New development at Fort Meade has taken away holes from the current course. The base plans a town hall meeting in May to discuss plans for a new course.
Officials at Fort Meade are in active talks to determine the future of golf at the military installation, and are expected to announce details on the development of new course next month.
The growth of new development at the Army base is expected to gradually eat away at land used by The Courses at Fort Meade, and officials are expected to soon announce plans to fund construction of 36 holes of golf built near the intersection of Route 32 and Route 175. Officials are planning a town hall meeting to discuss specifics in mid-May.
Fort Meade’s current golf course has 27 holes…down from 36 just a few years ago…and holes will eventually taken away completely by the expansion of the National Security Agency and other tenants.
Ideally, officials said they’d like a new course in place by the time the existing course is forced to close. There is a sense of urgency to get a new course constructed, because the current course has been a drain on funds at the base.
Any profits from the golf course are usually directed to provide extra money for Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) activities on base. But the golf course has not turned a profit for several years; last year, it recorded a loss of $290,000.
“It’s a business that has to take care of itself,” Fort Meade spokesman Chad Jones said.
Fort Meade is now discussing a wide range of ways to pay for a new course, and the base will hold a town hall meeting to announce details in mid May. Jones declined to specify funding options, citing the sensitive and constantly changing nature of negotiations.
Construction of a new golf course has been mentioned as part of an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) program involving development of office buildings and other projects on more than 500 acres on base.
The Army selected Trammell Crow as the master developer for the EUL in 2006, but lease negotiations are ongoing.
The golf course would be built on 90 acres atop a capped landfill located to the south of the intersection of Route 175 and Route 32. The location would allow for a dedicated entrance that would permit golfers to park their cars and play without the need to pass through a secure gate, Jones said.
Like the current course, the new golf course would be semi-private, allowing play for only current Fort Meade workers, military members, veterans and their guests.
Jones stressed that golf course funds are not used for essential FMWR functions, but they have proved helpful in the past in funding extra benefits and some building improvements.
He also stressed that the current golf course remains open for players this year and that there is no specific time line for when it would close.
“We’re still playing golf,” Jones said.