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Golfing With Mel

We are on a golf swing through north central Montana. After hitting the links at Signal Point in Fort Benton the other day, we chose Anaconda Hills Golf Course in Great Falls for our next outing.

It was morning, not early, but still kind of chilly. We wanted to get the scoop on this course so staff there recommended Mel. I think everyone was curious about how old Mel is and he proudly told us he is 83 years old. He golfs 18 holes every weekday at Anaconda Hills. I can only hope I’m going that steady when number 83 rolls around!

Anaconda Hills used to be an employee course for workers at the Anaconda Copper Mine and Smelter. It was built in the 1920s. Mel worked at ACM as it’s locally known. The smelter continued operation in Great Falls until 1980. The employees had gone on strike and I remember hearing rumors that it might close. Never in a million years did we think that would happen. The employees never returned to work and some left for mines elsewhere in the United States.

The City of Great Falls took over the course and added the back 9 holes in 1992. There is a marked difference between the front 9 and back 9. The entire course is quite rolling, large and undulating – great for those leg muscles if you are walking (which we weren’t).

One area of the course still has an old historic barn where work mules were kept when ACM was going strong. It would be great to see that restored.

Back to golf – Mel was as steady and sure as anybody. He rarely wasted a practice swing – he got right on his swing and hit the ball well. As we progressed throughout 18 holes he told stories about the course and his golfing there. What a guy!

It was a great morning of golf. We hated to leave but our tummies were telling us we needed to grab some lunch, then head to our next course.

Our goal – 27 holes of golf each day…stay tuned to see how we do!

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