By Kurt Dusterberg
The University of North Carolina’s Finley Golf Course has had its makeover. Now it’s time for the clubhouse to receive a facelift.
“It’s certainly showing its age at this time,” said Johnny Cake, the director of golf at UNC.
The original clubhouse was built along with the course in 1949 by Raleigh businessman A.E. Finley. The entire facility remains in use today.
The clubhouse update will cost $2.1 million, an amount secured by Cake and two members of the Rams Club, the fundraising arm of the school’s athletic program. Securing the funding took nearly two years, in part due to the difficult economy.
“We would head out weekly and visit people,” Cake said. “We would tell them what we wanted to do and ask if they were available to give us a gift.”
The project will begin this summer, and plans call for an expansion of the roughly 4,000-square-foot facility to 9,000 square feet. Completion should come within a year.
The new addition calls for additional locker rooms, restrooms and a grille.
“Plus, it’s going to have a wrap-around porch, so people can get out and watch the golfers,” says Cake.
A memorabilia room is also in the works to honor Finley.
The 5,000 square feet of new space will extend the existing look of the clubhouse, integrating the same architectural style.
The golf course was redesigned by renowned architect Tom Fazio in 1999, extending the length to 7,187 yards. Other facilities were upgraded at that time, including the addition of a maintenance barn.
In November 2001, the Chapman Golf Center was opened, and then renovated in 2010. The 4,500-square-foot facility houses offices for the men’s and women’s golf coaches, locker rooms for each team, a team meeting room and a reception area. The building also houses a climate controlled individual teaching area with two hitting bays and a state-of-the-art teaching system.
Finally, the clubhouse, which sits on a hill surrounded by several stately trees overlooking the picturesque ninth green, will get its turn.
“It’s in need,” Cake said. “We haven’t had anybody complain about it, but it’s an old building and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to it.”
When completed, Cake believes the clubhouse will bring the entire facility up to date.
“Hopefully this will make our entire golf environment top notch.”