Stay & Play At Montana's Wilderness Club

The Wilderness Club in Eureka, Montana, is great for families and golf groups alike.

The Golf

Montana being "Big Sky Country," it is only fitting that the Wilderness Club course, designed by Nick Faldo with Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley, sports expansive fairways, large greens and dramatic, strategic bunkering that reflects the grand environs and presents risk-reward opportunities throughout the round.

On the par-5 third, a solid tee shot may tempt the bold player into trying for the green in two shots, over an enormous bunker, while the plodder can easily tack around to the left and make a relatively stress-free par or bogey.

Whereas being the only golf course for an hour in any direction might be seen as a hindrance to some, it is no problem here - once you've played the Wilderness Club once, you will want to play it again and again in order to discover its intricacies and see how differently holes can play from one day to the next.

Opened in 2009, The Wilderness Club was named the "#2 Best New Private Golf Course in the USA" that year by GOLF Magazine.

The club has since transitioned to a publicly-accessible destination but hasn't missed a beat, continuing to win accolades from the likes og GolfweekGOLF Magazine ("Top 100 Courses You Should Play Worldwide") and Golf Digest (ranked #3 out of all Montana courses, public and private). It retains the tremendous charm and private feel it has had from the beginning, including a wonderful practice facility and an exceptionally attentive staff.

Family Play And Other Activities

The relaxed pace of life and atmosphere at The Wilderness Club makes it a special place to introduce your spouse and children to the game of golf, too. And beyond the course, family activities abound, such as swimming, basketball, beach and lake activities, canoeing, hiking, and much more.

If you're looking to get the kids on board, just say the word "waterpark" - there are two pools, a 200-foot water slide and a splash pad to cool off in. For an evening dip, there's an 18-person hot tub as well.

Nearby Wilderness Lake is another hub of activity: fishing, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding are great options. There's also Wilderness Park, which boasts basketball and beach volleyball courts, and hosts regular movie nights for kids and families.

Finally, if you're looking to get out and about to explore some of the amazing Montana landscape, guided boating, horseback riding, trap shooting and fly fishing excursions are easy to arrange. Bottom line: The Wilderness Club is great for the group or family that wants to get outdoors on and off the golf course.

Lodging and Dining

Staying at The Wilderness Club is a luxurious experience with a back-to-nature feel. A range of accommodations styles suits families or groups of any size, from a couple seeking the privacy of a one-bedroom Wilderness Suite or Deluxe Wilderness Suite to a group or family seeking to rent out the entirety of the eight-bedroom Wilderness Lodge.

In between, there are villas and houses available for rent at incredibly reasonable rates, especially considering their five-star furnishings and feel.

The club's on-site restaurant is the Wilderness Grille, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There are two big-screen TVs inside and a cozy outdoor patio, as well as a fireplace for cooler evenings.

Golf is far from the only recreational activity at The Wilderness Club, which makes it a perfect place to bring the family.

Getting There

Some golf courses and resorts give themselves fancy names, and they end up being misleading or just plain inaccurate. But "The Wilderness Club" could not be a more perfect fit.

Located in northwestern Montana, just a few miles from the Canadian border, it is one of the most charmingly secluded places to stay and play golf with friends and/or family - as well as an incredible host of other activities - in the United States.

It lies about an hour from the town of Whitefish and the nearest airport, Glacier Park International (FCA), which serves a number of major cities both year-round (Salt Lake City; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Denver; Seattle; Las Vegas) and seasonally (Atlanta; Los Angeles; Chicago; Portland; Oakland).

Bottom line: The Wilderness Club is simultaneously easy to get to and a world away from urban and suburban sprawl.

I don't say this to discourage you.

Rather, if you're fed up with the hustle and bustle at home, The Wilderness Club is well worth the journey.

You have never seen so many stars fill a night sky as you will on a clear evening at The Wilderness Club. Visitors tend to find a sense of peace, quiet and relaxation so magnificent that many are never eager to leave.

(I think that's why the club has a growing list of homeowners ...)

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Stay & Play At Montana's Wilderness Club
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