THE QUECHEE CLUB

A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

The Quechee Club—a recreational lifestyle set amid stunning beauty of Northern New England.

BY MARK PAZDUR, PUBLISHER

QUECHEE, VERMONT: The Quechee Club is one of only a handful of destinations across the country that pairs both golf and skiing in a controlled access setting.

With an expansive 5,500 acres of property, equaling one-third the size of Manhattan in New York City, open space is your ally. Amenities run the gamut from two championship courses to a family-friendly ski hill with two black diamond runs; a natatorium with lap lanes; the Lake Pinneo beach house with a sandy beach; and a racquet pavilion offering pickleball, squash, and platform tennis (with two heated courts).

From spring blooms and plush green summer scenes to autumn leaves, the landscape surrounding The Quechee Club transforms with the changing seasons, creating a dynamic Northeastern escape.

“Geoffrey Cornish, longtime contributor to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, was the original architect behind both of our courses,” expressed Brian Kelley, GM/COO at The Quechee Club. “His golf design philosophy was simple: Use the lay of the land with only enough ornamentation [bunkers and hazards] and man-made contours to provide a challenge.

“While golf is my life, I learned early on that managing a large private club isn’t about golf. In fact, golf isn’t about golf. Our industry centers round people. If things are going sideways or there’s no consensus [which is commonplace in the world we live in today], always pause before moving full steam ahead. My parents taught me that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. So, I pause, and I listen, and the result is usually that I end up with a sound decision.”

Eye-popping participation

For the past two decades, with few exceptions to grow in golf, you had to steal market share from competitors. If rounds played and revenue was flat, management would often consider it a winning year. The pandemic altered the paradigm. Over the past two years, rounds of golf played across America were up an average of 21 percent, with many facilities reporting even more robust figures. Often, daylight and cart availability capped what has been an insatiable demand.

All outdoor sports have seen renewed interest and growth. The racquets department at The Quechee Club is coming off a phenomenal spike in participation. During the past two seasons, it has experienced a 238 percent increase in usage. “To a great degree, our supercharged numbers can be credited to our purposeful programming calendar of events,” said Mike Keenan, director of racquet sports at The Quechee Club. “Any resident who walks on the deck is greeted with open arms, no matter the season or their playing ability. My goal is to blend laughs, entertainment, and friendly competition into one. The club’s egalitarian management style creates inclusiveness and a feeling that you are a part of something much bigger.”

Racquet Sports at The Quechee Club offers tennis, platform, pickleball and POP tennis courts. “We have three on-staff USPTA professionals to help sharpen your game,” continued Keenan. “After all, sports can be games of nuances. Expert instruction can help.

“One of our more popular classes is called courtships, with a six-week lesson plan to introduce veteran tennis players to POP tennis with its shortened court area,  smaller racquet, and a lower compression tennis ball,” explained Keenan. “Interestingly, unlike most private golf clubs where pickleball has almost become an addiction, our pickleball participation has remained relatively stable. Why? Two reasons. First, we have so many outdoor options, you aren’t funneled in one sport or direction. Also, the average age of family joining The Quechee Club has been trending younger for years. This creates renewed energy and vitality. Since pickleball skews for the older demographic, its growth here hasn’t been stratospheric.”

Exercise off the Peloton

Nature is not defined exclusively as wilderness. The benefits of nature can also be found in parks, green spaces, and nature trails. Research has amassed a large body of evidence, proving what we all know to be true: Nature is good for us and has both long and short-term mental and physical health benefits.

Ken Glick started working at the community during high school. Now, 40 years later, he oversees all common grounds off the golf course. “I have watched the baton passed from one generation to the next many times,” smiled Glick. “When I first stepped foot on the property, The Quechee Club was a retirement haven. Wow, how demographics have changed with families at the forefront for just about everything we do.”

Covering such a large swath of land, The Quechee Club is divided into seven sections, with five of the sections offering dedicated nature trails. All told, there are 15 miles of maintained paths ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. “Our two golf courses total 13,335 yards in length, while our trail system offers 26,400 yards of outdoor exploration. We even have a significant line item in our budgets to maintain the trail system from overgrowth and refresh directional signage,” continued Glick. “Our biggest [and oldest] trail covers just under eight miles of wilderness and, recently, we expanded it to include a two-mile mountain bike trail.

“What will surprise many is that usage of our trail system is higher in the winter than summer. At The Quechee Club, no matter the season, it’s a time to enjoy the great outdoors.”

For more membership information, please visit QuecheeClub.com.