In 1993, as a fellow in Cardiology at Duke, Dr. Kristin Newby’s lab director invited her to play golf for the first time at Duke University Golf Club. Then, playing her first-ever round with a set of rented clubs, she fell in love with the game.
“That was the first time I was ever on a golf course, and I was just so hooked,” said Newby, a cardiologist, associate professor of medicine and faculty member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Twenty-nine years later, Newby keeps a weekly connection to her first golf experience by playing at least one round on the 120-acre public course, which is next to the Washington Duke Inn. Newby often plays with colleagues Dave Rendall, a physician assistant, and Dr. Chris Granger, a cardiologist.
A discount on greens fees at Duke University Golf Club is available to all staff and faculty, who pay $50 to $70 up until 3:30 p.m., depending on the day. The discount rate after 4 p.m. is $35 to $45, depending on the weekday. Staff and faculty can also buy an annual greens fees pass for $3,400, a $1,000 savings.
“We’re open to the public, but we want to take special care of our faculty and staff,” said Ed Ibarguen, general manager and PGA director of Golf for the Duke University Golf Club. “They’re the ones that make the University go, and we’re very pleased to be able to provide that recreational opportunity to them.”
The award-winning 65-year-old course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and updated by his son, Rees Jones. First envisioned in the early 1930s, the course has received top rankings from Golf Digest and Golf Magazine and has been voted best public course in the Triangle by the Triangle Business Journal.
Newby, who plays right-handed, has had some of her favorite moments playing golf at Duke, including notable birdies, chip-ins from the sand trap and other fun times with friends. With one career hole-in-one under her belt at a course in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Newby returns to the Duke course each week looking forward to an opportunity to experience other memorable moments at the first place where she learned the game.
“Duke is a special course in a number of ways, but one of them is that it’s about golf,” she said. “There are no houses, there’s nothing else, except for a beautiful tract of land and golf.”