UND targets June 20 for reopening of Ray Richards Golf Course

The Ray Richards golf course in Grand Forks. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)
The Ray Richards golf course in Grand Forks is shown in this 2016 Herald file photo. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)

UND's Ray Richards Golf Course will be accepting tee times later this month for the first time in four years.

UND announced Thursday that the nine-hole course will reopen to the public at 7 a.m. Saturday for disc golf, with a hope of opening the regular golfing course June 20.

The course will accept cash-only payments until further notice, as managers await installation of equipment for other types of transactions.

“We are delighted at the prospects of bringing the golf course back online and restoring the legacy of wellness and recreation that Ray Richards and others made possible at UND so many years ago,” said Jed Shivers, vice president for finance & operations/chief operating officer.

Ray Richards Golf Course, which opened April 30, 1968, was closed in 2016 in what the university called a cost-saving move after state-mandated budget cuts impacted campus.


UND originally formulated a plan to sell the land to help fund athletic department priorities, but the school received pushback from family members of Ray Richards, who claimed the sale would go against the original intent of the gift.

This time, UND says the family of the late Ray Richards has been kept apprised of the university's plans to reopen the course.

“The family of Ray Richards is happy that his legacy is again honored with the reopening of the golf course bearing his name,” said Holly Ray Douglass, a great grandniece, representing many of the extended Richards Family who have been involved in the reopening plans. “It is gratifying to us that the land donated for this expressed reason is again fulfilling its intended purpose. It is our hope that golfers and nature lovers will enjoy it for decades to come.”

Ray Richards' general manager will be Kyle Myers, a former UND football assistant coach.

Myers said some professional disc golfer have given rave reviews of the course.

“They are as excited as we are for it to open publicly,” Myers said. “It’s quickly becoming one of the more popular disc golf courses in the Midwest. The popularity of the course is greatly exceeding our expectations, and we are looking forward to hosting competitive and noncompetitive players. A few pros have already set their tee times for Saturday.”

Myers said plans are to open course to disc golf, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., beginning Saturday. Public disc golf hours will be adjusted once the course is ready for traditional golf. The public is encouraged to refer to Ray Richards’ website and social media channels for information on specific times for disc golf.

Myers said there will be a small fleet of carts available by June 20, with a larger complement expected to be ready to go by the beginning of July. The golf course driving range will not be open to the public as the University continues to explore interest in alternative uses for that space.


Myers said that COVID-19 related challenges in dealing with vendors and suppliers pushed back university plans to open the course sooner, at least for disc golf, but the wait should be worth it once the public sees the result of efforts to bring the course back to life.

“We’re really looking forward to getting some life back on the course this weekend,” he said.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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