When Montana Golf Courses Shut Down In 2022
Western Montana golfers are trying to get as many rounds as possible in before winter arrives. Lucky for those of us in the Five Valleys, there are plenty of public courses to play, and we called them all to have your definitive guide on when they'll be closed for the season.
Most of the courses we called confirmed that their greens had been punched, a process that aerates the grass and soil. Golf courses will typically punch their greens twice a year, in the fall and winter. Charlie from Linda Vista Golf Course in Missoula explains the process of why Montana courses wait as long as possible to fertilize their greens:
What happens with the golf courses in town is once [they] put the winter fertilizer on the greens you can't put players on them. And the goal is to put those down as late as possible so it lasts the whole winter. It slowly feeds your greens throughout the winter while they're under snow. You want to put that fertilizer down as late as possible.
Here's when our western Montana golf courses plan to close for the year:
We do not close until there's snow on the course. Two years ago we were averaging 30 golfers a day through the month of January and we finally closed down February 1st, then last year we got hit with that early storm and we were done in November. We also have two simulators, so now that we have simulators it's a great way to keep the swing going year-round.
No hard [close] date, it's all weather-dependent. There's been years where golf gets shut down third week in October, there's been years that golf makes it 'til second week of November. Obviously once the snow falls, Missoula Nordic Club will be out here this winter grooming trails. We usually get to the first weekend in November for golf, and that's about shutdown time but it depends on what kind of fall we get here.
After speaking with two employees at Silver Fox, it seems their plan is to stay open as long as possible. We couldn't confirm if the greens had been punched yet.
Like most courses we have aerated our greens, they're not as beautiful as we'd like people to see them but that's the way they look. We like to stay open until October 15th out here, there's nobody scheduled to work after that. If the weather's nice I'd hate to close on a weekend.
Dan at Trestle Creek said he will be open on Saturday October 15th with permitting weather, and hopes to be available for the following Sunday as well.
We don't have a definitive date, it's all weather-based. At one point we'll get rid of the golf carts, the Old Mine will close October 15th and then we'll put temporaries out but there's no "this is the day."
Mission Mountain has not punched their greens in the traditional sense, instead of hollow cores they use solid tines to aerate the greens for faster recovery time. We confirmed that they have a "100% weather-dependent" approach to winter golf, they'll keep the course open as long as they can.
Linda Vista Golf Course - Missoula
Two years ago we got 21 inches of snow in the middle of October, that snow melted off and then we opened back up, we were open for the first half of November. We always tell people October 31st is the last day we stay open.
We're weather-depending, so we generally make it first or second week of November or somewhere around there. We don't have a definitive date. We're usually playing a little golf right there, then we get a hard freeze and we're done.
We punched [the greens] in August, and they're already healed up and ready to go for the winter. It kind of depends on the weather, but usually it's the end of October and even then we'll go a couple weeks into November if the weather is still good. Usually it goes 'til the end of October or at least 'til the end of October.
No hard date set. Get out there and enjoy it!
We aerified a few weeks ago, our greens are healed up and they're in really good condition. Hamilton usually stays open through November most years, weather-dependent. We stay open a little later than the courses in Missoula [because] we don't get weather quite as bad.
Jake from the Hamilton pro shop confirmed that there's no hard date set for the course to close for the winter.
We'll golf as long as we can, that's how we do it in Western Montana; we'll golf as long as we can. Certain days we can't but if we can golf we will be golfing.
We're usually done October 31st however sometimes we do keep going into November if the weather permits. So we just go until we can't, but if you were to ask any of us [about a hard close date] we'd always say October 31st.
Cody from Canyon River also confirmed that the greens had been punched in early September.