In the fall of 1988 three brothers set out to build a golf course. On April 2, 1991 Rocky Ridge Golf Club opened to the public as a nine hole course, and expanded to 18 holes a few years later.
“Well, the story is kind of built around three brothers and the Hole farm,” said Kathi Hole, Gerald Hole’s wife.
The Hole brothers inherited the nearly three generation farm after their father passed away in 1975. After which Bob and Garry ran the farm, barely making $5,000 over two years in 1986.
Meanwhile, Gerald was working as a trooper with the Indiana State Police. He would eventually retired in 1991 after 28 years of service.
As the golf club was being built, Gerald would spend every free minute helping out. And over the three years of its construction he saw trees come down and fields torn up. The once rough landscape of farmland eventually turned into green fairways that golfers still enjoy 30 years later.
“It was a labor of love more than it was anything else,” Gerald said. “And it’s been fun watching it grow and see the people come and enjoy it.”
Today, the nearly 200-acre course runs through a 60-house subdivision and sees hundreds of golfers a year.
Nobody in the family golfed, until Gerald and his brother, Bob, picked up the sport when they were teenagers. While Gerald doesn’t play much anymore due to shoulder injuries, he still expressed love for the sport.
“Golfing is something you can do from the time you’re very small until you’re too old to drag the bag around,” the 79-year-old laughed.
Another thing Gerald said was there is more to running a course than people might think. From paying for equipment, like mowers, weed eaters, fertilizer and golf carts, which run at about $6,000 a piece.
“People don’t realize that there’s more to it than just mowing grass. They don’t see the expense involved,” Gerald said.
During COVID-19 they lost considerable membership, Gerald said. However, they ended up making the money back over time because golf turned out to be one of the better outdoor socially distanced activities during the pandemic. In fact, Rocky Ridge saw golfers from Illinois come play when Illinois shut down all outdoor activities, some even continuing to come back this year because they liked the course.
Rocky Ridge hosts a women’s league on Mondays, a men’s league on Tuesdays, a two-man scramble called Thirsty Thursdays on Thursday nights and a mixed couples scramble on Fridays.
The course is located at 3965 N. C.R. 625E near Darlington. To learn more, call 765-794-4444.