A true home course
Spencer Potter’s home has a view that will stop you in your tracks. But even that view can’t distract from what sprawls throughout his property.
WAITSFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Spencer Potter’s home has a view that will stop you in your tracks. But even that view can’t distract from what sprawls throughout his property: a six-hole public golf course that he crafted himself.
“We were having dinner on the patio over here with a good friend who was a golfer,” Potter said. “He said it would be fun to pitch across the pond to the knoll over there.”
They paced the property that one summer night in 2004, stuck a cedar post in the ground to act as the target, and picked out five more holes to create the original version of Woodchuck Golf course. Named after what roamed its grounds before golfers.
“It got its name because I had over 100 woodchuck holes to fill in,” Potter said with a smile. “They kept caving in for several years, fortunately that has stopped.”
Since its initial phase, it’s transformed to a true course. Par is 20 strokes. The shortest hole is 104 yards, and the longest is 290. Tee times are required. As Potter says, it’s real golf - just with a few added obstacles.
“On number six, you have to hit basically up and over a burn pile to get onto the green. Not a whole lot of places you hit over a burn pile. The drive on number three, the 290-yard hole, you have to hit directly at a pine tree, and hit over the pine tree. That gets into some people’s heads.”
Before sharing his home with a course, he was never a huge golfer. He still works as a tax assessor, while keeping Woodchuck Golf in playable shape in his free time.
“We have two greens mowers, one set up for the green height, and one set up for the collar and fringe,” Potter said. “The fairways I do with a zero-turn mower. Basically, I have to mow everything every three days.”
Spencer never advertises - but a quick internet search will take you up a short, hilly, dirt road in Waitsfield. Where what was once a grassy field with stakes in the ground, lies a six-hole golf experience you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
“We’ve met just hundreds of really delightful people,” Potter said. “You often get a chance to visit with them a little bit and whatnot. We ask for donations to the food shelf. People have been extraordinarily generous.”
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