Old Works Golf Course

Old Works Golf Course. Anaconda, Montana had been the home of a copper-smelting facility operated by Anaconda Mining Co. since 1884. Atlantic Richfield Co. purchased Anaconda Mining in 1977 and subsequently closed the smelting plant. The EPA determined the location to be a Superfund site. Working with members of the local community, ARCO settled on a plan that eventually resulted in Old Works Golf Course, which opened in 1997. The plan included extensive measures to minimize the threat of water contamination–a factor in all developments but especially critical in reclamation projects. At Old Works, waste material (crushed rock with high copper and zinc content) was consolidated, the course contoured and, finally, capped with a layer of limestone and 16 inches of soil. An extensive drainage system prevents excess water from leaching through the metal-laden material. To ensure the site is functioning as planned, water quality is monitored continually. Recognizing the historic appeal of the mining operation, Jack Nicklaus in 1994 incorporated many old relics into the course’s layout; the bunkers hold not white sand, but slag–a dark-colored byproduct of the smelting process–giving the course a unique look.