Five-hundred yards was too short. So was 600 yards. And 700 yards.
The tee box on the 17th hole at the Reserve at Moonlight Basin sits elevated above the fairway. And the fairway sits elevated above the green. And the hole, along with the entire course in Big Sky, Montana, sits at a thinner-air elevation of about 7,500 feet above sea level. So what’s a hole to do to defend its par of 5?
The 17th hole at the Reserve at Moonlight Basin is 777 yards.
“It’s actually reachable in two,” said Mike Wilcynski, the Moonlight Basin general manager, on a video for Montana Sports.
Two players will no doubt give it a go on Tuesday. Moonlight Basin hosts the fourth edition of the Match, which pits the team of Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers against the team of Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. That’s DeChambeau, he of the PGA Tour-leading average of 322.4 yards per drive. And Mickelson, he of bombs and calves.
Ahead of them on 17 will be a fairway bunker that requires a 383-yard carry. And then a hole that’s another 394 yards away.
Hold onto your Trackmans.
“What do you guys know about the golf course?” announcer Brian Anderson asked the players on a preview video. “I mean, it’s got some elevation. I think everybody here is going to be hitting lots of bombs on this golf course, yes?”
“Nah, I don’t think so,” DeChambeau said jokingly. “I think it’s only going to be me. I’m in a world of my own.”
“That’s kind of true actually,” Mickelson said.