From Where I Stand: Paint Branch Golf Complex – our neighborhood gem
By Dr. Keith Strong
The Paint Branch Golf Complex is unique. It is the only municipal golf course in northern Prince George’s County. It’s a 9-hole course, which is currently the most popular version of the game, and it’s the least costly golf experience in the county. It’s also relatively flat and is easily walkable, even by seniors. It has the only covered, lit and heated driving range, making it an all-year round, all-weather sporting facility. And it even hosts a wide variety of wildlife.
In recent years, golf has undergone a resurgence, with more women, kids, minorities and seniors coming to the game. Paint Branch introduces kids to the game and teaches them honesty and responsibility through its 1st Tee program, provides an affordable opportunity for newcomers to learn how to play golf in a stress-free environment and gives seniors an opportunity to have a more active lifestyle. Thus, it is truly a family activity in which all generations can compete on an even basis, due to golf’s handicap system.
So, what does the county consider doing? Effectively destroying the course by replacing the driving range with a track and field stadium, custom-designed for the use of the University of Maryland (which already has one), replacing the 9-hole course with a useless 3-hole course and introducing a bunch of activities that are amply duplicated elsewhere, so not needed or wanted at Paint Branch — and these activities don’t accommodate seniors. The university has huge areas of land available where it could build its new athletics facility, so it does not need to take over parts of Paint Branch.
Worst yet, this plan has been developed behind closed doors, so the first that the patrons of Paint Branch heard of it was a few weeks ago. It was presented to us as though it were a fait accompli, with little or no opportunity for us to express our views.
How can you help to prevent this travesty? Contact Friends of Paint Branch Golf, a group of concerned citizens, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add your name to our petition and keep you informed about our progress. Better yet, volunteer to help us.