Sugarloaf to See Improvements

Already ranked the best daily-fee course in New England, Sugarloaf Golf Club will soon be shining brighter. Last November, crews embarked on $800,000 in improvements to the course following a special Carrabassett Valley town meeting in which voters overwhelmingly approved a municipal bond to finance the work. Sugarloaf USA, which leases the course from the town, will pay off the bond over the next 23 years.

Golf Magazine recently ranked Sugarloaf 20th in the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S.” Only two other New England courses were ranked, and they stood at the 61st and 83rd positions. Sugarloaf has held the 20th position in the prestigious rankings since 1998, and has been No. 1 in Maine every year since it opened in 1984. The 6,956-yard course offers green fees ranging from a low of $43 to a high of $82 (with cart).

”But we are not resting on our laurels,” said Director of Golf Scott Hoisington, adding that the two-year project will include a new irrigation system, renovated bunkers, new drainage, improved tees and landing areas on the driving range, and paving of the cart paths and parking lot. Golf course superintendent Mike Vella is overseeing all aspects of the project, including the cart paths, drainage, bunkers, driving range, and woods clearing. Crews will complete the cart path program this spring and continue to work on the bunkers and irrigation system this summer, Vella said.

”We want to make the course more player-friendly,” said Hoisington. “We know it is challenging. It is a heavily wooded, mountain course. But if they hit it in the woods, we want them to find it and be able to bang it out.” The improvements will be accomplished in a manner that will have “little to no impact to the golfers,” said Vella.

Sugarloaf has retained Terry Buchen of Golf Agronomy International of Williamsburg, Virginia to assist in the bunker restoration. Buchen has been involved in such projects across the U.S. and in Europe.

Sugarloaf is a golf and ski resort located in the Western Mountains of Maine. To get a tee time at Sugarloaf, call 800/843-5623 or 207/237-2000.