UNC Finley is one of the most enjoyable courses you will ever play. Course designer Tom Fazio has created a layout that, from the proper tees, will provide a positive experience to anyone from a touring pro to a high handicapper. The 18-hole course features five tee boxes that challenge every level golfer. Its 7,328 yards of golf from the Tar Heel Tees and 5,017 yards from the red tees gives the course versatility. The Par 72 has a memorable layout, practice facility and Grill.
The original golf course, located just to the southeast of campus, opened in 1949. It was designed by George Cobb and funded by Raleigh businessman A.E. Finley, who owned and operated one of the largest equipment dealerships in the United States. It served the University and town of Chapel Hill well for nearly half a century but needed an extensive overhaul.
The decision was made to hire Fazio, one of the modern game’s foremost golf designers and a resident of Hendersonville, to start from scratch on the site and build an entirely new course. UNC Finley opened in 1999 and became Fazio’s 11th course designed in the state he’d called home since the late 1980s. It’s one he’d put against anything else he’d done in North Carolina.
“If a person could see only one of those 11 courses as a measure of what our company can do, I’d be proud for Finley to be that one,” Fazio said upon the course’s opening. “I’d be very proud to say it’s as good as we can do.”
The next phase in furthering Finley’s position as an excellent golf course and a proud member of Carolina’s roster of top-notch athletic facilities is the expansion of the clubhouse. The original building was 4,500 square feet and will more than double in size. Most notable among improvements are expanded and improved men’s and women’s locker rooms, a total overhaul of the food and beverage operation and the addition of meeting space that will allow groups to convene for business and meals in the morning and move to the golf course in the afternoon.
“It’s significant that we’ve had a 4.5 star rating from Golf Digest based solely on the golf course,” says Head Golf Professional Mike Wilkinson. “We’ve never had any amenities of note to offer people. Now we do. The new facility puts us in an entirely different league. We’re excited about the future.”