White River Golf Club seeks new ownership

ROCHESTER — The White River Golf Club, a long time fixture among Central Vermont’s golf courses, is on the market.

Pete McGowan, the owner and operator of the golf course for the past 17 years, said “It’s been a great experience, and given me a unique lifestyle that I have enjoyed, but it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of ownership.”

McGowan first put the course up for sale in August 2013. The price has recently been reduced to $675,000, which includes 50-acres, the par-3 course and a restored 7,000-square-foot converted farmhouse with its three apartments, restaurant and bar. It is listed with D.R. Symmes & Associates, VT-NH Commercial Real Estate Brokers. McGowan first listed the property for $895,000, reduced it to $750,000 this past spring and now has dropped the price further, hoping to entice the right buyer.

White River has been a favorite of Central Vermont golfers for 50+ years. The course is laid out along the White River with beautiful Green Mountain vistas from all holes on the course. Recently re-designed, the 9-hole course has been lengthened to 2,936 yards, and plays to a Par 36 from the back tees. Four separate tee placements have been added to each hole with the forward tee playing as a Par 3.

The course was redesigned and rebuilt after the damages incurred by Tropical Storm Irene in August of 2011. In retrospect McGowan states that Irene’s flood gave him the opportunity to implement improvements that he had always wanted to do, but otherwise would never have attempted. That redesign included four new greens, 19 new tees, seven of the nine fairways, and three completely new holes including back-to-back Par 5s thereby making the course more challenging.

Reception for the new lay out has been overwhelmingly positive. The course was in peak condition by the end of the 2013 season, McGowan said, adding that players often come off the course saying that White River Golf Club is the best walking course they’ve ever played.

The course has benefitted from knowledgable management, especially over the winter 2013-14. The course, unlike many Vermont golf courses, did not suffer winter damage and was playable starting in late April.

McGowan said that the redesign was intended to appeal to many market segments and skill levels. It is an ideal walking course for seniors and beginners. Yet with its several tee placements and varying yardages, it offers sufficient levels of challenges for golfers of every handicap. “Golfers are awed by the lovely north-south valley views and the opportunity to play a round in a beautiful setting,” he said in a recent release.

Anchored at the east end of the golf course is the clubhouse, which houses three apartments, a commercial kitchen, a bar and a restaurant surrounded by a large wrap around deck. All units are currently under lease. McGowan had lived in each of the three apartments until he eventually purchased a home nearby.

When asked about his retirement, McGowan said that he looks forward to the opportunity to be a member and finally play the course he has worked on for so many years.

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