Winter Reflection at Stowe Mountain Club

While snow depths stayed low all winter season, the grounds department was able to prepare and complete some great projects on the golf course. It also halted the stress of true turf management, allowing our team to continue exploring opportunities to improve your golfing experience. Arguably, the winter months are some of the most important months for a golf course maintenance team. On the surface, it may seem like our main priority is only snow removal, but our scope of work extends far beyond. Refining the maintenance operation, analyzing the budget, and most importantly researching our team output on the property allows us to prepare for another successful golf season.
2 tee underbrush
Obstructed view on 18

This particular winter season, we identified 2 particular projects. Tees on holes 2 and 18 needed a facelift. Our goal was to improve turf health and aesthetic value. Like any project on the golf course, there is necessary research that needs to be completed before the start. On top of analyzing the budget, we make sure that the project will benefit the health of the surrounding turf. Most of the time the aesthetic value will also be immediately enhanced, but sometimes it may take a few weeks to a few months for the surrounding turf condition to also improve. As you'll be able to see during your round, our work significantly improves the aesthetic value of the holes. Over time, this work will also improve the health of the surrounding turf. The work on 2 tee opens up views to Peregrine Lake and the work on 18 opens up a view of "The Chin" on Mt. Mansfield and a beautiful rock face. The brush cleared on 18 tee also improves the playability from the black/blue tees (playing a right to left shot).
Cleared view of the "chin"on 18
Cutting brush under 2 tee
Clearing underbrush this winter, particularly from tee surrounds, was an on-course priority. As I mentioned before, this particular act can help health and aesthetic value. By clearing brush, this will
dynamically enhance air flow and circulation. By enhancing these two things, the turf will have more sunlight and oxygen improving its ability to make more food for itself. Organically, the turf plant will also be able to improve its natural defenses, potentially decreasing overall pesticide usage.

Burning brush
We were then able to discard the removed brush by naturally burning. However, you will notice some standing "dead" trees remaining in the cleared areas. We refer to these "dead" trees as"snags." The "snags" are necessary in providing habitat for wildlife such as woodpeckers. The "snags" allow the woodpeckers to create cavities. These cavities allow smaller birds to occupy these spaces to nest called "cavity nesting." During this whole process we were able to partner with the Mountain Operation Team and borrow a tracked vehicle to access the golf course during the winter months. The sharing of assets between resort departments is really proving to be a valuable process for everyone involved. Sharing assets primarily helps the bottom line when analyzing the necessary inputs needed for these capital projects. This on-course winter work is very important because the forest will continue to grow in on the golf course, negatively impacting playability and aesthetic value.
A look at the final product
Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to your feedback regarding these winter projects!