On the course's website, the Livingston Golf Course describes itself as a fairly forgiving layout. But it will probably feel anything but forgiving to the young golfers playing for all the marbles there this weekend.
The Livingston Golf Course is the host site of the 2012 Central A Divisional golf tournament, which will be an 18-hole event starting Saturday morning.
Livingston’s course is pretty wide open, similar to Havre’s Beaver Creek Golf Course. And though the course borders the Yellowstone Ri
ver for three holes, the river itself really doesn’t come into play, and there are no other water hazards and only six bunkers on the entire 9-hole layout.
However, no hazards doesn’t mean the course will be easy, especially on a day when spots in the Class A state tournament is one the line.
Livingston has very large greens, which means three-putts can come into play very easily. The fairways are also sloped and undulating, so unbalanced shots are the order of the day, even after good tee shots. There aren’t many trees on the course, which is set against the beautiful Livingston Range of the Rocky Mountains, but the trees that are there carefully guard tee shots on several different fairways. Though it’s been a dry summer in Livingston, the rough also looks to be in good and lush shape, and should be pretty penal for wayward drives.
The course is generally fairly short, but it can measure over 6,000 yards from all nine tees on the front and back nine combined. Playing 18 holes, the course is a traditional Par 72, with two par 3’s and two par 5’s on each side. The Par 5’s come back-to-back with No. 6 measuring 524 yards and No. 7 measuring out at 508 yards. The start will also be critical for golfers going off the first tee. No. 1 at Livingston is a dogleg left, Par 4 and the hardest hole on the course. It’s also the only Par 4 that measure over 400 yards for the boys, only one of two Par 4’s to measure over 300 yards for the girls.
But the course aside, the biggest protector of low scores in Livingston is the weather, particularly the wind. If there’s a place in Montana where the wind blows as hard and as often as it does on the Hi-Line, it’s Livingston. However, the Ponies, and the rest of the Central A may catch a break. As of press time Thursday, the forecast in Livingston calls for a high of 80 degrees, one hundred percent sunshine and winds only reaching 15 MPH by mid day. That said, 15 MPH in Livingston could mean 30 MPH gusts and if the wind does kick up, it’s going to make for a tough and long day for all golfers.
The 2012 Central A Divisional Tournament will get underway at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Livingston Golf Course. For a look at the Class A state tournament host Old Works Golf Course, see next Thursday’s Havre Daily News.