The copper smelter at Anaconda closed in 1980 after almost a century of mineral processing. Over a decade later, an environmental cleanup plan was put into place to tidy up the site and invest in an 18-hole championship layout, designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The idea was to incorporate the old flue structures, furnace slag heaps and "red sands" or reprocessed tailings into the design of the new course, even using the slag as black “sand” for the bunkers, resulting in a visually stunning layout that’s really rather unique.
Before construction, the site was capped – with even the greens, bunkers, and lake bottoms specially lined to prevent any leakage of waste materials – before the generously proportioned fairways were routed around the reclaimed property.
The signature hole at Old Works Golf Club is “Flue #5,” the 195-yard 4th, named after the large structure that frames the hole behind the green. A slight uphill tee shot to a two-tiered putting surface is required here.
Another fine hole on the front nine in encountered at “Heap,” the 238-yard 7th, played to green that’s virtually surrounded on all sides by sand – it’s one of Jack’s favourites as he recreated it his Bear’s Best course in Las Vegas, complete with black sand from Anaconda.On the back nine, the 442-yard 10th “Foundation“ is another terrific hole, with Warm Springs Creek crossing the fairway twice as it heads to a green sitting behind a wall of foundation stones from the old Upper Works Silver Mill.