After a long drive up the western side of the state, I pulled into the parking lot at Indian Springs Ranch in Eureka, Montana. Five hours in the car left me eager to get out on this links style course in the late afternoon.
Tall fescue rough and green fairways abound on this links style golf course in northwest corner of the state. At 6,677 yards, this tight golf course offers up a great challenge to anyone who ventures out to play it.
Opening with a 410-yard par 4, Indian Springs Ranch has a narrow fairway with mounds along the right of the rough and fescue lining the second cut on this hole that slightly turns to the left and plays uphill to a green that is two tiered and slopes back-to-front.
Making my way around this challenging course, one of the best views was from the par 3 6th hole that sits high on the hillside and requires a long tee shot to cover the gully that runs between the tees and the green. A deep sand trap sits in front of this undulating green and anything short of the bunker will be lost to the gully.
The scariest moment of my trip was walking to the par 3 8th hole from the 7th green. Walking down the cart path I took a slight shortcut through a small patch of fescue and onto the 8th tee when I felt something under my foot. The “Fight or Flight” response kicked in as I high-stepped my way out of the tall grass and onto the tee. I tried to scream but like in a nightmare when you try to cry out and can’t muster a sound, I was even too frightened to make a noise when I looked down and saw the snake at my feet.
Standing on the 8th tee after my encounter with the snake, I had to take a moment to catch my breath. Panting and winded, I quickly took an inventory and reassured myself that I was in fact, okay. Amazingly I hadn’t messed my shorts when I was almost scared s@#$-less by the snake.
Calming my nerves, it must have been the adrenaline coursing through my veins that helped me stick an iron close to the downhill 182-yard 8th hole that has a pond to the left and a green that slopes from front-to-back and from right-to-left and make a very memorable birdie.
My favorite hole at Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course was the par 4 14th hole that plays uphill for the duration. Playing 355-yards from the tips, a cross bunker sits in the middle of the fairway at 235-yards and another fairway bunker anchors the right side. A small creek runs the length of the right of the hole and the elevated green sits protected with a bunker in the front left.
After my round I visited with Indian Springs Ranch’s Head Golf Professional Mark Fenech. We talked about our favorite holes, some of the challenges around this track, and how tight of a links style course this one can play like.
If you want to be tested by gorgeous links course in northwest Montana, make your way up to Eureka and play Indian Springs Ranch. Just watch out for the snakes.
Thanks to Mark Fenech and the staff at Indian Springs Ranch for a wonderful afternoon of golf in Eureka.