In 1969, the first blast furnace of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's new Burns Harbor facility became operational. The move helped establish Northwest Indiana as the most productive and efficient steel-making region in the country and also formed the first steps in a transformation of the region that would grow into one of the Midwest's premier recreation locations. The company's new presence in Northwest Indiana would reach well beyond its lakefront steel plant.
With the purchase of lakefront property for steel-making operations, Bethlehem Steel also purchased thousands of acres in and around Chesterton. By 1974, the decision to utilize about 600 of those acres to build Sand Creek was made and groundbreaking commenced in the Fall of that year. The accompanying master plan developed by Bethlehem for the site included a second set of 18 golf holes, tennis and pool facilities together with a clubhouse and bowling alley. Sand Creek Country Club was founded in 1976.
By 1982, the steel industry felt the full force of economic recession. By 1983, Sand Creek membership was opened to the general public and by 1985 Bethlehem sold the Club to North American Equities. Sand Creek's image as a world-class country club and residential development began with North American Equities and continued at full scale when, in 1991, Lake Erie Land Company took over the project.
Immediately, a flurry of activity commenced. Plans were generated for a new clubhouse. A third set of nine holes, the Marsh Course, was drawn and construction commenced. Revisions throughout the existing holes - including new tees and greens, bunker renovation, and upgraded maintenance practices were implemented.
The residential development also took on a new scope and character. The initiatives that began in the early 1990s have culminated in a club with highlights that include unprecedented recreational facilities, a level of residential development, settled among acres of environmental preservation, unsurpassed in the Midwest, and a complete commitment to delivering the finest in service to Sand Creek's members.
Sand Creek Country Club offers one of the most beautiful facilities in the country with a 50,000 square foot Italian Renaissance-style clubhouse, a grand ballroom with separate meeting rooms, a formal dining room and grill room, a tennis and swimming complex, clock garden, executive dining room, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a Trackman indoor golf practice studio, and terraces that overlook the 27-hole golf course.
Sand Creek's 27 holes of golf have gained national recognition for their combination of beauty and challenge. The Creek, Lake, and Marsh courses are ranked as some of the most challenging in Indiana. The original eighteen holes were built by Chicago architects - Killian and Nugent - who also designed Kemper Lakes and other well-known Chicago courses. The Marsh Course, which opened for play in 1995, was designed by Jerry Mobley and Charles Howard of Desert Springs Company. The opening of the course was highlighted with the appearance of PGA Tour professional, Tom Kite, who shot a 67 on the Creek and Marsh Courses in July of 1995.
Sand Creek has been recognized as one of Golf Digest's top ten courses in the state and was honored with the "Best in Golf" award from Links Magazine and Audubon International at the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills. Sand Creek was the first fully-certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System in the State of Indiana which recognizes Sand Creek's ongoing commitment to resource conservation and the management of water quality and wildlife. In 2000, Sand Creek received the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America's National Environmental Steward Award for U.S. private golf courses.
Sand Creek is the site of the Northern Amateur, one of the world's top men's amateur golf championships. The Championship attracts players from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. In January of 2002, the Northwest Indiana Junior Golf Association (NIJGA) was established.
The Club offers three categories of membership: dining, athletic, and golf. There are also several different types of memberships in each category that are available.
Concert Golf Partners purchased Sand Creek Country Club on October 14, 2014, from the Lake Erie Land Company. At present, there are over 500 family members that continue to enjoy the traditions of the Club. With such rich history, top-tier amenities, and heritage in Northwest Indiana, the Club continues to challenge the future generation of golfers and has established itself as a premier family-oriented country club of the Midwest.