Getting to know … Steve Sarro |

Getting to know … Steve Sarro

Sarah L. Stewart
Preston UtleyAs superintendent of the Vail Golf Club, Steve Sarro faces the challenge of keeping the course in good shape through the High Country winter.

It’s probably fair to say that most valley residents are ready to say goodbye to the snow for the season, but perhaps none more than Steve Sarro.

As superintendent of Vail Golf Club, it’s Sarro’s job to make sure the course is in top shape before patrons tee up. That’s not an easy job at a mile and a half above sea level, where the greens disappear for half the year beneath the snow. But for Sarro, who grew up in the Boston area and spent five years at a golf course in Colorado Springs before coming to Vail two years ago, the challenge keeps things interesting.

When he’s not tending the course or, during the snowy months, grooming the Nordic track, Sarro has been known to spend his time helping other golf superintendents who have more serious problems to deal with than a High Country winter. Last year, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame named him Colorado Golf Person of the Year for his work repairing courses damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Really what it does, it just pushed everything back. … The grass is a little bit slower, and everything gets delayed. … It’s just taken a lot longer to get to certain areas.

Colorado Springs was pretty different. … (During the winter) you can do stuff on the golf course. … There’s none of that here in Vail. Once the snow starts to fall, that’s pretty much it. Our time is very limited on doing bigger projects, like pruning the trees, doing asphalt work and building tee boxes. We cram it in here.

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It’s pretty different from most superintendents. We groom the Nordic track every day, which takes about four to five hours each day. We run the snowmobile out to groom the snowshoe course. So we stay pretty busy with that, and just working on getting ready for the next season ” sharpening blades, getting equipment ready and researching products for the next year. … We try to get up on the mountain, too.

Not as much as I’d like to, though I am getting more golf in. I have four rounds in already this year, and we’re not even open yet, so that’s a good sign. … It really is part of the job, to get out there and see how the course is playing.

I’ve got a lot of goals here at the golf course. There’s a lot of projects here we’re hoping to do ” a new irrigation system, retaining walls, a new clubhouse. It’s a very exciting time to be here at the golf course.

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