Golf in the State of Montana
Montana, also known by various nicknames including Big Sky Country, The Last Best Place, Land of the Shining Mountains, and The Treasure State, is characterized by phenomenal scenery, due to its numerous mountain ranges, badlands and prairie terrain. It is surrounded by Idaho, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Although sparsely populated, a surprising number of residents are avid golfers, and when combined with a strong tourist industry bringing millions of tourists to the region each year, the golf industry is alive and well.
The state has 107 golf courses including 10 in Billings, 9 in Missoula, 7 in Kalispell, 6 in Bozeman, 5 in Helena, 4 in Great Falls and 3 in Butte. Meadow Lake Golf Course, Columbia Falls, close to Whitefish, is a “must play” Montana course. Ponderosa Butte Golf Course, Colstrip, calls itself “the most challenging 9-hole course in Montana.” Designed by Arnold Palmer, the Big Sky Golf Course, Big Sky, offers “longer drives and spectacular views.” Overland Golf Course, Big Timber, boasts “beautiful views and plenty of wildlife.”
Edean Anderson Ihlanfeldt, born in Helena, later moved to Corvallis, Oregon to attend University. She was a successful amateur golfer and founded the University of Washington’s women's golf team. Bob Betley, born in Butte, had a long drive and saw much success on the Senior PGA Tour. Mike Grob, from Billings, is the all-time money leader on the Canadian Tour. Alice Ritzman, born in Kalispell, has 5 career holes-in-one and is a golf commentator for ESPN.