Spanish Peaks to open Tom’s 10 par-three layout in July

  • Spanish Peaks Tom
    Jonathan Finch

    Spanish Peaks Mountain Club will open its new 10-hole par-three course – Tom’s 10 – designed by the late Tom Weiskopf and his longtime collaborator Phil Smith, in July

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Spanish Peaks Mountain Club in Big Sky, Montana, will open a new 10-hole par-three course designed by the late Tom Weiskopf and his longtime collaborator Phil Smith, in July.

With increasing membership and the opening of the new luxury resort Montage Big Sky, Spanish Peaks began looking at options for a new course in 2020, an effort led by Ryan Blechta, senior director of grounds and mountain operations at Spanish Peaks.

“Working with Tom on this course was such an incredible experience,” said Blechta. “From our first walk through the woods when he shared his vision till the last time, he was on the site a week before his passing, I got to know Tom on not just a professional level, but a personal one, and will always cherish the time spent with him and his wife, Laurie. On behalf of the club, I’m proud to share this course with our members – I truly believe it kept Tom going in his final years.”

After being told of the club’s desire to expand its facilities, Weiskopf, who designed the club’s 18-hole course, identified a 35-acre parcel that he felt was perfect for a short course. Weiskopf and Blechta scouted the site, which includes streams and wetlands.

Frontier Golf began construction in summer 2021 with Smith helping to oversee the design and construction process. Weiskopf was able to work on the course until the week leading up to his passing in August 2022 and approved all but the final hole.

Spanish Peaks dedicated the course to Weiskopf with the name Tom’s 10 as it is an homage to his favourite par-three holes from around the world, including the original eighteenth at the club, seventh at Pebble Beach, eighteenth at Loch Lomond, eighth at Royal Troon and sixteenth at Augusta National. Holes range from 90 to 161 yards, with the course having 200 feet of elevation change.

Features include a man-made half-acre pond stocked with over 1,000 Westslope cutthroat trout, the state fish of Montana, on hole four, a bunker at the front-right of the fifth green set to Weiskopf’s six-foot-three height and an old log cabin from one of Weiskopf’s properties that was reassembled and converted into a comfort station filled with memorabilia from his career donated by his wife, Laurie.

“This new par-three course really shows off the design principles we used throughout our time working together – it’s a throwback to a lot of fun things we’ve done in the past,” said Smith. “And it was very therapeutic for Tom. Because he lived nearby, he was able to keep his mind off his illness and give the project his personal attention. Being at Spanish Peaks from the inception of the original course till he couldn’t work anymore was such a gift. This final project is a direct reflection of his commitment to his craft.”