Par-5 sixth selected as one of the ‘Great Holes of the Northwest’
In the March 2024 issue of Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the par-5 sixth hole at Old Works Golf Club in Anaconda, Montana is recognized as one of the “Great Holes of the Northwest,” one of just four holes selected each year by the Northwest’s largest and longest-running golf publication.
A big-shouldered, long, sweeping dogleg left, this par 5 weaves beautifully between the course’s signature black slag bunkers and waste areas, running hard against the hills that overlook the town. The fairway is generous off the tee but the landing area for the second shot narrows the closer to the green. There is no bailout area left, so look right, and don’t go too deep. The peninsula green is surrounded on three sides by slag waste areas, but there is ample putting surface to land on with the third shot.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the site on which Old Works Golf Club was built was a large-scale copper smelting operation that began in 1884. Capable of processing 3,000 tons of ore daily, it eventually closed and lay idle until 1983 when it became a Superfund cleanup site. In 1989, Anaconda citizens formed a group to promote the construction of a world class golf course on the site. Through cooperation between the community, ARCO, state and federal agencies along with Nicklaus, ground was broken on May 26, 1994, and the course opened in 1997.
As one of the largest Superfund waste areas in America, the site was also one of the most challenging to design. Nicklaus’ first signature design in Montana incorporated many historic relics of the copper smelter, from the flue and oven remains, to fairways that border and wind their way between black slag. The slag, a by-product of the copper smelting process, is also featured in all the bunkers on the course, providing a stunning contrast to white bunker sand found on other courses.
With a direct-mailed circulation of over 120,000 households, Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has been the voice of golf in the Northwest for over 25 years. It is the only Northwest golf publication with a verifiable demographic of its readership. Pacific Northwest Golfer is all about golf, and dedicated to golfers, and is the model by which other regional golf publications have used. It is the official magazine of the British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Pacific Northwest golf associations, as well as the Pacific Northwest Section PGA. Published by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, a 501c3 charitable international amateur golf association, Pacific Northwest Golfer is a member benefit delivered to member clubs in British Columbia and to those who utilize the USGA GHIN Handicap System through clubs of the PNGA’s member associations in the U.S., either public or private