The Reserve at Moonlight Basin: A hole-by-hole breakdown of The Match 4 venue
The star-studded competitors will be the highlight of The Match 4, pitting Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady against Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers. But don’t sleep on the golf course, The Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Mont., ranked second on Golf Digest’s most recent Best in Montana rankings.
The Reserve at Moonlight Basin sits at 7,500 feet above elevation and can tip out at 8,000 yards, featuring the 777-yard 17th hole, the signature hole of this Jack Nicklaus design. The scorecard states that Jack calls the Reserve “the most beautiful course he’s ever designed.” Built on the site of an old ski mountain adjacent to the Big Sky Resort, The Reserve opened in August 2015 after its first nine holes were constructed in 2008 before the real estate crash. Nicklaus came back to complete the job—and the result was the No. 2-ranked private course in our 2016 Best New survey.
To help prepare you for the fourth version of "Capital One's The Match" series, which will air on July 6th at 5 p.m. on TNT, we’ve put together a hole-by-hole breakdown of the beautiful mountain course. Here’s what you need to know about every hole at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin.
(Note: The competitors will play the back nine first during The Match 4. So the 10th hole will actually be the first hole for The Match.)
Hole No. 1: par 4, 463 yards
The opening hole at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin is a beautiful downhill dogleg-left par 4. Players will likely opt for a long iron off the tee for position—leaving an approach that requires accuracy, with trouble lurking behind the green.
Hole No. 2: par 4, 447 yards
Another sloping dogleg par 4 bends to the right—rewarding tee shots that hit the narrow landing area with a downhill bounce toward this green.
Hole No. 3: par 3, 206 yards
Incredible views of the Madison Valley framed by the rocky slopes of the Spanish Peaks greet golfers on the tee of this picturesque one-shotter. Taking the greenside bunkers out of play with a shot to the left is smart, as tee balls will roll toward the green off the left-hand slope.
Hole No. 4: par 4, 470 yards
This plays as the No. 1 handicap hole at The Reserve at Moonlight Basin. The long par 4 is guarded by a creek running up the left side, mandating that shots end up safely on the right of this dogleg left—setting up a difficult, uphill approach (one of the few of its kind here).
Hole No. 5: par 4, 443 yards
Longer hitters will have a chance to run their tee shots close to the green at this risk-reward par 4, featuring an infinity green with some subtle movements.
Hole No. 6: par 5, 633 yards
Another beautiful downhill tee shot awaits at the par-5 sixth hole. A layup must be hit precisely as the fairway narrows before it cuts off. And the green complex is carved into the mountains—be careful of the severe false front, which will reject shots that come up short.
Hole No. 7: par 3, 180 yards
Players must navigate around the greenside bunkers and a mountain pond in front of this two-tiered green.
Hole No. 8: par 4, 500 yards
A narrow landing area down the fairway might take driver out of the hands of longer players. The right side of the green is the safe play with a deep bunker complex on the left.
Hole No. 9: par 5, 651 yards
The fly-fishing pond and a two-tiered green set up the strategy at this long par 5, which plays shorter like most holes here because of the elevation. A layup to the right of the water will set up the ideal angle to the putting surface.
Hole No. 10: par 4, 493 yards
Precision is again paramount on the right-to-left moving fairway, as well as the green, which has a ton of movement but is larger in size with most players hitting a long iron here. An approach hit to the back middle portion will feed down to a left-hand pin position.
Hole No. 11: par 3, 211 yards
This is one of the most picturesque par 3s on the course, with a green setting framed by the Spanish Peaks and the North Summit Snowfield of Lone Peak in the distance.
Hole No. 12: par 4, 445 yards
The elevated green is protected by an intimidating left-hand bunker at the challenging 12th hole. Most players will opt for an iron off the tee for position—but pros like Bryson DeChambeau or Phil Mickelson might be able to run their tee shots up close to the green.
Hole No. 13: par 5, 628 yards
Lone Mountain Land Company
Lone Mountain Land Company
It will be bombs away for Bryson and Phil here at this par 5. Players like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will choose to lay up on the right or left side of the bunkers down the fairway depending on where the pin position is at this tricky green.
Hole No. 14: par 3, 286 yards
Though it plays downhill, this tee shot is a beast—with a few bunker complexes lurking to collect errant tee shots at this par 3. A backstop behind the right side of this green is proper place to miss.
Hole No. 15: par 5, 590 yards
The fairway meanders from right to left at this reachable par 5 the fourth of five par 5s on the course. Short is the miss—as approaches that go long will bound into trouble.
Hole No. 16: par 3, 223 yards
This thin, narrow green mandates a tee shot to the proper quadrant of the putting surface.
Hole No. 17 (eighth during match): Par 5, 777 yards
The thrilling 777-yard par 5 will captivate the audience during The Match ... will Bryson or Phil hit their tee shots 400-plus yards? That's pretty likely if they hit the downslope and scoot past the bunker in the middle of the fairway.
Hole No. 18: par 4, 354 yards
There are tons of options on how to play the double-fairway home hole at the Reserve at Moonlight Basin. The pin position will dictate whether a right or left-side shot is optimal. A false front guards the front part of this elevated green.