On a recent road trip to Montana I had a chance to play one of the good ones with my three golf buddies — Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda.
Old Works is a Jack Nicklaus designed course built in the mid-1990s on a superfund clean-up site originally owned and operated by Marcus Daly, a world famous mining magnate and local resident of the Butte-Anaconda area. In the 1800s, this site produced 3,000 tons of ore daily from the Butte mines, making it the country’s largest smelting operation until the early 1900s, when the site was shut down.
The location lay idle until 1983, when it became a superfund clean-up site. In 1989, the citizens of Anaconda formed a group to develop the area into a world class golf facility.
From the tips, Old Works plays 7,700 yards. Even from the mid tee blocks, this is a long golf course for the average player. The first thing you notice at the practice area is all the bunkers are filled with black sand. It’s a bit visually disorienting.
When hitting out of one (which I experienced first hand three separate times in our round), it’s even more of a visual adjustment. But it’s cool! At right is a shot of two of us in a greenside bunker on the front nine.
The citizens of Anaconda got it right. Old Works is a world class golf course by the Golden Bear (his logo is everywhere) and managed by Troon, a well respected golf management company that excels in high level service, site beauty and impeccable conditions.
I have to say thanks to Bruce and Don for their last-minute commitment to the betterment of golf/road trips anywhere at the last minute. A special thanks to Chris for being our gracious local host. Chris has course knowledge, edging humor (he’s a funny guy!) and plays a good game of stick.
If you’re a player that likes to know ‘where the good ones are,’ put Old Works on your list and take your pals to play a challenging, but fun golf track. You will likely end your day at the 19th hole (known as Jack’s) discussing favorite holes and debating whose birdie on 17 or 18 was more difficult. Old Works is one of the good ones. Let’s play it again.
See you on the first tee.