The small world of golf in Montana got even smaller when I got a phone call from the Head Golf Pro at Yegen Golf Club in late April. As soon as I heard the name Jared Strickland I was instantly transported some six years back in time to the Butte Country Club.
My freshman season at Montana Tech my first college tournament was at the Butte Country Club. Intimidated was an understatement as I stood on the 6th tee and introduced myself to the other college golfers I would be playing with. One of the golfers playing for Rocky Mountain College was Jared Strickland.
He was a senior and I was a freshman, but he was kind and friendly as I navigated my first college tournament. We walked and talked about what I could expect from college golf and many other things.
So, it was a neat thing to have Jared invite me to play Yegen along my trip. He set me up with a couple of playing partners and a morning tee time at Yegen for Saturday.
I’ve always enjoyed playing Yegen. A par 71 course in the heart of Billings, Yegen can cater to any type of player. Playing at 6,600 yards from the tips and 5,000 yards from the forward tees it can present a challenge to anyone with a set of clubs. Narrow fairways and fast greens make Yegen a great place to get a round in.
Walking along with the twosome Jared had paired me up with, I remembered why I love this golf course so much. For myself, it’s a course you hit a lot of drivers and wedges at hoping you’ll shoot a low number.
The 4th hole at Yegen is a dogleg left par 5 with mounds on both sides of the fairway and a wall of tall trees on the left. Playing at 528-yards it can be reachable in two if your drive is in the fairway or has a clear shot from the rough on the right. The elevated green is protected by a bunker in the front left and slopes back-to-front.
The 308-yard 14th hole is a drive-able par 4 that requires a tee shot that can carry the large pond on the left of the fairway while also not finding the pond to the right of the green. This dogleg left hole is protected by a bunker on each side of the green and can easily give golfers an easy birdie with a good tee shot but also can undo a round with a poor first shot.
The second to last hole at Yegen is the long and challenging 194-yard par 3 17th. Almost always playing into the wind this tee shot must clear a large pond that juts out in front of the green with the danger of O.B. on the left of the hole. Always playing a club or two longer than anticipated, this hole is one where walking away with a par is victory.
Yegen Golf Club in Billings is a great golf course. With challenging risk-reward golf holes and many opportunities for birdies it’s a real fun one to play.
Just make sure when you’re there to say hello to Jared Strickland for me. That will make the small world of golf in Montana even smaller.
Thank you to Jared Strickland and the staff at Yegen Golf Club for a great day of golf in Billings and wonderful hospitality.