Nestled in a bend in the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, the Glacier View Golf Course in West Glacier has been entertaining golfers with its luscious greens and spectacular views for 50 years. Situated at the west entrance of Glacier National Park, the panoramic mountain views can be distracting.
According to Glacier View’s head golf pro, Andrew Lettrich, the course is small, but very popular.
“We are only open six months each year, so the fact that we see that many golfers is quite significant,” he said. “There are a number of things that make us so popular. First and foremost is our location. We are right next to the park and we have great views of Heavens Peak and others.”
The 18-hole, par 69 course was built by Knutson Construction in 1968 on 100 acres of land purchased by Walter Whirry from Bob Kalbfleisch and opened to the public in 1969.
The course is one of dozens across the United States designed by Bob Baldock, whose courses can be found in 13 states.
“It’s a nice, confidence-building course. We have a great staff and the course is great for everyone. This is the place to bring your wife, your kids, anyone that hasn’t played golf. This is the perfect place to learn how to play and the views are outstanding,” Lettrich said. “We are very family friendly. We are not exactly the most challenging or longest golf course you are going to find, but everyone really seems to have fun playing here. It’s a good place for people to learn and a great place for people to come out and golf without any pressure.”
The short course is considered fairly easy by seasoned golfers, but its flat terrain is perfect for novices and beginners. While not the most challenging course in the world, online reviews of Glacier View Gold Course are overwhelmingly favorable.
“The staff is great, and it’s an easy course to walk. Stay out of the rough, if you can, because that’s what gives the course its challenge. Truly, a wonderful place for a wonderful price. Worth every penny and more, given the green fees,” Ryan Whatley said on Google.
“Awesome, short course. Easy for beginners with an incredible view. Reasonable rates, and overall a great place to shoot a round of golf,” Justin Rubalcaba said.
Along with thousands of golfers, Lettrich says the course receives several other visitors each year.
“This year we had a moose, which is rare. We always get a couple of bears each year. And there are always the elk,” he said.
The elk are such frequent visitors, the club offers caps that feature the stylized image of an elk chewing of one of the course’s flags – a fairly common occurrence. Lettrich says the animals like to cross the river near the third hole at night and will rub up against and damage the course flags if they are not removed each evening.
Equipment munching wildlife aside, Lettrich says he couldn’t have picked a better place to work and that he enjoys every minute spent on the course with fellow golfers.
“I love the people that come to our course. We have locals and tourists - domestic and foreign,” he said. “We have a great mixture of folks that come out to play here.”
The course features a pro shop, practice greens and the 19th Hole Bar and Grille for a relaxing meal or drink after hitting the links.
Glacier View Golf Course is open from April 1 through November 1, weather permitting.
For more information, visit www.glacierviewgolf.com or call 406-888-5471.