Songbook Foundation opens private Simon golf courses to public

Golfers who have long wanted to golf at the private Asherwood estate are getting their chance.

The Great American Songbook Foundation announced this week it’s opening the private golf courses that are part of the Simon family’s sprawling Carmel estate to the public for a limited time.

simon asherwood golf courseThe estate, known as Asherwood (see image at right), was the former home of Bren Simon and late husband Mel Simon, the co-founder of Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant Simon Property Group, who died in 2009. Earlier this year, Bren Simon announced she was donating the property at 10110 Ditch Road to the foundation.

It includes a furnished 50,000-square-foot main house, an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 6,000-square-foot guesthouse, several other structures and two golf courses.

The golf courses were designed for the Simon family by Steve Smyers with input from Pete Dye, both noted golf course designers.

The Asherwood courses include the Long Course, a 6,600-yard, par-72 with 13 greens that can be played three different ways totaling 27 holes; and the Short Course, a 2,356-yard executive par-3 with 13 greens that can be played from different tee boxes to create 18 challenging holes. Among the highlights is the “Island Green,” often compared to the infamous Hole 17 at Florida’s Sawgrass golf course.

The courses will be open to the public now through Nov. 4, with proceeds benefiting the Songbook Foundation.

Tee times are available Tuesday through Sunday each week in exclusive half-day or full-day packages starting at $1,500 per foursome, which includes a tax-deductible donation. Players can bring their own refreshments and snacks and will have access to the fully furnished club house, locker room and golf carts. Asherwood has no concessions, pro shop or caddy service. 

For information or to make reservations, call 317-843-3800 or visit TheCenterPresents.org.

The Songbook Foundation, founded by famous performer and preservationist Michael Feinstein, is based at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Its mission is to preserve and curate artifacts related to creators, performers and publishers. It maintains an archive of more than 100,000 items related to pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood music at the Palladium in the Center for the Performing Arts, where it also presents small public exhibitions in its gallery space. The exhibit gallery takes up 500 square feet in the center and the archives use 4,000 square feet.

Foundation leaders hope to eventually open a freestanding museum.

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