Montana's Longest Drive

“Resilient After the Storm” at Pine Ridge Golf Course

I was lucky I wasn’t in Roundup last week. Last Thursday a hailstorm of epic proportions hit the central Montana town doing millions of dollars in damage to vehicles, homes, and even the golf course.

The storm was all anyone could talk about in Grand Bar where I grabbed lunch. People were answering calls from insurance companies, asking about adjusters and when they would see them next, and telling stories of how big of hailstones they found in their yards after the storm.

Driving through Roundup on my way to Pine Ridge Golf Course, I wasn’t sure what shape the golf course would be in after suffering such a beating last Thursday. Cars had broken windows and windshields, deep pock marks could be seen on the hoods and fenders of every car in town, and broken windows sat in the panes of nearly every home. However, the course was in great shape considering what I was expecting.

As my playing partner, Tannar Cummings, who is originally from Belt but teaches and coaches in Roundup, made our way down the fairways I was amazed at the shape the greens were in. Talking with the course owner later in the day, I was told the grounds crew had recently punched and sanded the greens in hopes of saving them. It worked.

The opening hole at Pine Ridge is a slight dogleg left with out-of-bounds left and trees down past the landing area of the fairway on right. An elevated green sits with on top of a hill that is slightly protected by a lone tree that juts out some thirty yards short of the green from the right hand rough.

The 4th hole is a dogleg right par 5 that plays 430-yards and has out-of-bounds on the left. The rolling hill is a prime target for your drive and if the tee shot is hit well enough a mid-iron into the elevated green can set up a tremendous opportunity for an eagle or birdie.

The most interesting hole on the course at Pine Ridge is the 9th. This par 4 plays about 340-yards but has a hazard running down the left side of the fairway that cuts across about 100-yards in front of the green. A blind tee shot, this fairway suits a slight draw and will give golfers a mid-iron in to a slightly elevated green that can be seen from the clubhouse deck.

What the crew at Roundup’s Pine Ridge Golf Course did in the last week is nothing short of amazing. If you hadn’t been told that a hailstorm had blown through town last Thursday, you would never have known by the shape the course was in.

Roundup is resilient just like the greens at Pine Ridge Golf Course. It says a lot about a community and a golf course to take a couple of hard blows like a doozy of a hailstorm will dish out and you keep on rolling along.

It says a lot to be picking up lemon sized hailstones in the your yard one day and be playing golf so shortly after.

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