New England Golf Guide had a chance to sit down with new CEO Troy Caruso to discuss Fox Run today and his plans for the future.
The Fox Run Golf Club in Ludlow, Vermont is everything a golfer should look for when considering a unique place to play. The course is challenging, yet fair, and features amazing undulating greens, a Heathland style layout and picturesque, mountain vistas. Fox Run is under brand new ownership and the course and its facilities have all been updated and expanded. It is open to the public and has quickly become a “must play” for golfers in the New England region.
What makes Fox Run special?
Anyone can bulldoze land and make a golf course. Fox Run was built utilizing the natural, beautiful elevation changes and vistas located in the Green Mountains and the Okemo Valley. All 18 holes feature challenging, natural elements that showcase the breathtaking mountainside terrain.
When the golf course fescue is grown up the course is filled with colors of green and yellow. As autumn arrives, the fall foliage is all around you and pleasantly stokes the system in a sea of reds, browns, oranges and yellows. It is one of the prettiest courses you will ever play.
We also take special care to ensure that the course is in the best shape possible, while always providing a fair challenge for players of all abilities. The undulating and fast greens will test the skillsets of all golfers. The mounds and valleys throughout the course make golfers think about where to hit the ball and how to approach each green.
When you finish 18 holes at Fox Run, you are thinking one thought: When can I come back and play again.
Why is it a destination course?
A foursome will get together at home in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, New York, etc. and travel to Ludlow to play our course specifically. It is that good.
While we have a very strong base of members, on any given day golfers from all over the region come to play here. After the round they can enjoy a glass of wine, live music and a fine meal at Calcuttas, our full-service restaurant, and the day becomes memorable for all the right reasons.
What if I just want to practice?
Quite simply, Fox Run has the finest training facility in the Region. Fox Run staff run small teaching classes and clinics and quality individual instruction, headed up by our first-rate and experienced PGA Professional Mark Senecal.
Our Family 4 course is a short four-hole practice area where beginner players and families can develop their skills and experienced players can improve their short game. Our driving range is probably the most scenic and well-maintained range in all of New England. It is 6 acres total and allows golfers to practice on grass tees or matts. From the range it is a short walk to our chipping area that includes a putting green, pitching area, and a manicured practice bunker. The entire practice area emphasizes the same types of terrain and challenges you will face on the course.
What do the “experts” think about the course?
Without fail, our members, regular players, visitors and first-time players all agree: Fox Run is a very special place to spend a day on the course with friends, competing and having fun.
While we have been awarded and lauded as one of the best courses in the country for women by Golf for Women, noticed as one of the best new courses and most scenic courses by both Golf Week and Golf Digest, I am most concerned about the true “experts” at Fox Run, and that is our players.
How about the rest of the public who have experienced golf at Fox Run?
Throughout the summer and fall this year we invited an eclectic mix of influencers to play golf, eat, and engage in all that Fox run offers. We created a major buzz on social media and even @thecaddygirls from Shark Tank has made an appearance and shared in the fun.
So Fox Run does have members? Is it private?
We do have members and are looking to grow this area, but Fox Run is a public facility. Golfers can plan day trips to come to Fox Run and can always call for reservations.
We have several interesting membership levels where players can participate in a variety of events and tournaments and receive special rates. We also stress camaraderie amongst our members, who enjoy all of Fox Run’s facilities.
What’s new at the course?
Six new tee boxes, to provide a greater diversity of hole set-ups; we added new greens keeping equipment, including our high-tech Salsco roller, and established a renewed focus on creating the best golf experience possible. Fox Run’s greens are rolled and mowed daily in-season.
Why new tee boxes?
Fox Run plays as a Par 70 at 6,434 yards from the tips. But we also clearly understand the need for a variety of yardage opportunities for all levels of players.
Not everyone hits the ball the same length and our new and existing tee boxes allow all golfers to play each hole to the best of their individual ability and speed up play.
Beyond the golf course what other amenities are offered?
Fox Run features Calcuttas, a full service 120-seat restaurant. A 9,200 square foot clubhouse, with locker rooms and a well-stocked pro shop featuring stylish and functional apparel, the latest state of the art equipment and, of course, sage advice.
So golfers can spend a day on the golf course and continue their stay at your restaurant Calcuttas as well?
Not just golfers, but all visitors. Calcuttas is completely renovated and features a bar, full service restaurant and a patio area. We like to consider it an upscale, casual dining and drinking establishment.
Calcuttas has 10 televisions so you can watch any sporting event you want and our staff is knowledgeable and first-rate. On the patio patrons can enjoy our fire pits, listen to live music and appreciate some amazing views of the golf course and the surrounding mountains.
Explain the newly created Fox Run Hospitality Group? I know that’s another brand new endeavor in Ludlow.
Fox Run Hospitality Group was formed this year and now includes the golf club and five area restaurants: Off the Rails, Calcuttas, Sam’s Steakhouse, Mr. Darcy’s, and Alta Tuscan Grille.
These restaurants offer our patrons a vast array of dining choices and provide the region with exciting and amazing hospitality choices. Renowned Michelin Five Star Chef Andrew Molen is running the culinary operation.
A number of special events are now being held at Fox Run including weddings.
Yes we now offer our ultimate wedding packages for all seasons at Fox Run. Weddings can be held inside or outside amongst our amazing scenery. Catering is done on site led by our Hospitality Group.
For other meetings and business events we have an indoor event room on site that is nearly 3,000 square feet.
As if that was not enough what about housing in the area?
We have remodeled and reopened the Fox Run Motel on Main Street and also have a variety of other rental properties available.
And transportation . . . ?
Fox Run provides shuttle service for special events and groups throughout the golf and ski seasons.
I hear there is also a brand new and unique outdoor gaming area.
Our newly created Field of Games features bocce courts, horseshoe pits, and Corn Hole toss. We have tournaments in all those areas throughout the year.
Our Family fun four-hole golf course for beginners really instills a love of the game for young, new and learning golfers. It’s also where some lessons are given and our weekly women’s golf clinic is held.
Considering Fox Run is built into a mountain in Vermont, the golf season must be short?
We begin each golf season in April as soon the snow is gone and nature allows and the course is ready. Our players enjoy golfing at Fox Run until November each year.
And then . . . ?
Fox Run does not just close its doors. Come November, as the golf season ends, it is time to reinvent ourselves as the Fox Run Nordic Center, where we feature 7 km of traditional and well-marked and manicured Nordic track trails and skating lanes that wind their way through our incredible property along the Black River.
We feature cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snow shoeing opportunities for the entire family. We also have a fully stocked pro shop, offer lessons, and group rates. There is snowmobile gas available on site, indoor snowmobile storage, and trailer parking with access to the VAST trail. At Fox Run, we provide an experience, not just an activity.
Hosting a golf tournament at Fox Run also offers some unique and charitable ways to promote causes and products. One especially caught my eye, the A.C.T. Charity Helicopter event. Explain the uniqueness of that tournament?
That took place for the second year in a row in September at Fox Run and was the perfect event. More than $26,000 was raised for Assisting Children Today, which is an amazing local organization that benefits Vermont families who have children suffering from terminal illness.
For the players it was a fantastic day. Not only did they get to play golf at Fox Run with their friends and business associates but as each group made the turn after hole 9 they got a 9-minute helicopter ride giving players an amazing view of the golf course, Okemo Mountain, and the Village of Ludlow. At the end of the day the helicopter dropped thousands of golf balls onto a Fox Run green. Players “bought” the balls to support the cause as well.
What does the future look like at Fox Run?
Our staff is very proud of what we have accomplished in 2022 and excited by incredible plans of growth for 2023. The course is magnificent and the players are challenged and thrilled to play at Fox Run.
As we move forward, we are continuously looking at ways to improve the total Fox Run experience by utilizing the latest in technology and simple and old-fashioned quality customer service. The future at Fox Run Golf Club has never looked brighter.