Updated October 26, 2020 - 10:53 am
DEER LODGE, Mont. — Todd Pollock’s official title with the Golden Knights is vice president of ticketing and suites. During the summer, he takes on an additional role.
Pollock serves as the general manager of Rock Creek Cattle Company, the private 28,000-acre luxury ranch and golf course where Knights owner Bill Foley spends much of his offseason.
The exclusive property hosted the Knights’ training camp getaways the past two seasons and has become a popular vacation spot for players, coaches and other employees of the organization.
This month, the curtain was lifted on the members-only club when it served as the Knights’ home base during the NHL draft.
“I think there’s something really refreshing just about having the amenities that
people really want but also being in that traditional cattle ranch setting that makes it awesome,” Pollock said. “It’s really kind of an American dream getaway. That’s why I love being up there. There’s just so much to do.”
Foley spent his summers as a child on his family’s ranches in the Texas panhandle and said he has always enjoyed outdoor life.
In 2004, he purchased Rock Creek Cattle Company, a working cattle ranch with more than 2,000 cow-calf pairs located on land that was once a part of the historic Grant-Kohrs Ranch.
“And then I got out here and I started thinking, ‘Well, gee, wouldn’t it be great to have a golf course around the creek?’ ” Foley said.
Designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, the 7,466-yard layout opened in 2008 and features a spectacular backdrop provided by the Flint Creek Mountain Range.
Rock Creek Cattle Company is the top-ranked course in Montana by Golf Digest and No. 99 on Golf.com’s list of the top 100 courses in the world.
“It’s really been a culmination of (Foley’s) vision of creating this golf-centric property that’s highly ranked in the world,” Pollock said. “Of course, the golf course is amazing, but there’s just more to it than just the golf course. To me, it reminds me a lot of childhood where you can go with family and be in a safe and fun place in the outdoors.”
Members at Rock Creek Cattle Company have access to biking, hiking, horseback riding, shooting, whitewater rafting and all-terrain vehicle excursions. Fly-fishing is abundant with Rock Creek and the Clark Fork River traversing the property.
In addition, there is a bocce ball court, fitness center, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts and a full-service spa among the amenities.
The property features nearly 100 homes, according to Foley, with a limited number of homestead lots, custom homes, cabins and town homes for sale.
“We have a little pond house up here a couple miles. It’s on about a 5-acre lake and it’s pristine,” Foley said. “You can go sit on the deck and you can watch bald eagles when they’re fishing, trying to grab fish.
“I fish up there, and that’s my favorite thing to do is go up and relax after the day and sit on the deck, maybe throw a line in the water off the dock or go out and get the boat and fish for an hour or so. And it’s not really fishing. It’s catching.”
Pollock was made general manager before the summer of 2019 and spends May through September in Montana. He works remotely with his Knights ticketing team and visits Las Vegas monthly.
Rock Creek Cattle Company is located in western Montana between the capital of Helena and Missoula, and is ideal for hosting business clients and sponsors of the Knights.
President of hockey operations George McPhee and general manager Kelly McCrimmon held meetings at the ranch previously. Former coach Gerard Gallant and his staff had their preseason planning sessions there in August 2019.
“We’ve had a handful (of players) that have come up even through this summer just to get away,” Pollock said.
Foley invited the team to Rock Creek Cattle Company for two days during training camp in 2018 and 2019, and surviving the early cuts to earn a trip to Montana has become a right of passage for young players hoping to make the roster.
When the NHL draft was moved from Montreal to a virtual event, Pollock suggested to Foley and McPhee the team congregate in Montana.
The Knights set up their war room for two days in a building with a view of the golf course.
“I think we always love doing unique events or cross-promotion with those properties,” Pollock said. “I think the draft was just a really good way to end an incredibly busy season for us with people looking to isolate, get away and still be able to spend time with friends and family.”