with big amenities. We have a great golf course that’s well maintained, a large-sized swimming pool, and newly renovated tennis courts.”
1725 Country Club Road, Mount Vernon, IN, 812-838-3148, facebook.com/westernhillscc

Rustic Country Club
In Rockport, Indiana, the Rustic Country Club, formerly known as Lakewood Country Club, is perfectly situated in the countryside. “We’re more open — we’re not private,” says Hillary Roos, a waitress at Rustic Country Club. “Everybody’s friendly, and it’s a good place for everyone to come and get together. We also have a beautiful view where everyone likes to sit and watch the golfers and wildlife.”
1375 S. Old State Road 45, Rockport, IN, 812-649-9258

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