At the request of longtime friend Lon Hinkle, Jack Nicklaus played an inaugural round of golf at Eagle Bend and was here to dedicate the new clubhouse and the addition of the nine holes that were completed in 1988.
While in Montana, Nicklaus, an avid outdoorsman, went hunting in the nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness, growing his love and appreciation for the Flathead Valley.
In 1988, the construction of the second nine holes was accompanied by the completion of the clubhouse which served as the hub for the Eagle Bend community for 32 memorable years.
On the evening of February 16, 2020, the Eagle Bend Clubhouse was lost in a fire. No cause of the fire was ever determined, and very little of the original structure could be salvaged. The loss of the clubhouse, along with the beginning days of a worldwide pandemic proved to be a challenging time for the community, but the rebuilding effort began at once.
In the summer of 1994, the United States Amateur Public Links tournament was contested at Eagle Bend Golf Club. The champion of the week-long event was Guy Yamamoto of Hawaii, who won the Publinx title in his 11th attempt. His opponent in the final match was Chris Riley, who continued to a successful career on the PGA tour, including three appearances at the Masters.
Perhaps the most recognizable names to appear at the tournament were Notah Begay III and Matt Gogel. Both men played on the PGA Tour for a few years but have become more familiar to fans as reporters for the Golf Channel.
Later in 1995, Jack Nicklaus and his son returned to Northwest Montana to mark the completion of Nicklaus Design’s work at Eagle Bend. The team built the final nine holes, most of which comprise the current Bear Nine. The expansion on the northern plateau features wide fairways and well-placed bunkering, complementing the existing 18 holes wonderfully.
The beautiful new clubhouse was completed in June of 2022 and has been a fabulous new home for our membership. We look forward to filling this new space with years of special memories.
Mike Felt, the founder and developer of Eagle Bend, was dining out with his wife, Patty, years ago during the early days of the project and saw a picture of an old saloon that had been situated on the bend of the Flathead River. He knew right then that he had the name for his future development. A reproduction photo of the saloon hangs in the clubhouse lobby, inspiration for the golf course name.
“I played the course and was absolutely impressed. Eagle Bend was manicured comparably to all the courses I’d played. It was just drop-dead gorgeous.”
Eagle Bend Member and Former PGA and Champions Tour Professional