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Rutgers' Golf Course offers athletic opportunities to students

<p>The Rutgers Golf Club practices at the Rutgers Golf Course, which was has been around since the 1890s.&nbsp;</p>

The Rutgers Golf Club practices at the Rutgers Golf Course, which was has been around since the 1890s. 

The Rutgers Golf Course is a 6,300-yard, PGA-sanctioned golf course located on Busch campus, approximately a 10-minute walk from the Allison Road Classrooms or Hill bus stops. 

The golf course was initially founded in 1894, according to the course’s website. Being nearly 125 years old, the course has experienced a lot of change over time. Initially, it was founded by four men and four women and was known as the New Brunswick Golf Club. It was one of the earliest members of the United States Golf Association, the governing body for golf in the U.S.

The first version of the course was located on land east of Livingston Avenue between Lawrence Street. Then in 1897, a 2,396-yard course was built in Piscataway, according to the website. The clubhouse was Ross Hall, which also at one point in time housed George Washington and his staff in 1778, after the Battle of Monmouth.

After a series of more purchases and the club’s eventual bankruptcy during the Great Depression, the course officially was made open to the public in the spring of 1963 and has been open ever since, according to the Rutgers Institutional Planning and Operations website.

The golf course is open from March 1 to Dec. 15 of every year, and the hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. until dusk. The weekends are busier, and so it opens earlier at 6 a.m., according to the website. 

There are two teaching professionals who work there: Lisa Jensen, a PGA Class A teaching professional, and Robert Carita, a PGA Apprentice, according to the website.

Prices are relatively cheap compared to other golf courses, and the quality of the course is maintained regularly. Students enjoy a discounted rate. On the weekend from opening time to 3 p.m. it is $15, and then to closing time it is $10. Weekends are busier so it costs $15, according to the website.

“Even the public courses around me which are not in very good condition cost about $25 to $35 … So Rutgers is very affordable to students who want to play golf or try it out," said Allen Zhang, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, who has been golfing for years and in the golf club for two years.

The Rutgers golf club meets every Friday at 4 p.m. on the course. They compete in the Central Jersey Section and the NCCGA Philadelphia Division and have two tournaments each semester. Usually they travel to Pennsylvania to compete. They compete for two days with a roster of 5 to 8 people, Zhang said. 

“These tournaments are pretty competitive, some of the winning scores people usually shoot are under par, and they are very high-level golfers. Usually we do generally middle of the pack, depending who’s there. Which is pretty good,” Zhang said. 

The golf course is always open to players and you can book a tee time on their website, he said.

“It’s definitely a sport I recommend to anyone. You can end up playing it when you’re 40 or 50 years old. It’s not one of those physically intensive sports, so it’s something great to try out,” Zhang said.

If you are looking for a new sport to pick up or a new community of people to meet, head out to the Rutgers Golf Course and Rutgers Golf Club, Zhang said.

“It’s one of those things where it can be kind of stressful, it can be difficult, but you learn to enjoy the good shots and at the end of the day you realize that it is something fun to do for 3 to 4 hours. You can just have some fun and relax. No matter how competitive I feel, or how much I want to win, I always tell myself, 'You’re playing golf, at the end of the day.' You’re outside for a few hours, you’re having fun. Maybe you play with a few friends or you meet some new people. It’s just a really fun experience in general,” he said. 

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