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Golf in the Malting Barley Capital

As we approach Fairfield, MT on US Hwy 89 I tell my golf buddies that this is the malting barley capital of the world. They think we are going to drink beer because of my malting barley comment but I tell them this is serious golf if we are going to squeeze in 27 holes today.

Fairfield is located fairly close to the Rocky Mountain Front which produces beautiful warm days and cool nights – perfect for the high protein grains grown here. It’s also perfect for a stopover on both the Central and Pacific bird flyway routes on their north and south migration. Freezout Lake (spelled with a missing “e”) is just north of Fairfield so birds have water and grain kernels – the basics – food and drink for flying thousands of miles. The migration “events” occur each fall and spring, and people come from many miles just to see them. I must say, liftoff is spectacular.

As you approach Fairfield you see shimmering silver grain bins – Busch Ag put those up and they hold tons of grain. The area also benefits from the Greenfields Irrigation District and as a result, crops grown here are spectacular.

Harvest Hills Golf Course is located just about a half mile south of Fairfield. We’ve contacted Wayne Stiffler, course manager, ahead of time and he will go along with us as we golf this 9 hole course. He thinks we are too good at golf so he doesn’t get his clubs out. Well, it appears we have a reputation but it may soon go south!

Weather patterns are harsh here and Wayne told us they lost a lot of trees this past winter. I noticed the beautiful flowers around the clubhouse and he said the women’s league takes care of those.

The golf course joins right up to a grain field – quite a contrast this time of year as harvest is in full swing and the grains are golden.

It was a relaxing afternoon of sunny skies, just a little breeze and temps around the mid 80s. That comes close to making a perfect afternoon of golf at Harvest Hills Golf Course.

We did nine holes here, plus our 18 holes at Anaconda Hills Golf Course in Great Falls earlier, so we have reached our 27 hole a day goal.

One more golf note – I am being coached on putting. With three coaches I ought to be the world’s best putter at the end of our golf journey. I don’t believe this putt made it the first or second time but the third time was a charm. Yes!

I’m on my way to becoming a stellar putter!

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