November is Project Time

Starting the drainage on 18th approach by removing sod
While we strive to engage in productive projects throughout the year, there is an opportune window of time for larger projects between the date the course closes and the day winter truly arrives.

Once the door closes on the golfing season it is critical that we use this time to complete work that is otherwise too disruptive to conduct during the golfing months. In some regards, November is one of our most challenging months. On top of the essential tasks to carry out like covering the greens, draining the irrigation system, final snow mold prevention applications, etc... we also set some ambitious goals for course improvements. Numerous challenges are encountered at this time of year. Daylight, good working weather, and seasonal staff are all diminishing through October into November. Nevertheless, the shoulder seasons are when some of the most important work is done on course.

Excavation of drainage trench on 14 fairway
Drainage improvements typically take precedent on the late fall punch list. It has been discussed in prior blog posts that a well drained golf course is the foundation to a great golfing experience. Drainage improvements were made to the 3rd fairway, 4th approach, 18th approach and fairway, and on the 14th fairway. We were pleased to have completed the work on the 14th fairway as this area perennially sustains some winter damage. The intercepting drainage trench will help to reduce the large amount of snow melt flowing over the fairway. This snow melt causes ice and freeze/thaw cycles that are the major cause of winterkill.

Laying pavers at SCC "Hitting Barn"
In addition to these drainage projects, a forward tee has been added on the 3rd hole. It is located just before the bend in the cartpath as the fairway begins. It provides a clearer target view and fair access to the broad section of the fairway. The tee will be open for play soon after opening day. Lastly, a handful of staff on our Stowe Golf team made a major improvement to the Hitting Barn at Stowe Country Club. The first phase in revitalizing the Hitting Barn was resurfacing the dirt floor. We installed stone pavers and five artificial turf hitting mats. Interestingly, the pavers were reused from the renovation at the Spruce Peak entryway. This project was a collaborative effort between Stowe Mountain Club and Stowe Country Club employees. The hitting barn should be open for practice at the first sign of spring 2014.