Review for UNC Finley

Reviewer Score:


Wow, what a pleasant surprise this course was. I was in the area and needed t find a public access course. All three University courses were recommended (Lonnie Poole at North Carolina State, Duke, and Finley), and I chose UNC Finley because I thought my wife and I would both enjoy the layout.

Finley is a wonderful Fazio design that has all of Tom's classic design features. The fairway bunkers dominate the tee shots, and it requires careful planning to negotiate your way around the course. The greens are well protected with seasonal slopes and nice run-offs around the greens. The holes are cut through pine forests, but there is enough width not to feel claustrophobic, but you can't just bomb away without regard for the consequences. The course really has two distinct areas. The first 11 holes are north of the entrance road, with the final seven to the south. I found the last seven to be the better part of the course, and in fact, the last four holes are really spectacular. 15 is a slight dogleg left par 4 from an elevated tee dominated by a water hazard and wetland on the left. 16 is a nice uphill par 4 that requires a strong drive off the back tee to clear the wasteland. 17 is a magnificent par 5. Three angled bunkers along the right side define the tee shot, and then you encounter a unique split fairway that enters into a huge green with a large 5-foot slope splitting the green. There are simply options galore on this hole from start to finish. 18 is a nice par 4 with the green guarded by a deep bunker and run off to the right.

This may be one of the better pure public access courses I have played in quite some time. The course was in excellent condition and well maintained throughout. My only complaint was that the greens were very slow, but I understand the need not to stress the bentgrass with the recent heatwave swept through the area.

I would play here again in a heartbeat.

Date: June 28, 2021

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