The IU golf teams will not be the hosts of any competitions this year because their home course, the IU Golf Course, will be under construction with a $12 million remodeling budget behind it.
The course is getting its first renovation since its construction 61 years ago because of the donations from a few benefactors and the addition of the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center, which is being built where the old driving range was.
It also needed a few improvements to compete with other, more recently built, courses around the state.
“This has been needed for a long, long time,” IU Men’s Golf Coach Mike Mayer said.
It plans to add about 70 acres of trees and other plants that will replace dead or diseased trees, and add new hole layouts that are more modern and challenging than the current course, according to IU athletics. The par 71 course boasts several different tee boxes and greens that are designed for golfers of many different skill levels.
At its longest, the course is 7,700 yards long, and at its shortest, 4,500 yards, depending on the tee location.
Along with a driving range, the course will be adding a new club house with various amenities inside and out. Outside will include golf cart storage and a covered pavilion. Inside will include a golf shop, Alumni Hall, dining and snack bar, public restrooms, locker rooms and space to show off the history of IU golf.
“I think it’s going to be perhaps one of the best golf courses in the Midwest and one of the best golf courses in the Big Ten,” Mayer said. “It's simply going to be a game changer for our men’s and women’s golf programs,”
The course was designed by golf course designer Steve Smyers. His company, Steve Smyers Golf Course Architects, is at the head of the design, with consultation from former professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller and the architecture firm of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf.
Smyers and his company have designed over 60 different golf courses around the globe. This will be his fourth golf course in Indiana and his first outside of Indianapolis, having previously designed Asherwood Golf Course, Heartland Crossing Golf Links and Wolf Run Golf Club.
The remodeling will not only help prepare the IU teams for world class competition, but may also help bring more world-class competition to IU.
“It’s simply a game changer for recruiting,” Mayer said.
Mayer said that during recruiting over the summer, a lot of coaches came over and talked to him about the course.
Facilities are a big part of recruiting, and with a course that is supposed to world-class, Mayer expects world-class recruits.
“This will help us have a much more broad range of recruits so we can recruit people from all over the world,” Mayer said.
The course isn’t just being remade for the IU teams. It will still be available for public use.
IU students and staff will get a discounted rate as well. Construction is expected to finish sometime in spring of 2019.