Building a Gem / North Vernon native, former Otter Creek pro has overseen IU project

When The Pfau Course, Indiana University’s new $12 million golf facility, opens to the public on Monday, it will be the culmination of a three-year renovation project.

The man behind that project has ties to the Columbus area. Greg Bishop grew up in Jennings County, worked at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus for 17 years, built St. Anne’s Golf Course in North Vernon and managed Timbergate Golf Course in Edinburgh.

In 2015, Bishop took over as director of golf operations at the IU Championship Golf Course and worked the business plan for the renovation. He became senior assistant athletic director and director of golf operations for IU last summer.

“They’ve been wanting to do something over here for years,” Bishop said. “The course was basically outdated. A lot of the alumni and people have been wanting to do this for years, and we just got the right mix.”

The Pfau Course sits on the same land as the previous IU Championship Course, which had been built in 1954, along with the former Par 3 course and the IU Cross-Country Course. But all 18 holes are totally new.

The new course was designed by Steve Smyers of Steve Smyers Golf Course Architects and former PGA Tour pro and Indiana native Fuzzy Zoeller of Zoeller, Inc.

“We built a championship golf course,” Bishop said. “This is going to be one of the best golf courses in the midwest. It’s going to be able to host major championships.”

Bishop grew up playing Muscatatuck Country Club, a nine-hole course just east of North Vernon which is no longer there. After high school, he worked at Otter Creek from 1982-99, serving as assistant pro, pro and director of golf.

Bishop’s construction company built St. Anne’s in 1999 and sold it back to city in 2014. His company also managed Timbergate from 2000 to 2010.

This winter, Bishop hired former Timbergate and Harrison Lake Country Club pro Jim St. John as The Pfau Club’s head pro.

“We’re ready,” Bishop said. “With the COVID-19 rules, this is the first thing the university has opened back up since this (virus) started. We’re going to have some guidelines.”

Those guidelines, as well as other course information, are available at thepfaucourse.com.

The par-71 course features six tee options, with course length ranging from 4,586 to 7,908 yards. The facility also features a new clubhouse and two new practice and driving areas.

“It reminds me of the quote of the famous golfer Bobby Jones. He said the more he studied it, the more he loved it. The more he loved it, the more he studied it,” Smyers said in a news release. “I think that’s true for my feelings about this property here at IU. It’s a fantastic place for golf.”

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Name: Greg Bishop

Age: 62

Hometown: North Vernon

High school: Jennings County

Occupation: senior assistant athletic director and director of golf operations at Indiana University

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