Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course
August 12, 2020
If you are a frequent traveler to Billings from north of Roundup, you will no doubt have noticed the beautiful greens of the Pine Ridge Golf Course on your right as you come over the Airport hill. An emerald treasure to our small community, and one of the loveliest fairways of eastern Montana. Though I have driven by and admired these greens my whole life, I had never set foot on the golf course till I decided to do this short feature. I drove up in my dirt covered vehicle to the main entrance set on the hill above town looking across the valley of Roundup.
I passed a few teens heading out to golf as I walked up to the front entrance. I was greeted by the friendly manager, Darren Rook. He has been managing the course for the last two years. As golf goes, I have less knowledge than a teenager trying to use a land line. I sure didn't realize that ours is a nine-hole course. Are there courses with more than nine holes google? GOOGLE: "A typical golf course consists of 18 holes but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for 18 holes." Average time to do the nine-hole par 36 takes about 2 hours. I asked Darren if any rookie, or unknown future golfing champ can get lessons, it turns out that Ed Routan is the man to track down for a golf lesson. He recently worked with thirty-nine junior golfers who were at the course for five straight days.
"Who owns this joint?" I demanded. Only kidding, I asked him kindly. He informed me that the entire city of Roundup owns the course. "Well who does the upkeep?" I further inquired. He explained that our very own grade school principal, Rick Griffith, has a crew that keeps the grounds up. When someone buys a membership, they buy a piece of stock in the course, and that helps pay for upkeep. People with memberships can golf every day except when the course is shut down for tournaments. There is cart barn for private cart owners to rent.
People love getting outside and beginners love hitting range balls that they do not have to go chase down. It is also a great way to relieve your 2020 frustrations. That, and the gun range the next road over.
There are many annual tournaments at the Pine Ridge Golf Course, the "Joe Bogie" by Jason Larson, a two-day tournament scramble with flag prizes, a concert, then a fairway scramble with Calcutta the next day. Then there is the "Piccioni IGA Tournament", the "Tree Hugger" tournament, "Night Golf", the "Men's League", and on August 15th the "Cars and Pars" tournament where the old cars are on display at the golf course.
The golf course is open at 7am till sundown, after which people can hang out at the lounge. The course can be reserved for party or reunion. Memberships are available as well as 10 punch cards. If you ever thought of golfing but didn't realize how handy it was to your own back yard, come to the Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course and take a swing.