It’s been nearly 65 years since IU men’s and women’s golf played on a home course not named the IU Championship Golf Course. But on June 15, the Pfau Course at Indiana University is set to open to the public for the first time, according to an IU Athletics press release.
Sprawling over 265 acres across from Bill Armstrong Stadium on Bloomington’s east side, the newly renovated par-71 course features 147 bunkers, six tee options and an average green size of 6,680 square feet.
The course was designed by architect Steve Smyers as well as former professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, who won 10 Professional Golf Association events including the Masters.
“This has an opportunity to be one of the best college golf courses in the country,” IU women’s golf coach Clint Wallman said in a Tuesday teleconference.
Since the announcement of the course renovations last year, Wallman and IU men’s golf coach Mike Mayer said recruiting has attracted more top high school talent. The men’s 2020 recruiting class is headlined by Howard, Ohio native Drew Salyers, the No. 36 recruit according to the American Junior Golf Association, and Clay Merchent, a four-time All-State selection from Noblesville High School.
“I just don’t know if we could’ve got either men without this golf course,” Mayer said in a Tuesday teleconference. “It’s a game-changer, recruiting wise.”
Another major advantage of the Pfau Course, Mayer said, is the ability to simulate opponents’ courses and better prepare for road matches. With an 18-hole layout that ranges from 4,586 yards to 7,908 yards, both IU coaches can manipulate the course in a variety of ways.
The Courtney Cox Cole Practice Area, which features a dedicated driving area, two green complexes, two practice bunkers and a 10,332-square-foot putting green also affords the Hoosiers alternative training methods.
“We’re going to be able to set this course up a little bit based on where we’re going,” Mayer said. “I think we can set it up harder than anybody else can, so we’re not going to be intimidated going by some other golf course.”
In addition to the course remodeling, the George Thomas Clubhouse offers a new concessions area managed by Upland Brewing Company. A variety of beer selections will be available for sale in conjunction with a pub-style dining menu.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, safety measures will be taken in accordance with state and local guidelines. This includes limiting groups of four players or less, requiring face covering in areas where social distancing is difficult and ensuring patrons arrive no earlier than 25 minutes prior to their scheduled tee time.
“It’s a game-changer,” Mayer said. “It just changes the world for us.”