COLLEGE PARK, Md. — If you’ve ever driven south on University Boulevard East, along the western slope of the University of Maryland campus, you may have noticed that there is, in fact a golf course there. If you head straight down the hill from Capital One Field on Stadium drive, you will cross University and swing up the hill to the left to the clubhouse of the University of Maryland Golf Course, which is affiliated with the school but open to the general public.
“We kind of gear ourselves to university play — students, faculty, staff — but at the same time, we’re open to anyone,” said Jeff Maynor, head professional and director.
The university owns the course and provides discounts for school employees and students. Many groups use the course for charity tournaments, which raise roughly $500,000 per year for scholarships.
“In my mind, that’s our purpose,” said Maynor.
But a little more than half of the 37,000 rounds per year are played by those not connected to the school. There’s also an ample practice area, with a 40-stall driving range, a chipping green, a putting green, and a practice bunker. The university golf team, which, naturally, makes its home there, has its own private practice area.
The layout isn’t imposing, but subtly punishes faders and slicers, or at least that’s my excuse for my round. The greens were cut quite tight when we played, rolling very quickly for a public course. Depending on the time of year, your mileage may vary.
The clubhouse plays host to Mulligan’s Grill and Pub, a popular lunch spot among faculty and school employees, and grads often like to sneak in an early Saturday morning round before heading across the way to tailgate home football games.
The price for 18 holes varies pretty dramatically from the prime weekend rate of $72 (cart included) down to just $20 to walk a twilight round. That makes it accommodating for a wide range of budgets, but it’s good to know what to expect before you make plans.
The course also has a membership of about 200 that is open to anyone, including non-Maryland residents — they even have 15-20 members from Northern Virginia. You can see why. The price point isn’t bad for a challenging course with elevation change and good greens, all along a course that often makes you forget you’re inside the Beltway.
“I really liked this course — I had no idea it was open to the public. This is a very good course for the casual golfer. However, there are many trees so if you’re wild off the tee, bring plenty of balls or put the driver in “time out.” I made par on 7 — a short par 4, and on 8 — a short par 3. If you have trouble with water just like me, it comes into play on 2, 9, and 11. Maybe that’s why I went quadruple bogey, double bogey, and triple bogey on those holes. That being said, there are plenty of chances for the casual golfer to par and maybe even birdie. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed after your round.”
Dates and Rates
Open every day except Christmas, weather permitting
18 holes, Monday -Thursday, open until 11:30 a.m.: $38 walking/$55 with cart; Friday $62 (with cart); Saturday-Sunday $72 (with cart)
Graduated rates from 11:30 a.m. on, down to as low as $20 for weekday twilight ($30 with cart)
9 holes, Monday – Friday, $25 walking/$35 with cart — no weekend 9 hole rate
Senior, military and student/junior rates
Mulligan’s Grill and Pub is a full-service restaurant
Beverage cart seven days a week mid-April to mid-October, weekends only in off-season
Full service bar, cart has beer, wine, mixed drinks
Pace of Play
Our round: 3:50
Expected pace: 4:10
Range: 4:00-4:30, marshals on course
“Pace of play is very important to me,” said Maynor. “I don’t think golf should take more than four hours.”
No T-shirts on course, but cargo shorts ok; T-shirts OK on range
Address: 3800 Golf Course Road, College Park, Maryland
From the Beltway, take the MD-193 West exit and make a right onto Baltimore Ave/US-1. Continue to the right onto MD-193 West/University Boulevard East and the destination will be on your right.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.