Rock Creek Cattle Company in Travel & Leisure

January 4, 2008

November 2008

Rock Creek Cattle Company
By Derek Duncan
Deer Lodge, Montana (Private)

Nearly lost amid the eighty thousand acres of property at Rock Creek Cattle Company is Tom Doak’s new prairie-links course.

A prime selling point of this private golf and fishing club near Deer Lodge, Montana, the course works its way through evergreen-studded foothills and small natural bowls. “The contours were very linksy in character,” Doak notes. “We would have had to move practically no earth except that there are so many rocks just below the surface.” Doak’s design makes sure to accentuate the strong contours that resulted.

One of his favorite holes is the short, perplexing par-four fifteenth, which pours downhill toward the most extreme green on the course. Other holes roll over hogback fairways (the second, for example), fall away into sneaky depressions (the eleventh) and cascade through banked valleys (the seventh and fourteenth).

The distinctive bunkers emulate wind-eroded blowouts because, as Doak says, the scale of the vast property “dwarfs any man-made bunkering.”