We've seen them out on the links already: western Montana's plucky early spring golfers. Rain or snow, sunshine or drought, they're on the course and ready to roll. And we're here to help, with our annual guide to western Montana golfing:

Larchmont Golf Course: Missoula's 18-hole municipal golf course, at 3200 Fort Missoula Road, is in its 27th year of operation and is host to the Montana State Open each September. Weekday greens fees are $16 for nine holes and $28 for 18 holes. On weekends, fees are $18 and $30. A bucket of golf balls for use at the driving range is $3.50. Par is 72 for men and women. Lessons available. Bill Galiher is the pro. Tee times can be reserved three days in advance by calling 721-4416.

University of Montana Golf Course: This nine-hole public course is located at 515 South Ave. E., at the base of Mount Sentinel, and is in its 64th year of operation. Monday through Thursday, greens fees for nine holes are $13 for the general public, $11 for UM students with valid ID, $12 for seniors, faculty and staff. For 18 holes, you'll pay $23 (public), $19 (students) and $21 (seniors). Friday through Sunday, it's $15 for nine holes and $27 for 18 holes for everyone except UM students, who pay $11 and $19. Motorized carts cost $14 for nine holes. Playing both sets of tees, par is 71 for men and 72 for women. Chris Anderson is the manager. Tee times can be reserved by calling 728-8629, two days in advance.

Highlands Golf Club: Accuracy is at a premium on this 42-year-old, nine-hole course with two sets of tees that afford commanding views of the Missoula Valley. The course is high above town at 102 Ben Hogan Drive. Greens fees are $13 for nine holes Monday through Thursday, $23 for 18 holes Monday through Thursday, $10 for UM students. Friday through Sunday, fees are $15 for nine holes and $27 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $13 for each nine holes, $25 for 18. Playing both sets of tees, par for men is 69 and for women is 72. Reed Mooney is managing the course. Tee times are taken seven days in advance by calling 721-GOLF or 728-7360.

Linda Vista Golf Course: This 16-year-old executive layout features four sets of tees on each hole. It's a privately owned course open to the public, located at 4915 Miller Creek Road. Green fee is $10 for nine holes. Motorized carts rent for $12 per nine holes. Par is 29. John Galiher is the pro. Tee times are available a day in advance by calling 251-3655.

Missoula Country Club: The only entirely private course in western Montana is in its 83rd year of operation. Its mature 18-hole layout is at 3850 Old Highway 93 S. Guests accompanied by a member pay $50 to golf. Guests unaccompanied by a member pay $75, and must be a member of a private club elsewhere. Par is 71. Skip Koprivica is the pro. Members-only tee times are taken up to a week in advance. Call 251-2751.

The Ranch Club: This course has transitioned to private with limited access to the public. The course is located at 8501 Ranch Club Road, 3.8 miles west of Reserve Street off Mullan Road. Greens fees for the public in the off season are $45 for nine holes, $80 for 18 holes. During peak season, they're $50 for nine holes, $95 for 18 holes. Private club reciprocation in the off season is $35 for nine holes, $60 for 18. In peak season, they're $40 for nine holes, $75 for 18. In the off season, guests of members will pay $25 for nine holes, $40 for 18 holes. Peak season prices are $30 for nine holes, $55 for 18. Andrew Flikkema is the head pro. Reserve tee times up to seven days in advance by calling 532-1000.

Canyon River Golf Club: Canyon River is in its third full year of operation at 1268 Bandmann Trail, accessed from Old Highway 10 just past East Missoula. Public 18-hole course. Spring and fall rates: Monday-Thursday, $22 for nine and $39 for 18 holes; Friday-Sunday including holidays is $25 for nine holes and $43 for 18 holes. Summer rates, May 14-Sept. 19: Monday-Thursday, $24 for nine holes and $43 for 18 holes; Friday-Sunday including holidays is $27 for nine holes and $47 for 18 holes. Individual family, senior and junior passes available. Punch cards for 10 nine-hole rounds are $200; cards for 10 18-holes rounds are $350. Cards are good Monday-Thursday only. Cart rentals are $16 per person for 18 holes and $10 per person for nine holes. Carts feature GPS for accurate distance to the pin and the location of other carts ahead of you. Par is 72 for both men and women. Canyon River's pro is Ed Bezanson. Call 721-0222 three days ahead for tee times.

King Ranch Golf Course: Just west of Frenchtown, the King Ranch course expanded from nine to 18 holes in 1999. Greens fees are $15 for nine holes and $26 for 18 holes. Carts cost $8 per person for nine holes and $14 per person for 18 holes. Early bird special $35 per person, including cart. Marv Clover is the pro. Tee times are available four days in advance by calling 626-4000.

Double Arrow Golf Course: The scenic Seeley Lake course opened as a nine-hole layout in 1994 and expanded to 18 holes in 2001. Before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, greens fees are $16 for nine holes and $30 for 18 holes. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, greens fees are $20 for nine holes and $34 for 18 holes. Twilight rates are $13 for nine holes and $24 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $16 for nine holes and $28 for 18 holes. A punch card for 10 nine-hole rounds is available for $135. Par is 72. David Owens is head pro. Tee times, taken up to three days in advance, can be made by calling (406) 677-3247.

Mission Mountain Country Club: This privately owned, public course with some of the state's largest greens is at 46664 Golf Course Way, west of Ronan. Greens fees are $19 for nine holes and $36. Nine hole fee Oct. 1-April 15 is $12. Carts rent for $9 per person for nine holes and $14 per person for 18 holes. Twilight golf rates are $12 for nine holes after 4 p.m. Seniors 50-plus can golf 18 holes for $40 Monday-Friday. 18 hole junior green fee is $20 and nine hole green fee is $12. Par is 72 for men and 73 for women. Tee times are accepted four days in advance by calling (406) 676-4653, or further in advance with a credit card.

Silver Fox Golf Course: In its eighth year, this nine-hole public course is located on Silver Fox Drive on the Salish Kootenai College campus in Pablo. Greens fees are $14 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $12 for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes. Par is 31 for men and 32 for women. Mark Cordier is the pro and course manager. No reservations are necessary. For information, call (406) 675-PUTT (7888).

Polson Bay Golf Club: On the shores of Flathead Lake, at 111 Bayview Drive, this 27-hole municipal course offers lake and Mission Mountains views. The original nine holes were built more than 50 years ago. A second nine opened 19 years ago. The course was expanded to 27 holes in 1999. Greens fees through March 31 and after Sept. 30 are $18 for nine holes, $30 for 18 holes and $32 for the twilight special, which includes 18 holes and a seat in a cart. From April 1 to May 31, fees are $20 for nine holes, $34 for 18 holes and $34 for the twilight special. From June 1 to Sept. 30, fees are $25 for nine holes, $45 for 18 holes, $40 for the twilight special and $35 for midday special, noon-twilight. Director of golf is Roger Wallace. Tee times, taken two days in advance, are available by calling (406) 883-8230.

Eagle Bend: This semi-private, 27-hole, daily-fee course is located at 279 Eagle Bend Drive west of Bigfork. Greens fees are $36 for nine holes or $56 for 18 holes through June 11. From June 12 through Oct. 3, they are $52 for nine holes or $94 for 18 holes. Beginning Oct. 4, rates will be $25 for nine holes and $36 for 18 holes. From April through May 16 fees are $36 for 18 holes and $25 for nine holes. Cart fee per person is $10 for nine holes and $16 for 18 holes. Michael Wynne is the pro. Tee times can be made in advance by calling (406) 837-7310.

Buffalo Hill Golf Club: Kalispell's municipal layout along the Stillwater River offers the Championship 18, built in 1978, and Cameron Nine, which opened in the 1930s. They're located at 1176 N. Main St. Greens fees for the Cameron Nine course are $25; they're $58 for the Championship 18. Cart rental is $17 for nine holes and $34 per person for 18 holes. The 18-hole layout is par 72. The pro is Dave Broeder. Tee times are taken three days in advance by calling 756-4530. For tee times more than three days in advance, call (406) 756-4553.

Village Greens Golf Club: This privately owned, public course expanded to 18 holes in 1993. It is located north of Kalispell in the Evergreen area, at 500 Palmer Drive. Greens fees are $25 for nine holes and $47 for 18 holes, June 14 through Labor Day. Shoulder season is $21 for nine holes and $40 18 holes. After 2 p.m., fees are $18 for nine holes and $30 for 18 holes. Junior rate for ages 7-15 is $10 for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes. Senior special, Tuesdays and Thursdays, two players ages 50 and up, $75 includes green fees, cart, range balls and lunch. Carts rent for $16 for nine holes and $29 for 18 holes. Par is 70. Ryan Malby is the PGA head professional. Tee times can be made three days in advance by calling (406) 752-4666.

Big Mountain Golf Club: Two miles north of Kalispell, this 18-hole course opened to the public in 1997 as Northern Pines Golf Club. The front nine is a links-style course and the back nine winds along the Stillwater River. The address is 3230 U.S. Highway 93 N. Greens fees are $25 for nine holes or $40 for 18 holes April 1 through June 17 and after Oct. 3. From June 18 through Oct. 3, they are $36 for nine holes or $62 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $10 per person for nine holes and $16 per person for 18 holes. Tom Clary is director of golf. Tee times can be made three days in advance by calling (406) 751-1950. Long-range reservations for the summer can be made with a credit card number.

Whitefish Lake Golf Club: A 36-hole layout with North and South courses on Highway 93 in Whitefish is in its 74th year of operation. Greens fees before June 1 and after Sept. 30 are $25 for nine holes and $40 for 18 holes. From June 1 through Sept. 30 they are $29 for nine holes and $53 for 18 holes. Cart rentals are $20 for nine holes and $32 for 18 holes. Par is 72 for both men and women on the North Course, and 71 for men and 72 for women on the South Course. The pro is Tim Olson. Tee times are taken two days in advance at (406) 862-4000. For groups of 12 or more, times can be arranged more than two days in advance by phoning (406) 862-5960.

Meadow Lake Golf Resort: This privately owned, 18-hole course at 490 St. Andrews Drive in Columbia Falls is open to the public. Greens fees until May 19 are $45 18 holes. May 20-Oct. 24 fees are $62 for 18 holes. Twilight rates through May 19 is $35. May 20-Oct. 24 is $48. Carts rent for $16 per person for 18 holes. Par is 72. Tee times are taken as far in advance as golfers wish by calling (406) 892-2111, or by going online to www.meadowlakegolf.com.

Glacier View Golf Club: A privately owned, public course, Glacier View's 18-hole layout is next to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River across from Glacier National Park at West Glacier. The course opened in 1968. Greens fees are $17 for nine holes and $29 for 18 holes. Carts cost $16 for nine holes and $26 for 18 holes. Par on the short, flat course is 69. Mitch Kersten is the pro. Tee times can be made in advance by calling (406) 888-5471 or visit www.glacierviewgolf.com.

Mineral County Trestle Creek: This nine-hole course at St. Regis enters its 16th season. For nine holes, greens fees are $17. For 18 holes, fees are $24. Carts are $8 for nine holes plus $8 for an additional rider. For 18 holes, carts are $12 plus $12 for an additional rider. A play-all-day special, with a cart, is available Mondays for $65. A senior special is available Tuesday and Wednesday, where seniors play nine holes for $23 or 18 holes for $33, with a cart included. On Mondays, women get half off green fees. On Thursdays men get half off green fees. On Fridays, get a a free hot dog and beverage with green fee. Driving range now open. Bucket of balls is $5. John Douglas is the course manager. Tee times can be made by calling (406) 649-2680.

Wildhorse Plains Golf Course: A nine-hole public course at 127 Old Hicks Road in Plains now in its 72nd year of operation. Greens fees are $9 for nine holes and $18 for 18 holes. They have a Monday through Thursday special of $25 for two people with a cart for nine holes and $40 for 18 holes. Otherwise cart rentals are $10 for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes. Verna Hamilton is golf course manager. Call anytime in advance for tee times at (406) 826-5626.

River's Bend Golf Course: Going into its 48th year of operation, this public course is at 46 Golf Course Road in Thompson Falls. Weekday greens fees are $16 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes. On weekends they are $18 for nine holes and $24 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $13 for nine holes and $19 for 18 holes. Weekend rate for carts is $15 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes. Par is 72 for both men and women. The teaching professional is Lance Pavlik. Call for tee times anytime at (406) 827-3438.

Cabinet View Country Club: The course public at 378 Cabinet View Road near Libby. Now in its 54th year, Cabinet View has greens fees of $20 for nine holes and $32 for 18 holes. Golfers can rent carts for $12 for nine holes and $24 for 18 holes. Par is 72. The head golf professional is Jeff Dooley. Tee times can be reserved 7 days in advance at (406) 293-7332. Web site www.cabinetviewcountry.com.

Whitetail Golf Course: Formerly the Stevensville Golf Club, this nine-hole course is within the boundaries of the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, three miles north of Stevensville at 4295 Wildfowl Lane. Golfers may share a fairway with deer, badgers, fox, moose, rock chucks, Canada geese or a great blue heron. Greens fees are $15 for nine holes weekdays; $16 Friday through Sunday and holidays; $22 for 18 holes on weekdays; and $25 for 18 holes Friday through Sunday and holidays. Carts cost $15 for nine holes $25 for 18 holes. Par is 35 for women and 36 for men. Tee times, necessary only Friday through Sunday and holidays, can be made two days in advance by calling 777-3636.

Hamilton Golf Club: This 18-hole layout at 1004 Golf Course Road offers views of the Bitterroot Mountains from its 73-year-old course. Greens fees are $18 for nine holes and $30 for 18 holes. Carts cost $15 for nine holes and $26 for 18 holes. Men's and women's par is 72. Jason Lehtola is golf pro. Tee times for 18 holes can be made a week in advance by calling 363-4251.

Deer Park Golf Course: This nine-hole public course at 295 Golf Course Road outside Deer Lodge is in its 53rd year of operation. Monday through Friday greens fees are $17 for nine holes and $25 for 18 holes. You can rent a cart for $14 for nine holes and $28 for 18 holes. Seniors 62 and over can play nine holes for $15 and 18 holes for $20. Juniors 17 and under can play nine holes for $10 and 18 holes for $13.50. Saturday, Sunday and holiday greens fees are $28 adults, seniors and juniors before 3 p.m., nine and 18 holes. Driving range buckets of balls are $4 per small bucket, $7 per medium bucket and $9 per large bucket. Par is 36 for both men and women. Craig Schuh, head pro. No tee times are necessary in advance. Phone (406) 846-1625.

Anaconda Country Club: This semi-private nine-hole course, which has been in operation since about 1905, is located off Highway 48 between Anaconda and Warm Springs. It's open to the public most days. Par is 71 for men and 73 for women. Greens fees are $15 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes. Carts rent for $15 for nine holes and $22 for 18 holes. Mark Torney is head pro. Tee times can be made two days in advance by calling (406) 797-3220.

Old Works Golf Course: The Old Works in Anaconda was built atop the former Anaconda Co. smelter slag heaps. The course has black slag sand traps. Jack Nicklaus designed the course and the Golden Bear played it in its inaugural season of 1997. The course is in town at 1205 Pizzini Way. Greens fees vary widely, depending on the season and day of week. Director of golf is Daniel Kane. Tee times can be made seven days in advance by calling (406) 563-5989 or 1-888-229-4833. For $3 per tee time (per golfer) you can make a reservation 30 days in advance.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Golf Course: Located at 1500 Fairmont Road off Interstate 90 between Anaconda and Butte, this 18-hole course is in its 40th year. Greens fees vary widely, depending on season. Resort guests receive a discount. Par is 72. Pro Mark Fisher said tee times can be made 21 days in advance at 797-3000.

Rock Creek Golf Course: The 18-hole course at the Rock Creek Cattle Co. facility in Deer Lodge features 7,338 yards of golf from the championship tees for a par of 71. Designed by Tom Doak, the members-only course opened in 2008. Eugene Bonfilio is the general manager. Call (406) 846-3474 for more information.

Stock Farm Club: Built in 1999, the members-only 18-hole Hamilton course was designed by Thomas Fazio. It features 7,029 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Matt Guzik manages the course. Call 375-1886.

 

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