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Golf Course Overview: Finkbine Golf Course

Insights From An Insider With Jeff Moore, PGA Director of Golf

By Brian Weis

Local and traveling golfers love to research courses before playing them, whether it is to gain some local knowledge or to set an expectation before their upcoming round. Below is an interview with Jeff Moore who shares some valuable insight about the property, its most talked about holes and the signature dish/drink to consume at the 19th hole.

Provide a brief description of the golf course/property, the terrain and best times of the year to play.
Finkbine Golf Course is the University of Iowa Department of Athletics championship golf course and is home to the Men's and Women's Collegiate Teams. Named for W.O. Finkbine, who donated the land to The University of Iowa, this scenic golf course, from the championship tee, stretches over 7,200 yards of rolling Iowa terrain, and plays to a par 72. Finkbine has been the home to numerous NCAA tournaments plus the Amana VIP Classic, and 1991 Hogan Tour, and 1992 and 1993 Nike Tour Hawkeye Classic tournaments. More recently, the course has hosted the 2010 Iowa State Women's Amateur, 2013 Iowa Match Play and 2014 Iowa State Men's Amateur, as well as other Iowa Golf Association sponsored state events.

Share with golfers, your most recent awards and golf course improvements.
Finkbine was awarded the 2014 golf course of the year by the Iowa Golf Association. No major changes have been made to the course but golf course conditions improved greatly in 2020 with a new course superintendent at Finkbine.

Any tips on playing and reading the greens?
Staying below the hole is important for the back 9 holes due to back to front sloping greens. Some of the pin placements can make two-putting a great feat.

Starting on hole #1, are there any tips to get your round off on the right foot?
Hole #1 is not very long so you might consider just a fairway metal off the tee with out of bounds 50 yards left of the fairway. A short approach shot could leave you a decent change at birdie, but like a lot of holes at Finkbine you want to stay below the hole to be aggressive on an uphill putt.

What is your favorite par 5, and how would you recommend playing it?
Hole 15 is the most favorite par-5 due to length of under 500 yards. A fairly well protected green, with penalty area on the right side of the green, makes the second shot approach critical. You can easily lay up to a good yardage to hit an uphill third shot to a severely contoured back to front and left sloping green.

What is your favorite par 3, and how would you recommend playing it?
Hole 13 is our signature hole, par 3 over water, with two separate greens used on a rotating basis. It plays downhill from about 155-175 yards but the elevation change of 75 feet can be offset when the wind is out of the north. There is room greenhigh to the right and short of the green, but shots to the right of the green or long will end up in the water.

In your opinion, what is the hardest hole and do you have any tips on playing it?
Hole 18 is statistically the hardest hole on the course for most amateurs due to a servere dogleg of about 90 degrees to the left. A shot of 225 down the middle will leave you more than 200 yards to the green. You can try to cut the corner a little bit but trees guard the left side of the fairway so you have to be careful not to cut off too much.

As a golfer plays the final three holes, is there a chance for salvation? (any tips on closing out the round?)
The last 3 holes are very challenging due to the greens on 16 and 17 and the dogleg on 18. Hole 16 has a generous driving area so getting to the green insn't a problem but they green slopes deceptively from back to front and you don't realize the extent of the break standing on the green. Anything above the hole won't stop until it rolls well past for a long second putt. Hole 17 is a par-3 guarded with a bunker right of the green and left of the green. Below the hole on the open part of the green is a good shot. Hole 18 is all you can ask for in a finishing hole. Longer hitters can cut off part of the dogleg to leave a 150-175 yard approach but hitting a drive straight down the middle will leave more than 200 yards for an approach.

Contact Course
1380 Melrose Avenue
1380 Melrose Ave IOWA CITY, IA, 52246
Phone: 319-335-9246

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Revised: 03/01/2021 - Article Viewed 12,947 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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