Waterfront property has always been lusted after by golf course developers, knowing that a few scenic views puts a massive cherry on top of what may (or may not) be a stellar course design. It’s interesting then that the Osprey nine at Eagle Bend Golf Club, a 27-hole complex in Bigfork, Montana, is the lowest on the totem pole despite cozying up to the Flathead River as it empties into a lake.
The championship route is the combination of Eagle and Bear; William Hull created both of the bird-themed nines at Eagle Bend, while the Bear comes from the pen of the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus. These two take on two different personalities, with the Eagle flying through wooded corridors while the Bear features more open fairways (albeit wandering through a real estate development).
The approach to architecture on the back nine also reflects Nicklaus’s long career in course design, resulting in a series of more experimental holes. No. 2 is one such example. A short par four (just 350 yards from the back tees), the smart approach angle requires carrying a bunker that wraps around the left fairway, while playing it safe from the tee to the right fairway results in a dodgy look at the green.
Well conditioned course with really nice temporary clubhouse due to a fire earlier this year (Not part of the reasoning on the score). Rough is pretty penal and it does require some course knowledge as, especially on the front 9, there are some serious blind tee shots.
I will say whatever you do - do not play the third nine - Osprey - I would rate this 2 or 2.5 - no imagination at all - boring.