The Histories of Wildcat Creek
The history of Wildcat Creek Golf Course could be two histories, because the first nine opened in 1995 followed by the second nine two years later.
Country Development, Flora, IN, owned the property and built the first nine, which was designed by Jerry Matthews, a well known architect from Lansing, MI who is known for his courses in the Midwest. Country Development sold the course and 273 acres of land to Art Stonebraker, who formed Wildcat Creek Golf Club and built the second nine in 1997. A golf pro friend hooked him up with Jim Fazio, the renowned designer best known for two Trump courses, International, in Palm Beach, FL and National, in Briarcliff, NY. Fazio designed the back nine at Wildcat to great acclaim.
The land the course is situated on is beautiful Indiana country, just outside the Kokomo city limits, close to major state highways US 31 and US 26. “It’s a neat tract of ground for a golf course,” Mr. Stonebraker says, featuring lush wooded forest, five fresh water lakes and of course Wildcat Creek, which meanders through the back nine. Golfers must shoot across lakes on four holes on the front nine and cross the creek six times on the back. One of the lakes straddles the ninth and 18th holes, making for a spectacular finish at each nine.
The designers took advantage of this wonderful terrain to design a course that is challenging as well as scenic. Matthews’ front nine (par-36, 3413 yards from the gold tees) features wide, relatively flat fairways with large flat greens. The open layout doesn’t make for easy play, however, with accuracy required. The first hole is a dog leg right with a three tiered green. The second features a green fronted by a pond. The signature seventh demands a shot over a valley and a creek to an elevated green.
Fazio’s back nine (par-36, 3469 yards from the golds) is renowned for its brushes with the creek. Highlights include the par-4 12th, in which the creek must be crossed twice and the 18th, a long par-5 monster, with ponds and marsh lining the fairway and plenty of water on both sides.