A spectacular mountain range emerges from the rolling hills of northern Sweetgrass County and scrapes the deep blue sky with its snow-covered peaks called the Crazy Mountains. The town with one of the best views of these mountains is Big Timber, Montana the home to the nine-hole Overland Golf Course.
With the Crazy Mountains as a backdrop, the clubhouse at Overland overlooks a small valley that houses the golf course. Small creeks rush the length of most fairways and ponds of all sizes dot the acreage.
My guides and hosts while in Big Timber were the Campbell family. Dan, Sheri, Taryn, Tanna, and I ventured our way out along their home course for my maiden voyage around Overland.
I’ve known the Campbells for some time now as Taryn and I were teammates at Montana Tech for my final two seasons of college golf. I even caddied for Taryn at the Montana State Women’s Amateur two years back when it was at Green Meadow Country Club in Helena. I’m still not sure how one golf bag could be so damn heavy. I remember around the 13th or 14th hole while looping for Taryn, I started unzipping all the pockets and digging through her bag looking for the bricks I was sure she had hidden in there. I never found any bricks, but I did find every essential item you would need if you were deserted on some sort of desert island or frozen tundra.
The 1st hole at Overland is a 516-yard par 5, that doglegs slightly right from an elevated tee above the valley floor. A large and inviting fairway gives way to a small pond on the right of the fairway 50-yards short of the green past some trees that jut out into the right fairway. A creek runs across the fairway from the pond the width of the fairway. The large back-to-front sloping green has a pair of bunkers in front that protect it.
The water at Overland is a consistent theme. Smart shots are rewarded while throwing caution to the wind, in windy Big Timber, will leave you scrounging for golf balls in the bottom of your golf bag. By my count eight of the nine holes at Overland feature some sort of creek or pond that you absolutely must avoid.
The 7th hole at Overland provides a spectacular view of the Crazies as you take aim at the undulating green. With the mountains touching the highest of clouds in the distance, the 211-yard par 3 is protected not only by the deep bunker right of the green but also by another creek running across the fairway just short of the putting surface. If you find the green you’ve got to be wary of the tremendously large crown in the middle of the green that will seem to affect every putt no matter the length.
The closing hole at Overland is the par 5 9th hole that books at 524-yards and back up toward the clubhouse. A large pond along the right is carry-able for the long hitter if they take the correct line but hitting it too far right or left can result in a high number as the creek runs down the left rough. An elevated green sits on the hill underneath the eye of the clubhouse deck and is protected by the creek to the short left.
As the Campbells and I finished our round at Overland Golf Course, and I was relieved to have lost only one golf ball on this creek and pond filled track. Standing by the clubhouse and overlooking Overland Golf Course with the Campbells, I was enthralled by this gorgeous and challenging nine-hole golf course.
It might have been my first time playing Overland, but it most certainly won’t be my last.