Buffalo Hill Golf Club

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BuffaloHillLogo.png
Club information
Location Kalispell, Montana
United States
Established 1918
Type Parkland (public)
Total holes 27
Tournaments hosted Labor Day Tournament
Website Buffalo Hill GC
Championship Course
Designed by Robert Muir Graves[1]
Par 72
Length

6,605 yd (6,040 m)

Longest hole is #2 - 598 yd (547 m)
Course rating 71.9
Slope rating 121
Course record 64 – Scott Desmarais
(Labor Day Tournament)
Buffalo Hill Golf Club is located in the US
Buffalo Hill Golf Club
Buffalo Hill Golf Club
Location of Buffalo Hill Golf Club in the United States

Buffalo Hill Golf Club is a public 27-hole parkland golf course located in Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana. The course was founded in 1918.[2] Prior to becoming a golf course the land was owned by the affluent Conrad family and used as a buffalo pasture,[2][3] the golf course is located 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Glacier National Park and 8 miles (13 km) north of Flathead Lake.

Dave Broeder—who was appointed as PGA head professional in 1990—has worked at the club since 1974, the Championship 18 Course at Buffalo Hill was designed by noted golf course architect Robert Muir Graves.[1][4]

History[edit]

In 1918, land was purchased where part of the Cameron 9-hole course now stands,[2] the Cameron course is named for Dave Cameron, a former Kalispell mayor and early golf administrator in the area.[5] Another nine holes were built with sand greens and no irrigation on the fairways, this 18-hole course continued to operate until the late 1930s when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the rustic log clubhouse. The WPA also improved the golf course by building a 9-hole irrigated grass course, some holes are still in service today while others have been modified during subsequent expansions.

In 1964, the club made a major improvement with the construction of nine more holes,[1] four of which are incorporated into the Championship 18 course; in 1974, members of the Kalispell Golf Association decided to expand the course to 27 holes with construction of new golf holes around and over the Stillwater River.

The nearly $1,000,000 expansion project, led by expansion committee chairman Otis Robbins,[4] was financed by donations from the Buffalo Hill members, sales of debenture bonds, and matching funds from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. An 82-acre tract of land was donated by Kalispell furniture merchant Duane Bitney and businessman Sid Torgerson for the project,[4] the cooperative efforts and commitment to the completion of this expansion reflected the heart, dedication, and vision of the leaders of the Kalispell Golf Association of that era.

PGA head professional George Haddow served at Buffalo Hill for 25 years,[6] after Haddow's resignation in late 1976, Butte, Montana, native Charles "Skip" Koprivica was hired as the new head professional in December 1976.[6] Kalispell native and LPGA Tour golf professional Alice Ritzman played the course in her youth before her successful career on the LPGA Tour.

Championship 18 Course[edit]

On August 11, 1978 the legendary Arnold Palmer—accompanied by fellow PGA Tour professional Bob Dickson—was on hand to celebrate the Grand Opening of the "Championship 18 Golf Course". In 1967, Dickson became the first amateur golfer since 1935 to win both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur. He turned professional and joined the PGA Tour in 1968. Mac McLendon had originally been scheduled to appear with Palmer for the dedication but could not attend due to a bout with tendonitis.

Designed by Robert Muir Graves—with the expert assistance of construction superintendent John Steidel[7]—the course was referred to as a "monument" and rivals as one of the best golf courses in the Pacific Northwest. Since the 1990s the golf course has continued to make improvements by rebuilding tee boxes, upgrading irrigation systems, reshaping bunkers, improving sand quality and, most recently in 1999, rebuilding of four new greens on holes 12, 13, 16 and 17; in 2011, the Cameron 9-hole golf course was remodeled to accommodate a new driving range and practice facility.

Tournaments hosted[edit]

Buffalo Hill Golf Club has hosted many important tournaments over the years, the club is best known for the annual "Labor Day International Classic" tournament which is a 54-hole event first played in 1939. Dozens of players from the Canadian province of Alberta attend each year along with a large contingent of local and regional players, the first round consists of two trips around the Cameron 9-hole course, which plays to a par 33, and the second and third rounds are contested on the Championship Course.

Scorecard[edit]

Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Flathead 71.9/121 450 593 363 328 226 387 483 359 197 3393 416 535 109 441 349 470 164 405 323 3212 6605
Stillwater 70.4/119 408 583 329 311 196 368 463 336 179 3173 379 513 107 408 312 447 151 392 318 3026 6199
Whitefish 65.5/108 367 477 293 259 147 322 406 314 157 2742 345 439 85 352 257 381 115 309 254 2537 5279
Handicap Men's 3 1 15 13 7 5 11 17 9 8 6 18 2 14 10 16 4 12
Par Par 4 5 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 36 4 5 3 4 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Handicap Women's 9 1 7 17 15 3 5 11 13 6 4 18 12 8 10 16 2 14
Par Par 5 5 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 37 4 5 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 37 74

Course location[edit]

1176 N. Main Street
Kalispell, MT 59901

Notes[edit]

The tournament course record is 64 by Scott Desmarais of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the non-tournament course record of 63 was posted by Logan Lindholm of Kalispell.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "27 Holes Expected to Challenge Golfers" (p. 5). The Daily Inter Lake. March 24, 1974. 
  2. ^ a b c "New golf era dawning in Kalispell". The Daily Inter Lake. April 4, 1977. 
  3. ^ "Conrad Family History". conradmansion.com. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Golf Links Expansion Grant Ok'd" (p. 1). The Daily Inter Lake. May 24, 1974. 
  5. ^ "Hanson wins sixth, Simpson first golf titles". The Daily Inter Lake. Kalispell, Montana. August 15, 1977. p. A-5 – via Newspapers.com. 
  6. ^ a b Geise, George (December 28, 1976). "Skip Koprivica named pro". The Daily Inter Lake. 
  7. ^ "Steidel is supervisor". The Daily Inter Lake. June 27, 1976. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°12′50″N 114°18′55″W / 48.2139°N 114.31541°W / 48.2139; -114.31541