- Is the golf course ‘only’ a golf course?
No. Obviously it exists for that purpose, but it is much more.
For example, it is probably the single place on campus where people meet for lunch on a daily basis. Many people book the clubhouse for a variety of activities ranging from private parties to academic meetings. A large number of students and others ‘run’ on the course and everyone enjoys the beautiful scenery. On the fourth of July the community comes to enjoy the campus fireworks from the best seat in the house.
- How does the community benefit from the golf course?
A large number of surrounding communities, not just College Park, enjoy the golf course in a wide variety of ways. First, because it adds to the quality of life whether one plays or not – indeed, it raises housing values. Businesses benefit in many ways, not least from the thousands of people who come to the course from around the county and the state on a regular and daily basis. The golf course provides a ‘green’ buffer zone within an otherwise arid urban area, and is, strangely, a quiet place. Many people benefit directly from the enormous number of charitable tournaments held annually.
- Is the golf course self-supporting?
Yes it is. And it would be able to do more than it does were it not still amortizing the cost of building the clubhouse and renewing a course originally built in 1956. The Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course is engaged currently in raising added funds to provide needed amenities – such as rest rooms on the course.
- Is the golf course part of the Athletic Department?
No, it is not, it is part of Student Affairs. Of course, it is used by the golf teams (men and women) on a regular basis and it provides the Athletic Department with opportunities for fund-raising golf outings. It is not part of Athletics because, as described above, it is so much more than merely sport-based.
- How does the golf course benefit the University?
In addition to providing golf, meeting and entertainment space, and lovely greenery, the golf course provides a major venue for fund-raising. Every year a large number of events feature fund-raising for every part of the university. The Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course has raised over $1,500,000 for the course itself — and we are just getting started!
- Do students, faculty, and staff use the golf course?
Yes, they do – quite a lot. And they receive discounts on greens fees and in the pro shop!
- Do other universities, specifically those in the Big 10, have golf courses?
Yes, of course, with the exception of Northwestern, and think of its location. Most have more than one. Our academic peer, the noted University of Michigan, has two.
- How many people actually play golf at the University of Maryland golf course annually?
About 35,000 rounds of 18 holes are played each year.
- Among the 2014 Big Ten Conference Schools, how many have golf course ranked in the top 30 by GolfWeek Magazine?
Four—Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Maryland.
- Among the existing ACC Schools, how many have golf course ranked in the top 30 by GolfWeek Magazine?
Six—Virginia Tech, Duke, UNC, UVA, Maryland and NC State.
- Is the golf course a public course?
Yes and no. It is part of the University, but anyone may play and also join as a member. The basis of the course financially is a combination of greens fees paid by occasional golfers and annual membership fees paid by those who play regularly. The fact is – the course is used by so many people that the professional staff need to work to control traffic in the interest of maintaining the quality of the fairways.
- Is the golf course really ‘green’?
You bet! Come out and see. With the exception of a cart path, the course occupies about 150 acres of trees and flora that merit the designation of a Certified Audubon Sanctuary by Audubon International. Those who play may see deer, geese, hawks, foxes, ground hogs, turtles (some really large specimens), and even a rare Baltimore Oriole (the flying kind).
- What are some of the birds typically seen on the course, which are not so regularly seen in suburban areas?
The golf course wetlands are home to families of redwing blackbirds, blue herons and green herons. Other impressive species seen often are the pileated woodpecker, redtail hawk and even an occasional wild turkey. Harder to spot but seen from time to time are blue birds, redheaded woodpeckers, and the Maryland state bird, the Baltimore oriole.