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Victory Field Transformed Into Golf Course

Indians Turn to Alternative Sport During Pandemic
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Posted at 10:42 PM, Aug 28, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Something is amiss this weekend in downtown Indianapolis.

There's a golf course at Maryland and West streets. That's where the Indians, in a normal year, would be playing baseball. But, thanks to the pandemic, there is no Minor League Baseball this year.

Teams across the country are in the same predicament. What events, besides baseball, can be staged at the ballparks to generate some revenue for teams that aren't getting it from the usual sources—ticket sales, concessions, merchandise and parking?

The creative minds with the Indianapolis Indians decided on a nine-hole golf course that would be open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Once the publicity went out, reservations poured in and the event sold out.

Don't be confused, this is not Crooked Stick in Carmel where some holes are 600-yards. The longest at the Vic is 143-yards. It's the ultimate "short course." And it's not even traditional golf. Players hit the ball from tee boxes spread around the seating areas of the ballpark, aiming at the holes that are on the playing field. Some of the tee boxes are in Victory Field's Upper Level.

Each player gets three shots at each hole and scoring is based on how close the ball lands to the pin. "It was really well organized, it was a lot of fun," said Andy Fischer of Indianapolis. "It was sort of similar to TopGolf, but they have a little better scoring system. This just seemed like a unique opportunity, and I'm all about trying something else new."

Fisher's golfing buddy, Patrick Durbin of Whitestown, enjoyed his morning on the links. "I've seen a number of games here at Victory Field and I thought it was really neat to hit balls out there and it was a lot of fun."

Jenelle Adams made the 105-mile trip from Paris, Illinois to experience golf at a baseball park. "I think it was fun," she said. "When I was telling my friends what we were going to do, I said I think they laid it out similar to TopGolf. I though it was a nice way to spend the day outside and give some revenue to this fabulous field."

Indians Communications Director Cheyne Reiter said the very short course challenges a player, no matter their skill level. "For someone who swings a club for the first time and they get done playing nine holes, and they think I want to play again, that's what we're going for. We just want to bring people out, bring family and friends together and provide a little escape from what we know as 2020 and give them some entertainment that they haven't otherwise had here this summer."

With the tee boxes well spread out around the ballpark, social distancing was not a concern.

PREVIOUS: Movie nights are coming to Victory Field

The Indians have other events coming up at Victory Field. September 5 is the Grand Slam Auto Show. And for three Friday nights in September and October, movies with a baseball theme will be shown on the big scoreboard screen.

Hopefully, by next April, the ballpark can be used for its intended purpose.