Home Away From Home

Finding Our Golf, Home Away From Home.

My wife, Karen,and I love to golf; We have ever since college. We are retired and live on a great golf course in FL, which we love. However, summer in Florida has 96 percent humidity coupled with 85 plus degree temps and we find that, well, less than optimal weather in which to play. Thus, one fated spring we dedicated ourselves to finding our summer golf getaway in New England, from where we both hail and where we anticipated the weather to be far more hospitable in summer.

After visiting clubs in NH, ME, and RI, we were driving north on Route 89 towards our final stop in Vermont, as my wife and I discussed the situation: We wanted to join a club that was golf focused yet member and community oriented, we wanted a challenging course of play with the convenience of nearby quality summer rental housing. We wanted good weather, good food, a great location and exceptional golf. Were we going to have to compromise on a place to live for the summer? Were we expecting too much? What are we going to do if we can’t find both a great golf course and a nice house to rent in the same area?

As we turned north onto Route 100 towards our hotel in Stowe, we saw the sign for Country Club of VT, less than half a mile off the highway. Since it was only 6:00 p.m., we decided to stop and check it out. We already had a tee time the next morning to try out the course and get the tour and sales pitch. Why not take the opportunity to check out the club in the early evening – UNANNOUNCED?

Driving up the access road into the club, it took our breath away as we gazed over the greens on the front side. The layout, topography, and surrounding mountainside were beyond words – it was a gem. We simply were not prepared for the site we saw.

The CCVT course is a Graham Cooke design located on a site that can only be described as a magnificent setting for a golf course, offering stunning views in all directions. Built among the beautiful vistas of the Green Mountains, the course features a front nine reminiscent of an Irish links land, while the back nine wanders through the trees and hills of Vermont. It offers a very playable yet challenging par 72 layout featuring dramatic elevation changes, rolling fairways, and large undulating bent grass greens. The greens, tees and fairways are framed by blue grass rough and outlined by native fescues.

Karen and I parked the car and entered the clubhouse, where we found a group of members enjoying dinner. Everyone was having such a great time, eating and drinking on the back deck of the clubhouse, which had an incredible view of the mountains and the setting sun. Adirondack chairs had been thoughtfully arranged on the patio facing the 18th hole and the spectacular view. We were welcomed like old friends and after our complimentary round of golf and tour the next day, we truly felt we had found our golf home, away from home.

With the help of local realtors, Karen and I were able to find a number of houses that met our criteria. It is always fun to look for summer housing in a fabulous ski town like Stowe, there are tons to choose from. We eventually selected a 3-bedroom house overlooking the Little River and the Hogback and Worcester mountain ranges to the east. The house was larger than we needed, but we anticipated lots of visitors from Florida.

2016 will mark our 9th season at Country Club of Vermont. Come June, we’ll head north on Route 95 from Florida, with stops in South Carolina and New Jersey to reconnect with old college friends. We look forward to rejoining our newfound friends in Vermont, savoring the sun-filled days, cool evenings, and spectacular sunsets off the back deck of the clubhouse.

- Rob Wenning

Local realtors with house rental properties:

Pall Spera of Pall Spera Company Realtors, LLC

John Biondolillo of William Raveis BCK Real Estate & William Raveis Stowe Realty

Alison Karosas of Stowe Country Homes

Kim Rushford of Stowe Red Barn Realty