Northwest of Missoula, sits an area the Indians used to call qua elth which translates to “state of tranquility”. Tranquil is an apt way of explaining the valley where French Canadians settled in 1864 called Frenchtown.
In Frenchtown, King Ranch Golf Course offers a round of golf along the rolling Mill Creek that feeds into the Clark Fork. The wetland area surrounding Mill Creek is a great place for a golf course with tall cottonwood trees and cattails lining a number of the fairways.
It was at King Ranch Golf Course that I met up with my old college teammate Troy Wolff and his younger brother Derek. Cruising down the road toward the golf course, I almost didn’t see Troy waving at me from his front porch not more than 100-yards from the entrance to King Ranch.
After a tough spring due to the above average rainfall and high-water levels, King Ranch was finally able to open up the old 9 holes on this 18 hole course. Talking with King Ranch’s Pro Tim Bakker he said, “We’re open. For a long time, we weren’t sure when that was going to happen. But we’re open for business!”
Starting on the 10th hole at King Ranch, Troy, Derek, and I made our way through a few of the holes on the back nine. The 365-yard par 4 hole has a steep left-to-right slope throughout the fairway before the long back-to-front sloping green.
On the 13th hole, an elevated tee box awaits players on this 218-yard par 3. Midway between the tee and the green sits a cattail lined pond where ducks and geese swim in high volume in front of this wide turtleback green.
One of my favorite holes at King Ranch was the very gettable par 5 14th hole. As long as your tee shot doesn’t find the large pond running through the fairway, this short par 5 is reachable with a long or mid iron. The green on the 14th is a small putting surface that slopes from back-to-front.
Throughout the round, the rushing water of Mill Creek and the waterfowl of this low-lying land northwest of Missoula provided a great backdrop for a peaceful round of golf at King Ranch. I’m thankful this course was able to have at least nine holes open for me to play on a beautiful morning.
The word tranquil came to mind, but I guess I wasn’t the first one to think that about Frenchtown.
Thanks to Tim Bakker and King Ranch Golf Course for a wonderful day of golf in Frenchtown.