The University Golf Course is a year-round operation that offers students a fun way to get active outside that many students are completely unaware of. While this is a fully operating golf course, you don’t need any prior experience to go play with friends.
Students receive discounted services and there is a wide variety of golf equipment and apparel available, along with golf clubs for rent for those who need them. Students just have to bring their valid UMD Student IDs to receive discounted rates.
People of all skill levels are welcomed and encouraged to use the course. Even if you have never played, it is great exercise. The full 18-hole golf course equals out to a walk of around three miles. They also have a driving range, which tends to be a crowd favorite.
“It’s a fun activity to go to with my friends after hanging out all day. We go right before closing at sunset. It’s really pretty and we just have fun hitting some balls,” sophomore criminology major Meadow Santoriello said.
Santoriello never played golf before this year and went on a whim one day with her friend, who plays professionally and wanted to get some practice in.
“It’s interesting, we see students who just come with a friend to spend an hour at the driving range,” Jeff Maynor, the Director of Golf at the University Golf Course.
Maynor’s been working as the director since 1997 and has watched the golf course go through a lot of work and renovations over this time. It has become one of the top courses in Maryland and was named one of the top 20 collegiate courses in the US, according to MarylandGolf.
The course values working hard constantly to maintain the appearance and shape of the landscape. They always make sure that there are staff members readily available to provide necessary help to anyone who needs it.
Many students that have visited the course, either to use the golf range for fun or practice on the golf course, only have positive things to say.
“The layout is very fun with every hole having a very unique design.” sophomore mechanical engineering major Logan Austin said. “As a whole I like the course very much, as it offers a fair challenge that is fun to play.”
Austin has played golf since he was three years old, and he continues to play on the club golf team while at UMD. He goes to the range every Monday and Tuesday for practice. He notes that even when the course does get busy, the friendly staff members always help get him on the course.
Another focus of the University Golf Course is expanding services beyond golf. The course has been used for many graduate research projects over the years and has worked alongside programs on campus to serve as an outdoor lab for students. These studies span from measuring the water quality before and after it leaves the course, looking at carbon retention, and establishing a butterfly garden in the area. The course describes it as a “living classroom.”
“We partner with campus to say it's more than just a golf course,” Maynor notes.
The hours of operation for tee time and the driving range depends on daylight and the time of year. More information on operation hours and any other questions about the course can be found on their website.
Whether golf has been a lifelong passion of yours or you have never picked up a golf club, the UMD Golf Course is not something you should pass up. Next time you and your friends are looking for a fun activity to keep you busy, head over to the University Golf Course and check it out!