Otter Creek Golf Course opened 50 years ago as a gift to the city from Cummins Engine Co. The Columbus-based company viewed it as an asset that could augment the quality of life of the city’s residents, including its employees.
Then-Cummins Chairman J. Irwin Miller explained the gift by saying, “We would like to see this community come to be, not the cheapest, but very best community of its size in the country.”
In the ensuing half-century, the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course has been a community gem and has helped Columbus distinguish itself. It has served well local golfers and groups seeking a place for meetings and parties, and has aided sports tourism by hosting state tournaments.
As with any community asset, maintaining it is important so future generations also can experience the benefits. So it was encouraging to see continued investment in Otter Creek with a renovation of its clubhouse.
The Otter Creek Golf Course Bar & Grill resembles its original design, with green carpeting and a stone wall as it overlooks what’s now a 27-hole course, nine more than the original 18. It functions as a full-service restaurant, featuring local craft beer, several large-screen televisions and a wood-burning fireplace. That should provide a boost to daily business and give residents another dining option. It was originally a formal restaurant designed by renowned architect Harry Weese but most recently had served as a banquet hall.
Another good sign of considered care of Otter Creek is that more renovations are likely. Course management staff and the board of directors that oversees Otter Creek are considering changing some unneeded locker room space into meeting rooms.
Otter Creek Golf Course is one of the multitude of amenities that adds to a greater quality of life for local residents and sets Columbus apart.