Blue Heron Driving Range opens for business
STEVENSVILLE — A large crowd of Queen Anne’s County residents gathered at the newly created driving range at Blue Heron Golf Course on Kent Island the afternoon of Tuesday, June 13, as elected officials and county employees officially opened the practice range.
Waiting in 90-degree heat for the opportunity to swing a few clubs, residents stood and listened to some of the history of the Blue Heron Preserve property prior to reaching back and firing balls down the range toward the flags.
The driving range is about a quarter of a mile away from the golf course clubhouse located at 3270 Romancoke Road, just down Route 8. A bike path that runs the length of Route 8 has a section between the driving range and clubhouse.
Sitting on about 400 acres of land, Chip Price said the Greenburg Property, now where the course’s footprint is, was purchased by the county using Project Open Space money from the State of Maryland. Program Open Space, established in 1969, is a program through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that aids local jurisdictions with creating outdoor recreation opportunities and open spaces for its citizens, according to its website.
Price said the property consists of three elements: the 18-hole golf course, the new driving range and the Blue Heron Preserve, which runs down to Price Creek and over to Route 8. “You’ll be able to come here and spend the whole day,” Price said.
Once completed, Price said the nature preserve area will be complete with trails, primitive camping sites and water access for soft launches.
In completing the driving range, the county had to work with the Maryland Environmental Trust as an easement was held on the property for no development.
“We’re fortunate they worked with us to allow the introduction of the driving range in here,” Price said.
Little squares of artificial turf along a curve facing away from Route 8, golfers can purchase tokens that release golf balls to practice with at the range. Deals for 10 tokens are available at the clubhouse, golf pro Eric Beaufait said.
Beaufait, who thanked the commissioners for their continued support in creating the golf course’s new addition, said the driving range was a “great addition to the Queen Anne’s County park system” as it’s available to anyone interested, county residents or visitors.
“This facility is going to help us create some new golfers and help a lot of the old golfers with their swings so we can improve because we always strive to in this game,” Beaufait said.
Preaching to the commissioners about the need for a driving range over the years, Beaufait said golf was one of a few sports where age doesn’t matter. He said lots of grandparents and grandchildren come to the course to play and expects more of the same to continue.
Blue Heron is open every day from 7 a.m. to sunset Players can purchase tokens at the pro shop down the road and exchange them for a bucket of balls.
“This is just another one of the projects in Queen Anne’s County that we’re trying to enhance in all of our park systems,” Commission Jim Moran said. He said like other parks in the county, they want to improve it so the youngest to oldest person in the county can go out and enjoy what the county has to offer.
A large crowd attends the driving range ribbon cutting ceremony at Blue Heron Golf Course on Tuesday, June 13. Attendees had the opportunity to hit a few balls after the presentation.
Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jim Moran speaks about new driving range at Blue Heron Golf Course during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 13.