Spring 2003 Opening for Billings Course

When EagleRock Golf Course debuts in late-spring 2003, it will fulfill a dream of Matt Martinson and his late father Vern, who passed away on August 4, 2002. The two worked together for 11 years to bring the project to fruition, only to have Vern pass on before the layout was completed.

The course is being built by the Martinson family on their land near Shepherd, a small town near Billings. The property lies south of Highway 312 off Larimer Lane and adjacent to Rattlesnake Reservoir. Besides the golf course, the development will contain an assortment of homes, a driving range and a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with a bar and restaurant.

Vern was a regular member of a group of 16 retirees who played Lake Hills Golf Course in Billings nearly every day. The remaining 15 golfers gathered together with guests and dignitaries in mid-August to celebrate the progress made on EagleRock. Among those in attendance was Jim Corson of Senator Max Baucus’s office. Corson told the Yellowstone County News, “This is a terrific project.” He added that it will add more local golf capacity and enhance northeast Billings and Shepherd.

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County’s roads and bridges superintendent and a candidate for county commissioner, also spoke. Ostlund said, “This northeast corner of Billings is probably going to see more development” as a result of the Martinson’s venture. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for northeast Billings.” Ostlund commented that he’s looking forward to the new revenue and tax income resulting from the project. He praised the use of the land for a golf course. “And one family can make it happen,” he said, alluding to the Martinsons.

Matt’s wife Lenita also contributed a few pearls. “I listened to (her husband and father-in-law Vern) talk about (the golf course) for 11 years,” she said, adding that Matt was the driving force behind the project. She eventually invoked a line from a well-known shoe manufacturer when she said, “Enough talking. Just do it.”

Matt Martinson thanked Kris Johnson for helping with the construction of the course, and the two financial backers of the $3-million project, Stockman Bank and Chateau Montelena Winery.

Featuring bluegrass and fescue turf, the course will receive irrigation water from an 8-and-a-half-acre pond that will eventually hold 2 billion gallons of water. Matt Martinson claims the course will offer the “most challenging holes in Yellowstone County, with amazing, rolling vistas.” He hopes to see families and children learning the game and having fun on the family’s links, which he designed.