Montana's Longest Drive

“One of my Favorite Nines” at Anaconda Country Club

Just east of Anaconda sits a small town called Opportunity that his home to the Anaconda Country Club. A white building perfect for wedding receptions sits behind a white picket fence and is shaded by some tall cottonwoods that were in full bloom when I walked toward the clubhouse.

It was in the Anaconda Country Club clubhouse that I met up with my playing partners for my nine-hole round at the ACC, reigning Montana State Amateur Champion Caleb Stetzner, and Jackson Wagner. Both accomplished golfers throughout their careers Wagner and Stetzner both won State Championships for the Copperheads while in high school. Also, in the clubhouse of the ACC was Head Golf Professional, and all around wonderful guy, Mark Torney who sent us out to the first tee after we had BS-ed for long enough.

The ACC is a perfect little nine-hole course that plays at 3020 yards from the white tees and makes its way across a rushing creek a few times and through an outcropping of cottonwoods as well. With cotton flying in the air, Caleb, Jackson, and I teed off on the 1st hole of the Anaconda Country Club.

A straightforward 367-yard par 4 with bushes left and out of bounds right, the perfect shot is anything that stays in the fairway and gives the golfer a wedge into this crowned green. A bush in the middle of the fairway 100-yards from the green can cause problems if your tee shot isn’t far enough back of it.

Caleb, who is going to be a junior playing golf for MSUB in the fall, tends bar and works in the clubhouse at the Anaconda Country Club in the summers while Jackson just graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Journalism and is headed to Oregon for work as the summer wraps.

These two former Copperheads showed me all of the intricacies of the wonderful Anaconda Country Club as we played. With small greens that putt extremely true the ACC provides so many birdie opportunities while large numbers lurk around corners thanks to the high number of cottonwoods that line the roughs.

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th holes at the ACC all play about 378-yards from the white tees. The 3rd is a dogleg right, the 4th is a straightforward par 4 with long rough on both sides of the fairway, and the 5th is another straightforward par 4 with a back-to-front sloping green.

It isn’t a surprise why Anaconda has produced such good golfers with a course like this. The ACC rewards good shots and can penalize the big miss. The picture-perfect greens probably don’t hurt the case either.

After playing the short but challenging 140-yard 8th hole that crosses the creek to a crowned and elevated green offering the player little room for error on their tee shot, the three of us came to the 369-yard 9th hole that doglegs left and goes over the creek. The perfect line is directly over the top of this large tree that sits in front of the fairway 180-yards from the tee box. Taking this line prevents the player from being blocked out by the large cottonwoods on the edge of the opening on the left of this slightly larger than average back-to-front sloping green.

After the round, Caleb, Jackson, and I, made our way back into the ACC clubhouse who tally up our scores and retell some tales of our loop to Mark.

There aren’t many places like the Anaconda Country Club in Opportunity, Montana, and there aren’t many places you’ll find better people than inside that white clubhouse shaded by the cottonwood trees.

Thanks to PGA Professional Mark Torney and the ACC for great hospitality and a great round at their beautiful course.

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