UNM golf course receives county, state funding for upgrades

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Over the years, the University of New Mexico’s North Golf Course had its fair share of proposed updates and actual improvements. 

Now, that space is getting some funding to keep up with those proposed improvements. 

“This is like sort of our Central Park for Albuquerque, right?” said District 3 Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa.

Barboa is talking about the UNM North Golf Course. The nine-hole green also has an open space attached to it where people can hit the trails if they don’t want to hit golf balls. 

Barboa says keeping this space beautiful has been a group effort. 

“This has been a long partnership and development. And thankfully, it’s meant that we have this beautiful space,” said Barboa. 

The county and UNM have been teaming up together on this project for the last several years – each contributing funds and getting help the state to cover the rest. 

“So total, we have about $3.5 million I guess on the project. $2 million came from the state, $1.5 million came from the county,” said John Barney, Bernalillo County’s Parks Recreation and Open Space planning manager. 

Now, the county is giving UNM $70,000 for maintenance on the trails around the golf course. 

In a statement, UNM Golf Course Manager Adam Roybal says the funds will only be used for the trail and not the golf course itself.

“We dispersed it already to them, so they could plan for it. And in fact, I dropped off a check last right last Friday,” said Barney. 

Barney says it’s a one-time payment and UNM will split it up accordingly. 

In the past, the county had plans to do a much larger expansion. But, during the pandemic, Barney says priorities changed. 

“So we kind of had to create some fencing and some signage to make sure people understood that, like when golfing was going on, you can’t go out on the golf course. Right? Kind of safety stuff, right? Basic, basic safety stuff. So that’s what a lot of the last bit of funding went towards,” Barney said. 

Whatever changes happen the county reps say working with UNM to keep this space open for all to enjoy is the goal.

“We get to preserve this beautiful space for now and into the future,” said Barboa. 

County reps says it has a licensing agreement with UNM that preserves the open space area from being developed. That’s a 15-year deal expiring in five years. 

But the county reps say they’ll be looking to extend that when the time comes.