Montana's Longest Drive

“Hunting for My Tee Shots” at Judith Shadows

Just outside Lewistown, Montana sits an 18-hole course in its early adolescence called Judith Shadows Golf Course.

With tall fescue roughs and undulating greens, Judith Shadows can bear its teeth if you aren’t hitting the ball in the right spots. A wayward tee shot or two and you will be hunting for your golf ball with little hope of finding it in British Open type fescue.

My playing partner and golf ball hunting partner for yesterday morning’s round just happened to have the course record at Judith Shadows and after the first few holes I could see why. Lewistown’s Keithon Walters found fairway after fairway during our trip around the links at Judith Shadows, while I did not.

One of the most gorgeous views of my trip so far was on the par 4 fourth hole at Judith Shadows. A 390-yard hole requiring the golfer to lay up with a long iron or hybrid before taking aim at a difficult to hold island green. The fourth hole is not only spectacularly beautiful with Western Meadowlarks landing on the cattails surrounding the island but also the most difficult hole on the golf course.

Another hole requiring a precise tee shot is the par 3 13th hole that plays 160 at it’s longest. With water short and to the right of the green the only miss is to the left and long on this dangerously short hole. As we walked around the water and towards the hole I was again stunned by the beauty of this golf course and scenic Lewistown area.

In this area, Jeff and Maria Whitcraft decided to build a golf course twenty years ago that features genuine Montana hazards like untreated rough and natural water features that complement the backdrop of the region.

The finishing hole at Judith Shadows is an uphill par 5 that requires the tee shot to carry over a small creek running across the fairway some 250-yards from the tee box. The second shot presents the opportunity to finish the round with a birdie or better if your long iron can be precise and find the small green that sits underneath the eye of the Judith Shadows Golf Course clubhouse.

My trip around the 18-hole Judith Shadows Golf Course in Lewistown, Montana was an enjoyable one despite the golf balls claimed by the long fescue. One thing the round at Judith Shadows confirmed was that I will never be a betting favorite in the British Open.

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