Jeep golf hopes to attract younger players into the sport

Golf carts are out - Jeeps are in.

Charlie Lemay's picture
Wed, 6 Jun 2018
Jeep golf hopes to attract younger players into the sport

In a bid to attract younger golfers, Deer Run Golf Course in Maryland is offering a novel mode of transport on the course - substitute the golf cart for a Jeep.

Jeep Golf is played over nine short holes, allowing golfers to play fast, with the club renting three vehicles - or you can bring your own.

“Nobody has four or five hours to spend and go out here and waste their time,” said Justin Hearne, son-in-law of the owner of the property Ed Colbert.

“We’re offering something that only takes about two hours, but you still get to have fun with your vehicle and the golf all wrapped up into one with the family.”

The owner, who closed the course in 2015 when his wife fell ill, took some convincing, but eventually understood Hearne’s vision.

While they hope it will attract younger players, they also believe it can be enjoyed by traditional golfers, too.

“Jeep golf is just a terrific idea,” Colbert said. “We think it will be very successful. I love golf, so this is a great opportunity to reopen as a golf course. We want this to be a family-oriented place. Nothing wild, no racing, the Jeeps have lots of rules, but the idea is to get the millennials out here.

“We know now, the market for a championship golf course isn’t good down here. There’s a lot of courses that have closed, so the idea of really going after the millennials…that is what we’re going to push.”

However, they ran into issues when getting the board to vote for the new course, and their first application was denied, with inconsistent information and lack of clarity cited.

“Our first run was an off-road obstacle course — that’s what got killed,” Colbert said. “In hindsight, that’s the best thing that happened to us. It forced us to really go back and look at this and make sure neighbours were happy. We got them happy, met with them, and we negotiated. I’m so proud of the neighbours, and it’s really going to be a real nice golf course.”

The club will continue to host its two charity days, having raised around $700,000 in the past.