There are few places in central Montana that I revere like Meadow Lark Country Club. It’s more than a golf course that winds its way through a gorgeous stretch of land along the mighty Missouri River.
I never had the opportunity to play Meadow Lark Country Club until I was fifteen years old and I still remember that day very vividly. I remember it because growing up as a muni-rat had taught me that playing “The Club” was a special opportunity. It was an opportunity to play a course that was a golfer’s golf course. One without blemish, or unraked bunker, or unfixed divot.
Today, I arrived at Meadow Lark Country Club on an overcast day, but the weather didn’t matter. It was another opportunity to play “The Club”.
I was fortunate enough to tee it up with my buddy Taylor Kuntz. Taylor is about two years younger than myself and played golf in high school for CMR before playing for the University of Great Falls which later became the University of Providence.
Playing golf with Taylor Kuntz is an experience. He’s an undersized guy to say the least, weighing in at a generous 145lbs and standing about 5-foot-8, but he hits the ball as far as anyone around.
It’s a give-it-all-you’ve-got kind of swing that Kuntz uses to move the ball around Meadow Lark Country Club. His swing was honed on many loops around Eagle Falls Golf Club where he and I both learned how to play.
As we walked and talked and sipped our beers on a beautiful Thursday afternoon in Great Falls, we talked about how great a track Meadow Lark is.
For Taylor his favorite hole is the par-3 4th hole that plays about 150 yards over a pond with a fountain. For myself, my favorite must be the par-5 3rd hole that offers the ultimate risk reward. A strong tee shot past a fairway bunker leaves the golfer with the opportunity to lay up to a flip wedge, or to hit a hybrid or long iron into an undulating green with water on it’s right and bunkers on it’s left.
And whenever I get ready to play my second on the third hole at Meadow Lark I remember the words of my friend and Country Club member Chad Eskro, “Kid, we didn’t come here to see you lay up.”
The thing that keeps everyone coming back to Meadow Lark are the greens. They are undulating, intimidating, and lightning quick.
In the heat of summer, the greens at “The Club” are absolute perfection. The type of fast paced perfection that demands respects on uphill puts so that they don’t quickly become the knee-knocking downhill kind.
After our round, and after I lost my first golf ball of this long journey on the 18th hole because my dependable draw decided to disappear, and I sent my ball somewhere into the mighty Missouri River, we sat on the porch and laughed about our round.
We enjoyed live music and some cold brews as we sat around a warm fire and talked about or day. And I couldn’t help but think, there aren’t many better places than Meadow Lark Country Club.
And I still relish any opportunity to play this great golf course.
A sincere thank you to Meadow Lark Country Club’s Head Golf Professional Dudley Beard and the rest of the staff for the great hospitality and helping Montana’s Longest Drive.
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