NO. 44 Wilderness Club in northern Montana is the most remote course on our ranking. Photograph by Patrick Koeing
Sitting far closer (just eight miles) from the Canadian border than from any major city in Montana, Wilderness Club was an ill-timed residential development venture a decade ago, and thus the once-private club now accepts outside play, much of it from day-trip Canadians. The stunning design benefits from quick-draining sandy soil native to the site, some of which is used in free-form waste bunkers on several holes. There are many lakes in play, including long Grob Lake that dominates the left side of the par-3 17th and par-5 18th. Three mountain ranges surround the site: the Whitefish, Purcell and Rockies Mountains. Pine trees are prevalent but not imposing. In an age of destination golf, Wilderness is still undiscovered by most American tourist golfers. Perhaps its appearance on America’s 100 Greatest Public will change that.
100 Greatest Public: Ranked 42nd, 2019-'20. 2023-'24 ranking: 44th.
Best in State: Ranked inside the top five, 2013-'20, 2023-'24. Ranked sixth, 2021-'22.
2023-'24 ranking: 4th.