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Northwinds at Indian Lake GC

Indian Lake, PA (near Somerset)

www.northwindsgolf.com

Northwinds GC @ Indian Lake #18

Year built and designer unavailable

Blue 6199, 70.2, 128, 72

White 5962, 69.7, 127, 72

'10 Fees: $ 37 Wknd Ride

Fat Guy Review, 2013 : Pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but given the number of courses in the area, this one is worth the drive from Johnstown or Somerset. A sometimes challenging track with much improved (and shockingly fast) greens, while the rest of the course was in pretty decent shape . A couple new holes put in a few years ago ma de it a better layout, but it still has a couple Mickey Mouse par - 4's. Some elevation changes, but not as up and down as some other area courses. Usually a pretty good wind blowing across the hilltops. They should have called this course "Postage Stamps at Indian Lake", because the vast majority of the greens are tiny and tough to hit. The routing g ets tough out of the gate as #2 is a tight snaking downhill par 5 dog right. Two tough back-to-back downhill par-3s at #'s 14 & 15 can wreck a good score in a hurry. Nice vistas of Indian Lake and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. A great value at $37 greens fees. Rating: 8.0 (considering lack of competition in the area ) .

There is also a separate private country club course at the resort which was the first course ever designed by Arnold Palmer.

Where To Stay: Indian Lake Lodge on premisis is just steps from the 1st tee. Nice-sized, comfortable rooms all have a bacony with a lake view.

W here To Grub and Booze: Snack bar at the pro shop, and the on-premisis Northwinds Lodge has a restaurant and bar, with crappy live music weekends, decent pie, and what passes for an eclectic weekend crowd out in these parts, so it also provides plenty of conversation starters. $4 premium shots, $3 beers.

My buddy Jeff recommends The Alley at nearby Reel's Corner. This former bowling alley turned machine shop turned bar features a game area complete with 4 golf simulators that host local winter leagues. It draws a mixed, eclectic crowd from young hotties to old locals to blue collar types, leaving you wondering where all these people are coming from out here in the middle of nowhere.

OR, head towards Rt 30 (aka Lincoln Hwy) to Costagna's . A bar & restaurant for over 20 years, recently changed names and ownership. Kinda divey, more than a little musty, and the satellite TV over the bar goes on the blink at the slightest drizzle, but the beer is cold and with having the same cook for the last 20 years, the food is fairly good too. Pretty good wings, decent specials, reasonable prices, and they'll even cook up off-menu dishes if you ask nice. Pool table in back. Occasionally have bands weekends, but the crowd can get pretty rowdy when they crank the amps up. The owner said the last two band nights produced broken windows and fights, so bring your bigger buddies and keep your eyes on the band (not some dude's grrlfriend).

Further Distractions: Rent a canoe, boat, or jet skis and head out onto Indian Lake . Take a hike at any number of nearby spots. Then reconnect with the tragic loss of 9/11 Flight 93 at the nearby crash site and moving memorial. Never forget. Or tour the Queecreek 9 mine rescue site .