Pryor Creek Adding Another Nine Holes

Pryor Creek Golf Club, a 27-hole facility in Huntley, Mont., is in the process of building another nine holes. Once completed in June 2006, the semiprivate club will become only the second 36-hole facility in Montana (the other is Whitefish Lake in the state’s Northwest corner).

The new holes were designed by Pryor Creek's former head pro, Johnny Walker, who retired in 1996. Before coming to Montana, Walker designed golf courses in California and near Las Vegas. “I moved out here in 1980,” Walker told reporter Darrian Johnson of the Yellowstone County News. This is the last great place and I’m not gonna leave.”

Walker continued. “The South course is currently nine holes,” he said. “It will be very similar to the current nine. These are new nines. It will be a fun, challenging golf course.”

The new holes will occupy 60 acres, bringing the club's holdings to 350 acres. Once completed, the new nine will be combined with South. “It’s gonna be one continuous 18,” said Bill Link, the club’s vice president. “It’s gonna be called the Johnny Walker course. The other [original] 18 we got will be called the Elmer Link course. Basically, it will be two separate 18-hole courses.”

Though located about 20 miles northeast of Billings in a rural area, Pryor Creek’s course is in demand. “We just had too much interest in the place,” said Link. “We have a waiting list and we hate to turn business away. People want in and we don’t want to turn them away.

“The other factor is favorable interest rates,” Link added. “And we had the land, that’s another factor. The land’s been in our family since 1906. We were getting a little hay off that field and this is a much better use, I must say. Billings is a real popular golf town. The area is growing, the town is growing. We want to grow with it of course,” Link commented to Johnson.

“With this new nine opening up, we’re gonna take in some new members,” said Walker. “We haven’t set any figures on that. [People will] come in at smaller amounts. We don’t like to put a figure on until we see . . . how the traffic and play goes.”

“This is basically my style of people. This is a semiprivate [facility], but a lot bigger,” said head pro Dave Doherty. “[Pryor Creek is] more upscale with [its] pace of play . . . a lot more organizing, which keeps you busy sun-up to sundown.”

Doherty continued: “We do so many corporate events, banks, fundraisers, charity events.” With the additional holes, those events can be handled along with the usual member play.

Elmer Link began Pryor Creek 30 years ago. “He wanted a course that was big enough and open to play, that people coming in from Wyoming and North Dakota could play,” said Walker. “He wanted to make certain the people coming into Montana weren’t turned away. That was one of his biggest desires, that people visiting Billings could play golf.”

By next summer, there should be plenty of golf holes to go around for Pryor Creek’s members and guests. For more information about the club, call 406/348-3900.