Located under the picturesque Billings rimrocks, Yellowstone Country Club has its origins in the Billings Golf and Country Club which was founded in 1914. In 1958, the club moved west along the valley to a new 630-acre site, with Robert Trent Jones Sr. engaged to lay out a new 18-hole course for the members.
Around a third of the acreage is devoted to golf (although 75 acres have been ear marked for a possible 9-hole development in the future) with four hundred homes constructed on the remaining portion of the property.
A bunker renovation was carried out in the early 1990s to reduce the number of sand hazards by almost a quarter and most of the trademark RTJ runway tees were also replaced. Since then, the club has invested heavily in a state of the art irrigation system.
The Yellowstone Country Club, while on the Yellowstone River is not all that close to Yellowstone National Park, but it is worth playing. As a Robert Trent Jones design it has matured, the tree lined fairways give this course some teeth. Due to elevation, Yellowstone will play shorter than the listed yardage. The layout has withstood the tests of time.
The first hole is a long straight away par 4 with fairway bunkers left and right. The 2nd is a dogleg left with a bunker on the inside elbow. Don’t be too aggressive cutting the corner. Also, there is a very narrow brook running across the fairway in front of the green that is also protected by front bunkers left and right. The 3rd is a reachable par 5. Favor the left off the tee as the hole tilts right. As with many of Jones courses, there is a scattering of bunkers along the way. The par 4 fourth also leans right. Favor the left off the tee, be wary you can drive through the fairway and the fairway is tight on the approach. The first par 3 is mid-length, slightly uphill and well protected with bunkers. The next 3 holes are scoring holes. The 6th is a dogleg left. A good drive can carry the bunkers on the inside elbow, at a certain point, what is the reward versus the risk? A decent drive will give you an attack iron in to a green with front bunkers right and left. The 7th is a par 5 dogleg left. A good drive will carry the fairway bunkers on the inside elbow. The go/ no go decision will probably come down to your lies as the stream cuts in front of the green about 30 yards out, as well as two greenside bunkers. The short 8th is a Florida par 3 with almost all carry over water, but there are also front middle, right and back bunkers. The front closes out with the number one handicap hole, a long left leaning par 4. Lots of bunkers, left and right fairway and greenside. One of the tougher greens, but two decent shots and you should walk away with a par.
The back starts with the longest par 4 on the course. This lists left and has fairway bunkers left and right. Favor the left off the tee. The 11th is a good birdie oppty, dogleg left. You can cut the corner and give yourself a flip wedge. Caution, there is a stream that is about 7o yards out and if you do not cut enough corner you will go thru the fairway. The 12th is the longest par 5, a dogleg right. To get home in two you must cut the corner and you gotta hit it high.. For most players, I would suggest playing it as a 3 shotter. The 13th is a mid-length par 3 with 3 greenside bunkers and is rated the easiest hole on the course. The 14th is rated as the toughest hole on the back. A long dogleg left with a small bunker on the inside elbow. You need to cut the corner a wee bit as a decent drive will go through the fairway. The 15th is another birdie hole. A decent drive will take the fairway bunkers out of play and put a wedge in your hands. The last par is reachable, but you must be able to control you ball flight. Fairway bunkers left and right, favor the left side off the tee. A high long fade has the best chance for success on the second shot, Hookers should probably play this as a 3 shotter. The 17th is an forgettable par three, unless of course you ace it. I did not. The 18th is a dogleg left. The corner is protected left and right with bunkers. I would advise aiming at the left hand corner of the right fairway bunker.
Yellowstone Country Club is a fine track and well maintained. I highly recommend it.