My last course to play in Bozeman would have to wait a little longer.
In the early morning a thick layer of frost blanketed Bridger Creek Golf Course and the rest of the Gallatin Valley. The temperature on the display in my car read somewhere in the low-30s as I made my way across town to meet up with an old buddy of mine.
I first met Lane Seymour at a high school golf tournament in Fort Benton. Lane was just a freshman then for Chinook High School and I was a senior at Great Falls Central when we were paired to play golf together. Lane’s dad, Mike was the golf coach at Chinook and was our marker for our group that day.
Fast forward to the other day when I met back up with Lane, who will graduate next spring from MSU, in the Pro Shop at Bridger Creek and we waited out the frost delay telling old stories of high school golf tournaments. We talked about the old rivalries we had with different golfers around the state and the different courses we played back in the day.
It didn’t seem like that much time had passed since we’d teed it up together as we made our way to the first hole at Bridger Creek about an hour after our original tee time was set for. Our twosome was paired up with another twosome of young guys named Fritz and Ryan.
In the chilly air of an early morning, Lane, Fritz, Ryan, and myself navigated our way around Bridger Creek as the first golfers of the day. Playing hastily to get out of the way of the soon to begin senior men’s league we walked and talked about all things golf and Bozeman throughout the round.
The 1st hole at Bridger Creek is a tricky start to a course with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. A 429-yard par 4, the 1st is a dogleg left par 4 with water all along the right side and high cottonwoods that prevent you from attacking an undulating green if your tee shot is too far to the right.
When I say undulating greens at Bridger Creek Golf Course, I mean these greens have character. Large mounds dot a majority of the putting surfaces and hard sloping ridges create dangerous putts and chips throughout the round. One of the greens with the most undulation is the par 4, 4th hole. This 175-yard hole features a tremendously two-tiered green with a mountainous right side that is hard to find off the tee shot if the pin is up there.
On the back nine Bridger Creek features a number of spectacular view on the first few holes. One of the best views is from the green of the par 4, 12th hole that doglegs slightly left toward an elevated green protected by a bunker on the left. From this green and the next tee you can see the whole Gallatin Valley.
With all the water and treacherous greens on Bridger Creek, the course can play much tougher than the par 71 listed on the scored. But this golf course is a very fun and challenging test of anyone’s game.
As Lane, Ryan, Fritz, and I finished our round and headed up the hill toward the clubhouse, I had to promise Lane it wouldn’t be another couple of years before we teed it up again. It’s always great catching up but being caught up with an old buddy is even better.
Thanks to Mark Holiday and the staff at Bridger Creek for the hospitality while I played Bridger Creek for the first time