BIG SKY — At The Reserve Golf Course at Moonlight Basin on July 6, Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau will be taking on Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in 'The Match'.
“It’s a Jack Nicklaus golf course that we opened in 2015, but a pretty special golf course, pretty special experience,” said Moonlight Basin general manager Mike Wilcynski. “(It’s) about 8,000 yards from the tips, about nine miles of cart path, several thousand vertical feet through the entire golf experience. If you walked or navigated all the cart paths you go up by about 4,000 vertical feet -- pretty spread out.”
Wilcynski isn’t kidding when he says players can get lost in the beauty that surrounds The Reserve.
“Some people don’t even recognize you’re playing golf, they’re kind of in the middle of the wilderness experience here,” he said. “We have this cool little corridor right in between the mountain peaks, Lone Peak, Fan Mountain, Cedar and the Spanish Peaks, Tobacco Roots down in the valley -- all these all-encompassing views and I think that’s something that resonates with our members and the guests who have the opportunity to play it.”
A hole that stands out is what will be hole No. 8 for the event. It’s a whopping 777-yard par-5.
“It’s actually reachable in two,” Wilcynski said. “Hard to really say if that’s the most difficult (hole). I’m not really sure if I know what the most difficult hole is here. Each hole has its own unique set of teeth.”
Moonlight Basin was able to solidify the plans for 'The Match' the weekend before Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship. The TNT crews will be out in late June to get everything set up.
“It’s going to be really something else, not only for the state of Montana, but Big Sky, Gallatin Valley, just in particular,” said Wilcynski. “Moonlight specifically, it’s just going to be really a unique opportunity and a really cool way to showcase what we have here.”
As for why there will be no fans, there just isn’t enough space, and with the holes being so spread out fans wouldn’t be able to go from one hole to another to see the action.
“On-course spectating with all the movement with just the production and the topography itself are really limiting factors,” said Wilcynski. “It’s not set up ultimately for what we’re used to seeing on TV on Sunday.”
Viewers can watch 'The Match' on TNT on July 6.