Robert Trent Jones Senior fashioned the 18-hole layout at Sugarbush Resort Golf Club in the early 1960s, starting a trend that would lead to other New England ski resorts building courses to attract visitors during the summer months.
In The American Golf Resort Guide, author Daniel Wexler writes: “perhaps as a concession to the terrain, much of the heavily bunkered Jones aesthetic is absent here, with most holes relying on the natural movement of the land, some dangerous putting surfaces and the occasional blind shot to boost their credentials.
Play begins on wide-open ground around the clubhouse before the front nine swoops southward into the woods (where the 417-yard dogleg right 3rd stands out) then returns for an open finish led by the 473-yard par four 7th and its scenic downhill approach.
The more engaging back nine is enlivened by several small water hazards, particularly at the 182-yard 11th and the 186-yard 16th (both played across creek-bottomed valleys to elevated, shallow greens) but also at the 404-yard pond-guarded 12th and the 475-yard 14th, a short par five whose green is flanked front-left by water.”
Have played the course over the years a few times and candidly the architecture is very user-friendly. Meant to give those looking for a golf connection a layout worthy of their time and money.
Architectural mavens seeking something more will need to look elsewhere as there are a few classic period courses in the Green Mountain State that have a good bit more design details to offer.
The resort is tied primarily to the ski side of things and the golf is a good it more than what is generally found in New England when skiing and golf are joined at the hip. But, it's more of taking care of an immediate golf itch than anything else.
M. James Ward