The unforgettable views begin on the first tee. This three–shot par five plays uphill to a small green protected by a massive rock ledge on the left and bunkers on the right. Hit a great wedge and this hole appears easy, getting you off to a good start.
This long par three plays through a gap in the trees toward Peregrine Lake. Gauging the wind properly from the protected tee area is the key to correct club selection.
A right-to-left tee shot works best on this lengthy, uphill par four. From the fairway, favor the left side on your approach, utilizing the mounding to help feed the ball onto the green. Check the hole location before selecting your club as the green is divided by a ridge into two distinct tiers.
This hole says, “Come and try me.” The fairway turns sharply to the left behind the bunkers, banking off the slope. The opening to the green is wide and gentle, though a bunker guards the right side.
The fairway rises 30 feet from the tees on this short, uphill par four. Challenge the bunkers up the left side with a driver and you will have a short-iron approach shot.
This par three requires a spectacular risk/reward shot over Peregrine Lake. Select your club, exhale and make your best swing of the day. If the pin is behind the bunker on the right, the slope will funnel the ball toward the hole.
More precision than power is best here, as your tee shot must fit between the wetland and the forest. The green, protected by tall fescue, is beautifully positioned down in a valley. The putting surface slopes gently to the left — knowing this may influence your second shot.
This is the longest of the par fives and it rolls and turns like the native countryside. In late August, the golden fescue ripples in the breeze. Favor the right side from tee to green as you navigate around the dam that holds back Peregrine Lake, which sits above the fairway.
The spectacular ninth hole, like so many of the par fours at The Mountain Course, is not long. However, the forced carry over the lake can be exciting. A tee shot played short of the main fairway bunker will leave a short-iron approach shot and your last chance for birdie on the front nine.
Mount Mansfield provides the backdrop for a fairway that is lined on both sides by a magnificent stand of New England hardwoods, pines and birches. The two-tiered green, protected by a small false front, is perched on the hill.
The tee aims you safely up the right side. A corridor of trees clearly points out the lane as the upward trek continues. From the second landing area, the shot to the green is imperceptibly uphill. The base of the flagstick is not visible, but the target is clearly evident.
This short par four requires care off the tee. With out of bounds along the left side while Big Spruce Brook babbles quietly over the rocks and through the oaks and birches on the right. For the best approach shot angle to this subtle green, challenge the right side from the tee.
This long par three takes off from the base of Spruce Peak and begins the most demanding portion of the back nine. A generous section of fairway leads to the large green, guarded by a long bunker on the right.
A well-played drive up the left side sets up a challenging approach shot. Maintaining your focus is the difficulty with the breathtaking views of Mount Mansfield distracting you. At an elevation of 1,860 feet, the green appears to slope dramatically from front to back, but this is an illusion.
A 175–200 yard carry over the spectacular rock face will leave you with a short-iron approach to this beautifully positioned green. Once on the putting surface, the spectacular view of the Stowe valley and a glimpse of Peregrine Lake is your reward.
Playing one to two clubs less than the yardage, this downhill par three is truly exhilarating. A large rock formation guards the front of the green while protected conservation land abuts the back. Selecting the correct club for the wind and drop in elevation is the real challenge here.
Managing the change in elevation from tee to green is the key to this hole. You must negotiate a steep slope off the tee to get in position for the second shot. Take advantage of the backstop behind the green to turn your approach shot into a birdie opportunity.
This hole begs you to launch it boldly — off the tee and on the second shot. If both are played well, the ball will be on or very near the green in two. The relatively benign green sits down in the valley framed by Mount Mansfield’s gondola and famous Nosedive ski run.