Will Prairie View be ready for tournament? Of course

Prairie View Golf Club continues to prepare for what will be the Carmel course’s second straight year as host of the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals.

Patrick Dodson, the PGA golf professional of the 19-year-old course since 2012, expects to put on an even better show this time.

Although cold, wet and windy conditions presented Dodson, his staff and volunteers a number of challenges in 2014, the course received mostly favorable reviews.

The positive input continued this past June after Center Grove secured runner- up standing at the boys state finals at Prairie View.

“Mostly it was organizational stuff we learned the first year. I handled all the merchandising, volunteers and parking, but there is also beverages and maintenance,” said Dodson, whose primary dilemma a year ago was shuttling spectators to and from the main parking lot located three-quarters of a mile from the course.

“Last fall we had to use golf carts to shuttle people back and forth,” Dodson said. “It was awful.”

Lesson learned.

Two Cathedral High School mini buses were used to provide a shuttle service during the boys finals, which drastically improved the process. The buses will be back in service during Friday’s first round and Saturday’s second round.

As for the course itself, Prairie View was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It will play about 5,600 yards, with no shortage of challenges as it did for the 2014 girls finals.

Center Grove coach Jim Williams, who also coaches the Trojans’ boys team, said the course annually presents a supreme challenge. The best team and player will no doubt earn their respective championships.

“You have to make shots there,” Williams said. “For girls, it’s really tough. I think one of the toughest courses they’ll ever play. Even in good weather it’s a difficult course to play.”

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.