Updated February 2024 to update booking information.
If you’re a fan of the Western U.S. and haven’t ever been to Montana, your experience isn’t complete. Not only is Montana one of the largest states in the Union, it’s one of the most diverse in terms of landscape. To that end, the sheer variety of places to see and outdoor activities to partake in is endless. It’s impossible to scratch the surface in a single trip.
I’ve spent some time in this vast land and I’ll be the first to tell you, I love it. While it might be hard to tolerate the harsh winters, spring, summer, and fall are heavenly.
And yes, there’s some outstanding golf to be played. Even though the Treasure State doesn’t have the number of courses of other states (it ranks 40th with 109), the quality isn’t to be denied.
Some of our readers reached out to share their thoughts as well. Together, we’ve compiled a list of the best public courses you can play in Big Sky Country.
Old Works Golf Course
For an unforgettable golfing experience in Montana, visit the Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda, constructed by Jack Nicklaus in 1994 on old mine tailings and structures, offering a unique and challenging layout.
This stunning course, designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, combines the natural beauty of rolling hills with the historic remnants of the mining industry, making it a must-visit for golf enthusiasts seeking a one-of-a-kind experience. The course’s design, also influenced by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, incorporates the black slag from the old smelter site into its bunkers, adding an intriguing and distinctive element to the game.
When you step onto the Old Works Golf Course, you’ll find yourself immersed in a challenging yet rewarding environment. The course demands precision and strategic play to navigate its unique layout effectively.
With its historic backdrop and strategic design, this course promises an affordable and memorable golfing experience, perfect for those seeking a blend of history and golfing mastery.
University of Montana Golf Course
Nestled in Missoula, the University of Montana Golf Course offers a unique nine-hole experience with its old-school design and challenging, well-preserved layout. This course is a gem, known for its character and the experience it provides.
Here’s why the University of Montana Golf Course stands out:
- Challenging Layout: The course’s small and undulating greens, along with its tree-lined fairways, make for a challenging round. The tricky-to-read greens add an extra layer of difficulty, making it an enjoyable test for golfers of all skill levels.
- Well-Maintained: Despite its old-school design, the University of Montana Golf Course is meticulously maintained. Golfers can expect a top-notch playing surface that enhances the overall experience.
The University of Montana Golf Course is a part of the best golf courses in Montana, providing a unique and challenging round for golf enthusiasts. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, this course is a must-visit.
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Big Sky Golf Course
Situated in the resort town of Big Sky and designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, the Big Sky Golf Course offers a challenging and luxurious golfing experience, making it a standout destination in Montana. At an elevation of over 6,500 feet, this course, designed by Coore and Ben Crenshaw, provides a unique and thrilling golfing adventure.
The layout takes full advantage of the scenic mountain landscape, offering panoramic views that are sure to captivate any golfer. The course’s design incorporates the natural surroundings, providing a harmonious blend of nature and golf. Its challenging elevation changes and well-maintained fairways and greens add to the allure of playing at such a high altitude.
Big Sky Golf Course is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts seeking a combination of natural beauty and a demanding, yet rewarding, golfing experience. So if you are someone looking for a memorable round of golf in a breathtaking setting, Big Sky Golf Course at the Wilderness Club is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Buffalo Hill Golf Course
Amidst the breathtaking landscapes of northern Montana near Flathead Lake, Buffalo Hill Golf Course beckons with its challenging yet enjoyable design and fabulous surroundings. As you stand on the tee box, you’ll notice the towering fir trees lining the fairways, providing a stunning backdrop for your game. The generous-sized greens, guarded by strategically placed bunkers, offer a fair challenge for golfers of all levels. When you tee off at Buffalo Hill, you’ll not only test your skills, but also enjoy a scenic experience surrounded by natural beauty.
- Challenging Design
- The course is renowned for its layout, which presents a fair challenge to golfers, while still being enjoyable for players of various skill levels.
- The undulating hills and cleverly placed hazards add an element of complexity to each round, requiring strategic shot-making to earn a good score.
Buffalo Hill Golf Course has earned recognition from Golf Digest and continues to attract golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable and challenging golfing experience. If you’re looking for a rewarding round of golf in a spectacular setting, Buffalo Hill is sure to deliver.
Mission Mountain Golf Club
With its stunning mountain views and invigorating layout, Mission Mountain Golf Club offers golfers an unforgettable experience in Ronan, Montana. The course, known as the Jewel of the Mission Valley, provides a breathtaking backdrop for a round of golf.
The layout allows for swinging away, but windy conditions can present a challenge, adding an element of difficulty to the game. Despite this, the club offers adequate amenities and friendly service to ensure an enjoyable visit.
If you’re looking for a golfing experience that combines natural beauty with a test of skill, Mission Mountain Golf Club is a must-visit course in Montana.
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Anaconda Hills Golf Course
Nestled in the community of Anaconda, the Anaconda Hills Golf Course offers a unique and ambitious golfing experience. Constructed by Jack Nicklaus in 1994, the course’s design creatively incorporates old mine tailings and structures, providing a one-of-a-kind layout that demands precision and strategy.
Here’s what you can expect at the Anaconda Hills Golf Course:
- Challenging Layout: The course’s layout presents a formidable challenge, requiring golfers to keep the ball in play to score well due to its demanding design. The unique incorporation of old mine features adds an extra layer of complexity, testing players’ abilities to navigate the course effectively.
- Views of the Surrounding Area: As you play through the course, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding Anaconda landscape, creating a picturesque backdrop for your golfing experience.
The Anaconda Hills Golf Course stands out as a must-visit destination for golfers seeking a distinct and exhilarating round of golf in Montana. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or an enthusiast looking for a memorable challenge, this course promises a truly special experience.
Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course
Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course beckons golfers with its stunning mountain views and offers a challenging and well-maintained golfing experience. Located in the very pleasant town of Red Lodge, Montana, this course is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts seeking a unique and memorable round of golf.
The course’s elevation changes provide an exciting and dynamic playing experience, adding an element of challenge that’s both invigorating and rewarding. Golfers can expect to encounter breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, creating a serene and secluded atmosphere that enhances the overall golfing experience.
Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course is renowned for its natural beauty and the luxurious setting it provides for golfers. The combination of the stunning landscape and the course’s well-maintained grounds makes it one of the premier courses you can play in Montana.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or someone who simply appreciates the beauty of the game, Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course offers an unforgettable golfing experience that perfectly encapsulates the captivating essence of Montana’s natural wonders.
Livingston Golf Course
Offering an impressive 18-hole layout, Livingston Golf Course provides golfers with an opportunity to test their skills against undulating fairways and small, fast greens. Here are some reasons why Livingston Golf Course is a must-visit in Montana:
- Designed by the renowned team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the course showcases their signature minimalistic and strategic approach to golf course architecture. Their design philosophy prioritizes the natural features of the land, resulting in a course that seamlessly blends with the breathtaking surroundings.
- The course offers stunning views of the Absaroka Mountains and Yellowstone River, creating a serene and captivating backdrop for a round of golf. This one-of-a-kind setting adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the golfing experience, making it a memorable outing for players of all levels.
Livingston Golf Course’s accessibility and affordability, combined with its challenging yet welcoming layout, make it a standout destination for golf enthusiasts in Montana. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer looking for a new challenge or a beginner seeking a welcoming atmosphere, this course has something to offer to golfers of all calibers.
The Wilderness Club
Tee off amidst stunning natural beauty and challenging terrain at The Wilderness Club in Eureka, Montana, designed by Nick Faldo. This exceptional golf course seamlessly integrates forested and open landscapes, offering a diverse and captivating playing experience. The Wilderness Club’s captivating water features and natural hazards provide both a visual spectacle and a test of skill, making it an ideal destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable round. Ranked 4th among public golf courses in Montana, this course is renowned for its combination of scenic beauty and challenging play.
The Wilderness Club offers a range of services to enhance your golfing experience. Their pro shop provides top-of-the-line equipment, ensuring you have everything you need for a successful game. Additionally, the club offers a comprehensive program of golf lessons and clinics, catering to players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, The Wilderness Club has the resources to help you improve your game. For golfers looking to elevate their experience, the Wilderness Club provides an array of services that cater to your needs.
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The Ranch Club
Placed in the mesmerizing landscapes of Big Sky, Montana, The Ranch Club offers a luxurious and exclusive golfing experience with breathtaking mountain views, creating a seamless transition from the captivating natural beauty of The Wilderness Club.
Here’s what sets The Ranch Club apart:
- Designed by Tom Weiskopf: Renowned for its challenging and well-maintained course, The Ranch Club provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, adding an extra layer of awe to your golfing experience.
- The course’s design means you’ll encounter a combination of forested and open terrain, along with beautiful water features and natural hazards, ensuring a dynamic and engaging round of golf.
The Ranch Club is a standout destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a serene and secluded golfing experience. This U.S. LLC stands as a top choice for those who desire a high-end golfing experience, offering a private and exclusive setting that elevates the game.
Whether you’re navigating the course’s unique challenges or simply taking in the breathtaking mountain views, The Ranch Club is sure to leave a lasting impression.
I get goosebumps just writing about golf in Montana. It’s a land so vast and rich with rugged adventure, words have a hard time doing it justice.
There’s no doubt that you’ll have to do some traveling to play the best public tracks in this state. I’m here to tell you, however, it’s more than worth the effort.
Our readers seem to agree too. And it’s thanks to them that this article was made possible. Per usual, I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed. If so, please leave us a note in the comments.