MISSOULA – Sean Ryan has been on a mission to play every golf course in Montana this summer. He’s now made it to Missoula and is closing in on the end of his summer goal. Ryan has driven 5,500 miles, walked over 370 miles and has made 118 birdies over the past 55 days.
“The legs have taken a little bit of a beating. The calves are a little tight and everything,”admits Ryan.
He’s about three-quarters of the way through his summer project, and Thursday he played his 75th course, The Ranch Club.
“I really enjoyed The Ranch Club and kind of the set up and great tee shots that it offers. There’s been some fantastic courses that I’ve played on this trip, and really exclusive ones that I’ve been able to get on, and those have been wonderful,” said Ryan.
However, he says some of the greatest places he’s played haven’t necessarily been the nicest.
“Some of the best gems aren’t too hidden in the state of Montana,” he said. “I actually played a golf course on the Smith River mid-way through this trip that took me 90 miles on dirt roads to get to, and have to move some cattle and get through some cattle guards and things to get to, and that one was a fun one to play, very scenic. And then getting out of there was a little hairy.”
It hasn’t been all that easy either. While Ryan says walking the course gives him a greater appreciation for it, he’s run into some challenges.
“The longest walk so far has been Moonlight Basin,” he said. “It’s a 10.6 mile walk I figured out. 12-hundred feet of elevation change up in Big Sky, so I was definitely tired after that one, and pretty sure I smelled like Icy Hot for the next couple days.”
Ryan will be finishing up in Missoula on July 8 before taking aim at the last 29 courses in the state.