36 holes, 2 courses, 1 unforgettable experience on Pete Dye Golf Trail

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Dec. 2, 2020) – Believe it or not, but the men’s and women’s golf teams at Purdue University are blessed with not one but two great, nationally respected, and admired golf courses which can be found at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.

The names of the two courses are Ackerman-Allen and Kampen.  The website for the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex provides a profound, succinct and accurate summary of what awaits all golfers: 36 Holes, 2 Courses, 1 Unforgettable Experience.

“It’s not often that you get to play golf at a university and get to play two of the best courses in the State of Indiana. Not only that, but the two are Pete Dye-designed courses,” said head golf professional Daniel Ross.  “What is so unique about the Kampen Course and Ackerman-Allen Course is that each course is very different from the other.  “Ackerman-Allen is a parkland-style course. As for Ackerman-Allen, Pete Dye took an already good golf course and turned it into an incredibly fun and truly enjoyable golf course.  Kampen is a links style.  It has always been astrong golf course.  Now, the course is in great condition and the greens are very consistent.  People walk off Kampen praising the consistency of the greens.  courses are kept in phenomenal shape.”

Opened in 1934, the Ackerman-Allen Course (first called the South Course) was originally designed by Bill Diddle.  It was a good enough golf course to host the 1961 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship which Purdue won and Jack Nicklaus, playing for The Ohio State University, was the individual medalist.  

Fast forward to 2015-2016, at which time the late Pete Dye performed his redesign magic on the 18-hole, par-72 layout.  Today, the greens, fairways, and tees feature bent grass.  

From the moment you walk off the first tee, you’ll see that this course is a memory maker featuring rolling hills, tree-lined fairways, white sand bunkers, and wide collection areas around the greens.  During the redesign, two new holes were created and the championship tees were extended from 6,400 yards to 7,500 yards.  Now, this course’s five sets of tees range from 5,200 yards (forward ‘silver’ tees) to 7,500 yards (championship ‘black’ tees).

The course is named in honor of Jim and Lois Ackerman and Sam Allen for their support of Purdue University athletics.

The Ackerman-Allen course

The Kampen Course – formerly called the North Course — is every bit the equal of Ackerman-Allen, as it has hosted the 2000 Men’s Big Ten Championship, 2003 Women’s NCAA Championship, 2004 Indiana Open, 2005 Women’s Western Amateur, and the 2008 Men’s NCAA Championship.

When Dye started the redesign efforts on the Kampen Course in the fall of 1996, he had two main goals: (1) create a course that would challenge and excite top collegiate golfers and (2) create an atmosphere of learning for Purdue’s students.  

With that in mind, Dye started working alongside course superintendent Jim Scott and 32 Purdue students affiliated with the departments of forestry, entomology, water quality testing, and agronomy.  One of their projects was to build a water reclamation project.  Thankfully, all of the water now used on the course is recycled.

The Kampen Course has a few shared characteristics with Ackerman-Allen, but it has many more differences such as a links-style layout, vast sand bunkers, well-placed waste bunkers, man-made wetlands, many ponds, and a natural celery bog.

The Kampen Course

From a degree of difficulty, the Kampen Course, from the championship tees, is now a stern test, as three of its par fives measure more than 600 yards.

It’s been stated that the degree of difficulty at the Kampen Course increases a great deal as you move back to a longer tee box, so make sure you choose the tee box that best suits your game.

The Kampen Course is named in honor of Emerson Kampen and his support of Purdue University athletics. A statue of Kampen overlooks the first tee.

“As a person who calls Indiana home, I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to build two of the finest university golf courses in the country at Purdue,” said Dye.

As you would expect, both the Ackerman-Allen Course and Kampen Course are two of the seven golf courses that are part of Indiana’s Pete Dye Golf Trail.

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