Feeling the "Fire" on the Mountain
Christmas Mountain Village course operators continue improvements
By Brian Weis
First time golfers to the most seasoned players will want to get out on the courses at Christmas Mountain Village to enjoy the improvements coming this spring.
Any signs of snow are now gone from the higher than normal temperatures of the last several days, and it’s only going to get warmer—and greener—from here.
CMV’s two courses, The Pines, a nine-hole and The Oaks, an 18-hole are among the most scenic in the area. The Oaks, adjacent to CMV’s popular ski hills, boasts changing elevations and stunning views from atop its bluffs. What sets the 27 holes of golf at CMV apart is the range of abilities it can accommodate, and still offer the expected challenges for the more experienced golfers.
“We’ve made a lot of improvements on both courses to continue to be a place the beginning golfer and the more experienced golfer can play in the same group, and have enough options so everyone can enjoy their round,” CMV golf pro Jacob James said going into this season. “We have received feedback from not only our season pass holders, but everyone that has come here to enjoy both The Pines and The Oaks courses.”
Among the latest improvements are new green tee boxes will be seen on some holes, some widened tees and a new pond on hole two on The Oaks are among some of the recent improvements underway.
Trees have been cut back on The Pines making it much more playable.
Regular golfers will notice a few new sand traps, some of which were there years ago, and are being re-installed.
Course superintendent Gregg Schernecker said this year’s improvements were a result of a number of well-received suggestions submitted by season pass holders.
A number of green tees were installed last year, with hole two on The Oaks being the latest to be upgraded to a shorter green tee box.
“We’re going by our member input about this,” Schernecker said. “They asked that every hole have a green tee. Red were the shortest tees we had, so the green tees will be a special tee box there now.”
James said one of the lasting effects the Covid epidemic brought was not only a boom in the industry, but it made pace-of-play issues come to the fore. According to the National Golf Foundation’s estimates, 3.3 million people golfed for the first time in 2022. The previous recorded high of 2.4 million first-time golfers was set in 2000, when Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity. The NGF estimates showed a total of 25.6 million people that golfed on a golf course in 2022. In 2021, that estimate was 25.1 million.
“We’re doing our best to make the course more playable and more enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels,” James said. “By introducing another tee box, it gives those shorter hitters a spot to still enjoy a championship golf course, but also have scoring opportunities.”
“We want to ensure everyone can enjoy their round with great conditions, but also be able to play in a timely manner,” he said.
Holes five and six may be the most noticeable because they will be twice as wide as they were. Greens one, three four, seven and eight will also be enlarged, making way for more holes.
“It might not be significant, but it will be enough that people will notice it,” Schernecker said. “It’ll be hard to tell where the old green started, and the new green starts.”
A new pond is also going in near hole two, with the dirt being used to level out that hole, plus level out holes three and five next season. The area will be seeded in the fall, making it ready for next year.
Speaking of ponds, a little TLC is in order for the pond on hole 17. Erosion from the elements and some muskrat trenches where some balls have gone missing will be corrected.
“It’ll look more like a pond that should be next to a green,” Schernecker said.
A new fence will be put up near the Christmas Mountain campground area near holes one and two. The fence will help to keep balls in bounds.
Schernecker said trees have been cut back on holes five, six, 14 and 16 making them much more playable.
“Those trees have grown over the years without being trimmed,” Schernecker said. “On hole six we removed trees that were three to eight feet around.”
Schernecker said the courses, The Oaks in particular, will only continue to improve, largely based upon golfer input as improvements are carried out for this season and for 2024.
“Our last ten holes are as nice as any holes on any course,” Schernecker said. “They’re beautifully designed, and the homes aren’t on top of the course, even though they’re there. It’s drained well, and it’s very playable. It has great elevation changes. It’s got everything and it shows.”
Schernecker was hired in the spring of 2021, and James in the fall of 2021. In their time as operators, the number of golfers at CMV has only increased beyond recent previous years.
“We ended 2022 with a lot of momentum and tremendous feedback which really gave us a lot of ideas of how we wanted to proceed coming into 2023 and beyond,” James said. “Our planned improvements are only going to continue to enhance the experience at CMV. The excitement around golf here at CMV is really encouraging for us as operators, and really ignites the fire within us to provide the best experience and continue to build on what we are trying to create for years to come.”
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Revised: 04/11/2023 - Article Viewed 683 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
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