Leave it to geniuses that know nothing about nothing, and you’ll get outrageous nonsense like this. The administration at Maryland is thinking about taking FOUR HOLES of the existing University owned course, to build MORE parking, intramural fields, and a new place for… wait… shot put facilities. I kid you not. This golf course is an absolute parkland gem, that recently underwent a major renovation which made it good enough to host a Web.com Tour event in 2010.
So what happens when you are left with a 14 hole golf course? The admin basically says, “who knows, and who cares!” They propose the golfers who are rallying to prevent this could raise money (or ask for it, from someone, somewhere in the admin) to re-build 4 new holes to make it 18 again. Even though there’s no land for it. They say: cut a few holes in half, reduce the par. Oh sure. That’s like taking somebody’s vital organ that comes in pairs, and telling them to cut the other one half.
Others say to just make it a 9 hole course. With a clubhouse that would sit some 500 yards from the 1st tee. Right. If it goes to 14, it’ll go to 9, and then it’ll go to zero. In a hurry. And when it’s gone.. it’s gone. Of course, the University tried to murder this thing back 5 years ago, so they could give a developer a fat payday to build an “academic village” (whatever that is) plus condos and “big box stores.” Oh, the charm.
The Big 10 conference has 14 schools, which currently own 18 golf courses. Maryland would become the first school in the league without one. A rare piece of unspoiled 150 acres of greenspace INSIDE the noisy beltway, would be forever swallowed by sprawl and infill. This is insanity. The golf course is an economic engine that raises almost $500,000 a year via charity tournaments and fundraisers for fellow UMD athletic programs. When you want to organize alumni weekends, how far will you want your alums to drive, and how much do you want to pay to play golf somewhere else in the DMV?
Or maybe, you can invite them play some intramural football, or toss the shot put around. How much money can you raise in a charity discus competition?
If you care about the University of Maryland remaining a first class Division 1 university, with top flight amenities and environmentally friendly open space, you better get on the horn to stop these pinheads. Because when it’s gone, it’ll be gone. We spoke about this issue at length in this week’s Capital Golf Gang. Listen in at the 21 minute mark if you would to know more about how to make your voice heard.