June 14, 2005
It’s green. It’s lush. And, hopefully, it’s making four hours of chasing a little white ball a little more enjoyable.
“It” is the turf at the University of Iowa’s award-winning Finkbine Golf Course which, now in year two, is not getting older, it’s getting better.
The new turf “installed” on the UI’s 52-year-old golf course in the fall of 2003 was a big hit last year and is an even bigger hit during the spring and summer of 2005.
“There have been no complaints at all. Even the people who were naysayers at first are now on board,” said Ted Thorn, the long-time superintendent at Finkbine Golf Course and the man responsible for managing all of the “green space” on the UI campus that is managed by the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“Our players us tell us. Visiting players and coaches tell us. The golfing community in eastern Iowa and beyond has told us. Finkbine has never been better and it is now clearly the best golf course the immediate area.”
Terry Anderson, UI men’s golf coach and director of golf operations at Finkbine
“Our players us tell us. Visiting players and coaches tell us. The golfing community in eastern Iowa and beyond has told us. Finkbine has never been better and it is now clearly the best golf course the immediate area,” beamed Terry Anderson, the UI’s men’s golf coach and the director of golf operations at Finkbine.
Who would have thought that the blade of grass on one of Iowa’s legendary golf courses would have made such a difference? But it has. The “L93 Bent Grass” that now dominates the landscape at the layout that is situated west of the UI campus has breathed a fresh, new life into an eastern Iowa golfing granddaddy.
“Finkbine is now considered to be in the upper echelon of golf courses,” said Anderson of his prized 7,000-yard layout that includes its signature hole No. 13, a challenge that requires either a sand wedge or a 3-wood depending on wind direction and the pair of tee-and-green selected for use on any particular day.
Reputation is one thing. “Playability” is another. The new turf has had a positive effect on the games of good and not-so-good golfers.
The better player enjoys a better lie in the fairway – “The ball `sits up’ much higher in the fairway because the blades of grass are cut much shorter,” said Anderson – and a truer and “slicker” putting surface.
The golfer who isn’t as talented benefits from a much more fundamental benefit of the new turf – the shade of green.
“When you stand on the tee, everything is very well defined as far as the different shades of green from tee to rough to fairway to green. It’s a view that is very pleasant to the eye plus helpful to the golfer whether he or she is a beginner or a low-handicap regular,” said Anderson.
Thorn likes the view. He also likes the fact that the new bent grass is easier to care for.
“The new turf is very disease-resistant and, therefore, it doesn’t require as much maintenance. Generally, this turf is much easier to care for,” said Thorn.
Anderson believes the University of Iowa golf teams have benefited significantly from the retooled fairways and greens. He said the improvements have been a positive in his recruiting efforts and, when the student-athlete becomes a Hawkeye, the “new” Finkbine Golf Course gives them a better chance at success.
“90 percent of the tournaments we play are played on bent grass, so if we play and practice everyday on bent grass that will help us better prepare for competition,” he said.
For more information about Finkbine Golf Course including rates, times of operation, course details, click HERE.