Driving into White Sulphur Springs, Montana there’s a large sign that reads GOLF W.S.S. along the highway near the entrance to Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course. After seeing the sign, I pulled into the parking lot to play my first round in White Sulphur.
Walking up the stairs and onto the deck overlooking the course, I slung my golf bag off my shoulder and walked through the screen door and into the quant little clubhouse. Greeting me inside was a lovely woman named JoAnn who volunteers at the course one day a week.
It was JoAnn who explained to me that the course operates because of the volunteers in the community who pick up the slack. A small operation, Arrowhead Meadows has three paid employees. One to run the shop and the other two on the grounds crew in the summer, with the rest of the community helping as much as they can.
After visiting with JoAnn and getting some tips on where to eat dinner later that night, I headed out to the tee. With a strong wind out of the west, I immediately faced a dangerous tee shot on the 1st hole with out of bounds on the left of this 375-yard uphill par 4. Slowly doglegging to the left, this hole has an elevated green that can be difficult to hold with an iron shot that has to fight the wind while in the air.
Making my way across the open course at Arrowhead Meadows, I was continually playing holes into the wind and then turning around to play the next hole with the wind at my back. The wind definitely added to the difficulty of this course but also helped to shorten some of the shots into greens on the wind-aided holes.
One of my favorite holes at Arrowhead Meadows was the par 4 5th hole. This short hole is drive-able even into the wind and plays less than 300-yards to an elevated green. A large fairway bunker protects the left side of the fairway and can catch balls destined to roll up near the green if they stray too far to the side.
With the wind whipping across the course and not too many other golfers on the links during the middle of the day, I finished my round on the par 4 9th hole that plays 450-yards or so back toward the clubhouse. Out of bounds lingers on the left of the fairway and trees line the right so the tee shot can be tricky. This undulating green on the 9th features some small mounds that makes hitting the green in the center important as to not bounce the ball off in a wild direction if you miss left or right.
After the round, I decided to head into town a little further and stopped in at 2 Basset Brewery on Main Street. Owned and operated by the Hedrick Family, I had to stop in and sample a craft beer or two. Barry Hedrick was the football coach of the White Sulphur Springs Hornets for many years and coached in an All-Star Football Game I played in back in the day.
So, you’d have to say I was surprised to see my friend Cy’s mother Debbie Williams tending bar at 2 Bassett Brewery. It worked out perfectly as I was planning on staying the night with the Williams later that evening. As I had some great craft beer in a beautiful little brewery and recovered from the harsh wind I had been playing golf in all day, I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon in White Sulphur Springs.
Sometimes you just need a sign, and I’m glad White Sulphur Springs has got one.