The word is out about Christmas Mountain
A litany of improvements on the golf courses at Christmas Mountain Village have been a well-kept secret for the last several months.
The word is out after growing chatter on social media, and compliments flying off the walls at the Christmas Mountain pro shop. Even amidst less-than-conducive golfing weather so far this spring, our members and guests have been raving about the upgrades to the courses.
Course superintendent Gregg Schernecker knew what it took and where to get started when he came on board last summer. He’d already built a new golf course literally from the ground up as the architect of Poynette's Pauquette Pines, now known as Shepherds Meadow. Schernecker built the course in1999 so his kids and the community would have a convenient, quality, nine-hole course to play. He also spent more than ten years combined as course superintendent at Horicon Hills and Kestrel Ridge in Columbus.
Christmas Mountain couldn't foresee how quickly Shernecker's expertise would manifest itself as enhancements to two well established courses in the Wisconsin Dells area.
Christmas Mountain golf professional Jacob James said he's hearing great responses from early season golfers about the changes.
"We're getting a lot of comments about how nice the greens are on The Oaks, and how they're rolling true and fast," James said. "It's super playable and provides a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. There's a lot of risk reward, and course management is key for shooting low scores.”
Here are just some of the more significant upgrades golfers should know about:
Both The Pines and The Oaks courses are in the process of being widened to match their original widths.
"It grew in 30 yards on each side in some places on The Oaks," Schernecker said, "and we’ll continue widening the course to bring it back to its original design."
There's been the necessary cutting of dead trees in play, and cutting of what may potentially fall onto the course.
At least 80 stumps were ground up and the holes left were filled and seeded.
The drainage by tee box five on the Pines has been cleaned up. Additionally, the drainage around holes six and16 on The Oaks was repaired so water is diverted better.
An impeding big bump on The Oaks cart path where the asphalt was cracked was fixed, and is now gone.
Some other important changes can't easily be seen. Schernecker invested $100,000 in a badly needed new computer that regulates the watering system on the course. If you see the watering taps go off, think of the technology that goes into orchestrating that.
Watch for new features
There have been some additions returning Christmas Mountain golfers will readily notice.
"We're in the process of adding a chipping area by green nine on The Pines," Schernecker said. "It’s a little green you can make 20-yard shots to. We’ll put a new forward tee up at hole two on The Oaks. That’s a tee closest to the green.”
Two bunkers were put back into play that had been removed, including on The Oaks at hole 11, which was completely re-designed. A new third bunker was added at hole three on The Oaks where a small pond was.
All of these expedited refinements have been implemented as Schernecker approaches his one-year anniversary as course superintendent at Christmas Mountain.
"You’re going to see improvements this year like last year, and we’ll just keep improving," Schernecker said. "I’m excited to see where we can take the course next. I want this to be the best course in the Dells. That’s what we’re working toward."