The 16th hole at the Missoula Country Club is a historic place for golf in Montana. A white sign with green lettering hangs on a tree behind the green and reads:
Was Constructed in 1931
It Is The First Grass Green
In The State Of Montana
This historic and wonderful golf course is a tight track lined by countless trees that drape over the fairway and can block out shots into greens if you’re not on the correct side of the fairway. It’s a challenging test of shot making at such a wonderful course.
My host for my round at the Missoula Country Club was my friend Bryan Porch who I’ve known from refereeing basketball all around the state. Porchy, as he’s called, is as fun as it gets. Originally from Florence, he’s a fast talker full of jokes and one-liners. Joining us for the round of golf was Bryan’s older brother Robby who I played golf with in Hamilton.
The 362-yard 1st hole at the Missoula Country Club is a perfect example of the type of golf you’ll be playing at the MCC. A straightforward par 4 lined by trees on both sides of the rough your tee shot has to be far enough back and favor the right side to be able to dodge the limbs on a tall deciduous tree that hangs over the left-hand side of the fairway the runs up to a green protected by a bunker on the right and one behind the back-to-front sloping green.
Robby joked, “I’m just here so the conversation isn’t completely one-sided,” after Bryan had made a great up-and-down and congratulated himself before we had the chance. “But it doesn’t look like I’m going to be much good.”
Playing with these two brothers was as much fun as you could imagine. Listening to them tell different versions of the same stories throughout the round had me laughing all afternoon.
The 10th hole is a 468-yard par 5 that runs down between banks of trees toward a gorgeous pond with a rock wall in front of the green. A bunker on the side of the fairway completely wraps its way around a tall ponderosa pine tree ready to make shots into this well protected green even more difficult. An undulating and elevated green the 10th can be a challenging place to make birdie depending on the position of the pin.
With Bryan and Robby providing the humor as made our way through the back nine at the Missoula Country Club, we found ourselves at the gorgeous 17th hole. From an elevated tee this 150-yard hole has water to the right and left and a set of bunkers protecting it as well. Playing a club shorter than the scorecard would recommend, this is an excellent par 3 that demands precision.
The closing hole at the Missoula Country Club is a 502-yard par 5 that heads back up the hill toward the clubhouse. With trees lining the left of the fairway and a pair of bunkers on the right the real danger on this hole is the out-of-bounds on the right of the rough all along this hole. Reachable in two, the green on this hole is protected by a trio of bunkers in the front left, the right, and behind the putting surface.
As the three of us finished our round and the two Porchs and I walked off the green, I had the last laugh. I said, “After playing golf with both of you guys, I’m pretty sure I know who my favorite Porch is… It’s Brad.”
We were rolling with laughter once again as we decided on dinner plans and headed downtown to the Mo Club to get a Mo Burger and a beer to complete a “real Missoula experience” as Bryan called it. Inside The Missoula Club the three of us looked up at the walls adorned by all the team pictures and action shots of great teams and players from Montana.
Eating my Mo Burger and having a cold one with the Porch brothers talking about my golfing plans all around Missoula, I figured I had had a pretty great day of golf.
It isn’t every day you get to play the first grass green in Montana and then reminisce about it with a Mo Burger and a cold one.
Thanks to the Missoula Country Club and to the Porch brothers for a fantastic day in Missoula playing golf