Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
The course at West Bolton Golf Club measures 5,937 yards from front to back. But even where the competitive yardage ends, the property's lush greenery keeps going. It spills over into the surrounding land and it eventually creeps up into the surrounding Green Mountains. Golfers have faced off against this picturesque landscape since 1983, when the family-owned club opened the first half of its course and planted its first nine flag-stick seeds. Today, those fully grown banners punctuate 18 holes that range from 128 yards in length up to a daunting 600. Golfers attempt to navigate the course's challenges throughout the year, including during leagues for men and women, camps for boys and girls, and tournaments that showcase the area's seasonal beauty.
As the only par-three course in Chittenden County, Arrowhead Golf Course connects nine holes ranging from 90 yards to 210 yards in length. Arrowhead's small size doesn't just make it easy to slip into a carrying case after rounds: it also makes it an ideal practice course for seasoned and beginner golfers alike. Three sets of tees per hole enable golfers to lengthen and shorten their shots, and gently rolling fairways outfitted with sand bunkers, water hazards, and other quirky traits present a different challenge at every hole. After rounds, players can even continue to work on their game at Arrowhead's driving range and practice putting green. Before or after being outside, golfers can grab a bite or a drink at the onsite cafe.
You can’t talk about Eastman Golf Links without mentioning the scenery. Situated amidst 3,700 acres of environmentally protected woodlands, the 18-hole course tunnels through thick groves of trees and around six ponds. Its hilly terrain offers both elevated views of the unspoiled landscape as well as a safe place to look out for charging tribes of territorial sand trap rakes. The picturesque par-71 plays to 6,731 yards from the farthest tees—presenting a formidable challenge for experienced golfers—but shrinks to 5,499 yards when played from the shortest of four tee options.
Though the course is Eastman Golf Links centerpiece, guests can consider it a one-stop resource for all their golfing needs. A trio of experienced instructors lends their fairway-splitting savvy during private lessons, and also offers club-fitting services using FlightScope Launch Monitors. A driving range with both grass and turf hitting bays fosters practice sessions as does a practice green and a 9-hole short course. Guests can sample a collection of 150 demo clubs to find the one that best suits their game or scratches the parts of their back that are hardest to reach.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 71 course
* Length of 6,731 yards from the farthest tees
* Course rating of 72.8 from the farthest tees
* Slope rating of 129 from the farthest tees
* Four tee options
Newport Golf Club's 18-hole course sprawls across 143 verdant acres of the Sugar River valley, guiding players along distinct front and back nines with sections of rolling pastureland and other areas carved out of a forest of mature pine, oak, and cherry trees. The course was founded in 1920 as a nine-hole course that took advantage of the site's natural hills and running streams, and remained that way for 70 years. In 1989 the course was extended to its present length, with a back nine that intercepts the Sugar River at various points among the pine trees, mirrored ponds, and indigenous tribes of golf ball hunter-gatherers.
The resort at Pico Mountain at Killington has come a long way since it opened on Thanksgiving morning in 1937. It was a blustery day, and skiers held tight to a 1,200-foot towrope powered by a Hudson motorcar engine as they rose up the mountainside and tried to get reception on their rotary-dial phones. Today, the mountain is striped with 57 trails and seven lifts, including two high-speed detachable quads. Gentle learning terrain beckons newbies, smooth cruisers give intermediate skiers an easy ride, classically narrow New England steeps entice beginning and intermediate skiers, and a double-black-diamond trail challenges advanced athletes. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers interested in tricks can use the jumps, boxes, and rails in the Triple Slope terrain park, and the Snow Sports School sharpens the skills of first-timers and seasoned pros alike.
Although the resort has advanced in size and technology, it maintains a personalized, small-mountain charm. The trails all converge at one convenient central base area whose lodge boasts a sports center with a heated pool and a sauna. Guests can grab a beer and a burger or slice of pizza beside the crackling stone fireplace at the Last Run Lounge before retiring to their hotel room or condo.