Summer at Sugarloaf revolves around the Sugarloaf Golf Club, and consequently, it plays a major role in the Sugarloaf 2020 vision. The future of the course took a huge step in the right direction recently, when Carrabassett Valley residents voted overwhelmingly in support of a new $1.7 million irrigation system, which will be installed this summer.
The cost of the system will be split between Sugarloaf and the town of Carrabassett Valley, which owns the course.
In the most recent issue of “The Sugarloafer,” course superintendent Bob Bruce spoke about why the new system is so important for the future of the course:
“The old system was antiquated and beginning to fail,” he said. “With the new irrigation system, we will be able to pinpoint the exact areas that need water, and avoid over-watering areas that don’t need as much. This will end up saving water and electricity costs, and will be much better for the course in the long run.”
The old system was installed when the course was first constructed 27 years ago in 1985. Bruce said that the typically life expectancy for that type of system is 25-30.
Work on the new irrigation system will begin later this spring, and will continue, one hole at a time, until all 18 holes are completed. The project is not expected to significantly impact play at the course, as only one hole will be closed to construction at a time, and only during midweek days.
Additional course improvement projects will also be completed around the course this spring, including
- New drainage work on the 12th fairway and in the rough around the Number Two forward tees.
- A new bridge on the 12th hole, to replace the bridge that was washed away during Hurricane Irene last summer.
- New decking and cribbing on the bridges for the 14th and 15th holes
- Improvements to the greenside bunkers on holes 10 and 11.
Last fall, the course also invested in 13 protective tarps to cover many of the greens during the winter months. These tarps protect the greens from the harsh winter conditions, while allowing them to breathe and stay healthy until spring. The course crew has had tremendous success with this type of tarp in the past, and though it is still early, Bruce says they are encouraged by the way greens are looking.