Montana's Longest Drive

“Not the First Time I’ve Been Called Crazy” at Highland View Golf Course

A friend of mine texted me as I was making the turn at Highland View Golf Course. The text read, “I just thought, who in the hell would be crazy enough to be golfing in this weather!?? Oh wait, it’s Sean, HAHA.”

I’m sure she wasn’t the only one driving by this nine-hole regulation course and nine-hole par 3 course on Monday in Butte thinking about the crazy guy out there playing golf. In fact, I wondered it myself as I trudged my way through puddles and as heavy rain pelted the whole Mining City.

I showed up at Highland View unsure of if I’d find it opened or closed. Inside the pro shop I found a girl working behind the counter who really questioned if I was going to go out and play in this as I paid my greens fee and collected a scorecard.

She gazed out the door as I walked across the ninth fairway and onto the 1st tee where my feet sank into the saturated grass as I placed my tee into the turf. On the 352-yard hole, I pulled back and swung as best as the multiple layers I was wearing would allow and hit my drive down the center of the fairway. I watched it against the hazy skyline that was preventing all of Butte from seeing the bordering mountain ranges and saw my ball come to a splashing halt in one of the thousands of puddles dotting the course. It was a large splash followed by a series of smaller splashes, much like when you go skipping rocks as a kid.

The Butte Muni was a little bit wet that day as I trudged along ever thankful for the recently purchased new rain jacket that was so desperately needed. My old rain gear had me thinking that after deflecting 10,000 gallons of rainwater over the last couple of months, it became instantaneously permeable like a car you drive just past the warranty mileage and then the transmission goes out.

The Muni is a straightforward course with not a dogleg in sight. The holes are back and forth and feature greens that crown from the center out offering challenging putts if your wedge or iron game isn’t sharp.

Where you would go to tune up that iron and wedge game would be the par 3 side of the course. A 1,480-yard layout that features just one hole over 200-yards, this is a perfect place to work on your short game. With receptive greens and a variety of different yardages this nine-hole course is a wonderful little par 3 course in the center of town.

The toughest test on the par 3 course is the 1st hole, a 225-yard starting hole that will quickly remind you that par 3 courses are never as easy as you think. Slightly turning right-to-left this large green is difficult to find with a long iron and usually leaves any player bringing a wedge with them to start the nine.

The shortest of holes at Highland View Par 3 is the 125-yard 9th hole. A short finishing hole, with a back-to-front sloping green, this is a golfer’s last chance at sticking one close and knocking in a birdie putt.

As I settled for par on this last hole, I walked back toward my car and the clubhouse and locked eyes with the girl in the Pro Shop through the window. Her expression seemed to ask, “He must be some kind of a nut to play golf in this?”

If only she knew that she wasn’t the first person to call me crazy today.

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