30 reviews

Pfau Indiana University Golf Course (IUGC)

marker Bloomington, Indiana


30 reviews
Andrew McCarthy

The new layout at IU is clearly designed to bring championship-level events to Bloomington. It will be a shoe-in to host B1G Championships, NCAA regional or national championship events, and in-state events through Indiana Golf. It will also serve as a challenging layout for the couple dozen student-athletes on the women's and men's teams to cut their teeth. The front nine reminded me of the now-closed Wolf Run in Zionsville, with gorgeous sight lines off the tee thanks largely to the undulation of the land, and incredibly unforgiving misses around the green. The back nine felt similar to the Pete Dye Course in French Lick...with slightly less natural elevation changes to work with. Sharp doglegs and elevated greens are guarded by steep drop-offs and bunker complexes outlined by penalizing fescue. Wide open views bring depth-perception into play more than most other courses in the state. The new IU Health Bloomington Hospital is sort of an unfortunate eyesore of a backdrop to holes #11 and #13...but hard to complain about that considering what great additions to Bloomington this course and the new hospital will be!For a casual golfer in southern Indiana (including most IU students), this course will likely not be a contender for frequent visits...it's just too difficult for the majority of players. It feels very much like a destination course, where players and alumni from Indiana and elsewhere will book a tee time if they're planning to be in Bloomington. In my opinion, it won't fill the void for Bloomington-area golfers who were hoping for an accessible public facility at an affordable rate. To be clear: the $80-$95 round is actually a great value for the course...but isn't a competitive price point in the area for those simply looking for a casual round of golf.My lingering doubt after seeing the new design is whether the course will be maintained to the necessary standard for this layout. The old IU course wasn't necessarily a bad design (though it was nowhere NEAR the layout of the Pfau), but it's pretty well known that its shortcoming was its course condition. Particularly in dry years, the old course was in horrible shape. It never seemed to have the resources or TLC it needed to stay in decent condition. Hopefully, the generous donations from the Pfau family and many others were partly used to establish an endowment or fund that will allow for the staffing and groundskeeping necessary to match the course's condition with its great layout - which will be an expensive, ongoing, year-round commitment. Another oddity is the layout around the clubhouse. Paved cart paths from the parking lot to the first tee are only wide enough for one direction of cart traffic. There are no paved areas for guests to park carts at the putting green or driving range, and even the area where carts are staged is grass, so you can expect most of the area around the clubhouse and putting green to turn into dirt pathways pretty quickly. More work may be coming here in these areas, so I might be speaking too soon. But in its early stages, the experience from parking lot to first tee was really clunky.The driving range only seemed to have enough space for about 12 hitting bays, which seems strange for a course clearly designed to host high-level events. There may be a 2nd side of the range up by the old clubhouse (essentially hitting back toward the new facility, down what was formerly the first hole at the old course). But still, very limited hitting bays adjacent to the new clubhouse.The new clubhouse itself seems underwhelming, but the IU Foundation building is across the parking lot, which with plenty of event space is where I'm guessing larger events would be held when tournaments are hosted here. The Pfau Course is an awesome addition to Bloomington and to the golf scene in Indiana! I'd imagine it's especially sweet for IU after years of the Kampen Course at Purdue overshadowing most college courses in the Midwest. Kudos to all the hard work that went into making the Pfau Course special.
Corey Gregory

Ray Bayron

Jerry Galloway

They turned it into a hospital!
Peter Bohn

The golf course is under construction at the moment. Completetion in November with a 2019 opening.