(Editor’s note: Throughout the remainder of the summer, MontanaSports.com will be visiting golf courses to feature ‘signature holes’ or holes that tie in to what makes the courses unique. To view more courses highlighted in our Signature Series, please click here. Colstrip's par-5 ninth features a creek that runs through the fairway twice, which should leave heavy hitters wary.)
COLSTRIP -- The par-5 ninth at Ponderosa Butte Golf Course in Colstrip is a chance for the big hitters to get an eagle on the scorecard. A creek, however, winds through the fairway twice, and is just some of the trouble on the ninth hole.
“We’re trying to avoid a pond and two creeks," Ponderosa Butte Golf Course head professional Glen Godfrey said. "If you hit a big drive over the pond, now you’re going for the green in two. If you leak it to the right, chances are you’re going into the creek. When we’re playing it for three shots, the creek on the right, it’s the same thing. When you’re hitting your third shot in, you’ve got to make sure you’re hitting enough club to get it past that creek. It’s in front of you, but it swings back by the green on the right side.”
Surrounding the creek are reeds that stand between four and six feet high and add an extra layer of trouble.
“The reeds are pretty high on this hole, particularly. If you hit your layup shot too close to the creek, then you’ve got to negotiate the creek and get up pretty quick to get over the reeds,” Godfrey said.
Players may avoid the creek on the ninth hole, but the same creek winds through the course on six of the nine holes and can be a pest throughout the round.
“So we’re trying to avoid this creek, the same creek, for six of the nine holes. Some holes it comes into play twice, some holes it only comes into play once," Godfrey said. "Playing here a couple times where you get to know what club to use to layup, that’s a key factor. Your first time out here is a very rough day. After you’ve played it a couple times and have a feel for the course, everything gets a lot easier."