Well Traveled Golfer
On this page:
- Summer Just Got Better – The Coeur d’Alene Resort completes renovation
- Palouse Ridge Celebrates 10 Years
- Juniper Golf Course – beautiful views and a model of public golf
- Commitment to Excellence – Crane Creek Country Club completes renovation
- New Day at Florence Golf Links
- Northwest Montana
(Click the thumbnails below to see larger images.)
Summer Just Got Better – The Coeur d’Alene Resort completes renovation
A round of golf at The Coeur d’Alene Resort is referred to as “A golf experience like no other.” The reasons for this are many, from supreme customer service, to luxury (and recently renovated) accommodations, to immaculate course conditions, to the iconic Floating Green.
The resort recently completed a $10 million renovation, updating guest rooms with new furnishings, wall treatments, artwork, beds, television displays, new mobile device charging stations. Some of the updates include incredibly cozy new beds in all 338 guest rooms, which have been splashed with a modern vibe, featuring stylish headboards, chic furniture, plush beds, contemporary carpet, new wall coverings and a handful of advanced amenities, taking all the upgrades to the next level. New technology has been installed throughout each room, including state-of-the-art charging stations for all of your devices, and includes new ultra-high 4K definition television screens simplify streaming personal photos and videos from your mobile devices.
In response to the completion of the three-year project, the resort is offering a “Renovation Celebration Overnight Package,” which includes overnight lakeside accommodations, $30 dining credit and a complimentary tour of Beverly’s award-winning wine cellar with wine tasting. The package starts at $269.
With new greens being installed in the spring of 2016, the course is seeing some of the best playing conditions they’ve ever had.
The Floating Green continues to draw golfers from around the world to play the iconic hole. It seems the majority of the course’s summer golfers are playing the course for the first time. They’ve seen pictures, heard about it from friends or played the course in a video game and have always dreamed of playing the famous island hole. Checking it off the “bucket list” is a common phrase heard in the clubhouse.
The full-service resort is an un-ruffled stream of comfort. From the moment the golfers check into the resort, their clubs are taken to the golf course. Guests then take a newly-remodeled lake shuttle to the course, where they are greeted at the dock by their forecaddie for the day. Their golf clubs are all pre-loaded in custom carts with touchscreen GPS, with unlimited pre-round practice balls at the lakefront practice tee, pre-round warm-up sports massage, personalized certificate of achievement is presented upon completing the Floating Green, and personalized engraved bag tag is presented at the end of the round. Golf bags are then automatically transferred back to the resort bell desk.
The resort offers some the region’s best stay-and-play packages. The 2018 Floating Green Golf Package includes overnight lakeside accommodations and golf for two players. The Sticks & Stones Golf-Spa Package is built for the best of both worlds, allowing you to play a round of golf and then relax and rejuvenate at The Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa. All packages include the extra amenities the resort is famous for.
Palouse Ridge Celebrates 10 Years
Heralded course remains true to its mission
Todd Lupkes knows this is the 10th-anniversary season at his Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
He knows, but he marks time a little differently. He was here before – before its opening in 2008, before it was a golf course, before there was even grass on the ground.
“For me personally, I call it the 11-year anniversary,” said Lupkes, the founding superintendent then and today the general manager at the acclaimed course on the campus of Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.
He was shoulder-to-shoulder in 2007 with the course architect, the late John Harbottle III, when the construction superintendent turned the emerging golf course over to Lupkes, the grow-in superintendent, one hole at a time.
“That whole summer I was walking on bare dirt with John, standing on where he wanted the tee, looking at the green,” he recalls. “By the end of that summer we had the driving range open, and the whole golf course was seeded by November. It was a whirlwind.”
The course grew in through 2008 and opened on August 29 that year. Now, a decade later, the people in key positions remain: Lupkes, the superintendent who became general manager in 2013; Jeremy Wexler, PGA golf professional at the opening and still the head pro; and Mike Bednar, the assistant superintendent on the first day and the head super now.
That continuity makes for cohesiveness between greenkeepers and golf shop staff.
“Pretty much this time of year, when it gets this warm, we just get it on cruise control and keep it there,” he says.
When Palouse Ridge opened, it met the goals of the WSU administration – to serve the university’s students, faculty and staff, Lupkes said. It is the home of the Cougars’ men’s and women’s Pac-12 golf teams, and a living laboratory for the university’s distinguished turfgrass-management program.
Immediately upon opening, Palouse Ridge filled a niche as a championship golf resource in a region of Washington that needed one, Lupkes said. It has hosted men’s and women’s Pac-12 championships and an NCAA men’s Division I West Regional. The course will be home to NCAA regionals for men in 2019 and women in 2020.
Palouse Ridge will host the PNGA Women’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur July 9-13 and the Washington Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions Aug. 22-23.
Lupkes, a superintendent at heart, and Bednar, the superintendent by title, walk daily through reminders of the designer’s vision for the golf course. Harbottle died suddenly at age 53 in May 2012.
“When Mike and I go out every spring and we’re looking at the golf course, we’re thinking of John,” Lupkes said. “How would he want to change a grass line, or how he would want to move the edge of the rough on the third hole, and maybe the edge of a fairway.
“We do these little tweaks, because Mike and I both have an intuitive knowledge of what John was thinking. So we do it, and we look at it and we say, ‘Yeah, I think John would like that.'”
– Bart Potter
Golf Shop 509.335.4342
Banyans Restaurant 509.335.8474
Book tee times online: www.PalouseRidge.com
Juniper Golf Course – beautiful views and a model of public golf
When you gather with friends and talk about golf in Central Oregon, the biggest resorts in the area are typically front of mind. But with so many golf courses to choose from during your golf getaway, those who really know golf in Central Oregon often talk about the only resort-quality golf course that is municipally owned and located just seconds from the airport in Redmond, Ore. – Juniper Golf Course.
When you prepare to play a round at Juniper, you should quickly cast aside your preconceived ideas of a “muni.” Designed by renowned Northwest architect John Harbottle III, the course is a true championship-caliber course that Golf Digest has named the best municipal course in the state of Oregon. The course offers seven sets of tees, ranging from just shy of 5,000 yards from the forward tees to nearly 7,200 yards from the tips.
Juniper hosted the 2013 and 2017 Oregon Open Invitational and is a six-time site for U.S. Amateur qualifying. The course is sneaky good, and challenges you from your first tee shot to your last putt.
Built on one of the most beautiful spots carved from the Central Oregon desert, with panoramic views of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, the Three Sisters, Mt. Washington, Three-fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood, it’s nearly impossible to play a round of golf without gazing into the horizon at the natural beauty of the region.
In 2011, the City of Redmond brought in CourseCo, a boutique golf management company with a proven track record in environmental management and community programming. Since that time, the partnership has served as a blueprint for creating a strategy to engage the residents of an entire community, while leading the region in environmental practices.
In fact, Juniper was recently recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon International Cooperative Program.
Look to the sky during your round and you’ll also notice their efforts to bolster bird habitats. Juniper partnered with Pacific Power to build nesting site platforms on electrical poles for ospreys. Juniper has also created programs for kids to build habitat boxes for bluebirds and kestrels, which were donated, put up and are monitored by the East Cascades Audubon Society. The program has already proven successful – a remarkable 17 kestrels fledged within three years.
Juniper has also hosted several community events that define a community calendar with CourseCo management company’s vision of community inclusive programming and outreach. If you’re planning a visit to the course, make sure you check out what’s going on with a robust calendar of Easter egg hunts, cross-country running events, drive-in movie nights, 4th of July fireworks viewing, block parties and other events taking place regularly.
When you put it all together, you have the makings of a must-visit golf course.
The layout at Juniper Golf Course is of a championship level, capable of testing the highest-caliber golfers, and after your round you can blend in with the locals during one of their many community events.
Juniper can be considered one of Central Oregon’s true gems, and arguably the best municipal golf course in the entire state.
Juniper Golf Course
1938 SW Elkhorn Ave
Redmond, OR 97756
Commitment to Excellence – Crane Creek Country Club completes renovation
From the moment you walk inside Crane Creek Country Club, you can tell that it’s unique and a bit unexpected. You hear laughter and happy conversation and smell the aroma of delicious food being prepared. You see smiles from corner to corner and sense that there’s magic taking place in this hidden destination nestled in the Boise foothills.
People get involved at a private country club for a variety of reasons, from networking to socializing and recreation; and while Crane Creek Country Club offers these things, its focus has always been on the bigger picture of community and not being afraid to have a little fun.
As PGA head pro Ron Rawls puts it, “There are kids running all over the place here, and that’s how we like it. Family-friendly is the only way we know how to be.”
With swim team, swim lessons, kids camp, junior tennis, junior golf, movies on the golf course, Friday night concerts and Sunday night DJ’s, it’s easy to see that this place knows a thing or two about family fun. But these are just the pieces of the puzzle.
“There are aspects of a private club that can be intimidating,” Rawls says.” But at Crane Creek we embrace our members to help make each and every one of them feel like family.
“If a mom doesn’t feel comfortable stepping out on the golf course with her kids, that’s where we can shine. Our members and staff are approachable and genuinely friendly. From the interactions in the pro shop to the family tees on the golf course and ladies Get Golf Ready clinics, we have the people, the facilities and the programs in place to make it all easy.
“We’re really here to help each and every person see the value in their membership, not just in the number of rounds they play on the golf course or matches played on the tennis courts, but in the experiences and memories that they are making with family and friends every day.”
The desire to have a full-scale driving range had been discussed and debated for over a decade. Perhaps even longer. But the space for the original range was small and the plan would require an extensive construction project and significant investment. Would it be worth it?
As part of the renovation, undeveloped land was used to create a new par-4 and par-5 on the back nine, and with these two entirely new holes Crane Creek now plays over 7,000 yards and as a par 72. New tee boxes and approach-shot considerations were also added to the back nine makeover, and the greens have been rebuilt with playability in mind. The range was expanded to include what was previously the 10th hole to become the new full-scale driving range that offers premium Titleist practice balls and target greens. The new practice facility, with its full complement of amenities, allows the golfer to have a rewarding experience while their kids are swimming or just before they go in to dine.
It’s been almost a year since the project was finished. Was it worth it? The answer is yes!
“It’s out of control,” Rawls said with a smile. “We’ve doubled the space from the old driving range which has allowed us to fully promote our instruction programs. Before, we would quickly reach our limit of participants. Now we can include more people and spend more time educating our members about what’s available. And it’s not just our instruction programs, we now have more people discovering what’s out there and getting involved in every aspect of the game. There are more kids participating in junior golf and on our PGA Junior League teams, we have more ladies in our evening league, and more guests are coming to the golf course every day. It’s been a tremendous success.”
Ben Hay, the club’s general manager and chief operating officer, noted that the success goes beyond programs and events as well. “It’s been fantastic for membership and for encouraging members to upgrade. They hear about the great things that are happening and don’t want to miss out.”
It had been Hay who was instrumental in guiding the project through its many phases, its many negotiations, through meetings too numerous to count, and who had wonderfully balanced everyone’s wishes with the fiscal responsibility demanded of his position. But Hay notes, “You can’t experience these kinds of results without a fantastic team. We had great support from our membership and board of directors, along with David Druzisky, Golf Course Architect and Landscapes Unlimited. It’s really the team that makes something of this scope a success.”
Crane Creek Country Club
500 W. Curling Drive
Boise, Idaho 83702
New Day at Florence Golf Links
$59 per player includes cart
Valid for up to 4 players. Mention code PNGA/FLO2018 when booking this offer. (Expires 8/31/18)
Under new ownership and in celebration of 25 years since opening, Sandpines Golf Links is changing its name to Florence Golf Links, offering the same great golf experience.
Located on the Oregon Coast, 55 miles west of Eugene, Florence GL is now owned by American Pacific International Capital (APIC), an international investment company based in San Francisco which also owns and manages numerous hotel and commercial properties around the world. Florence Golf Links is still being professionally managed by OB Sports, and under its leadership the facility has continued to improve upon an already-great gem.
The course has the pedigree to be something special. Designed by Rees Jones and opened in 1993, the course was immediately hailed by Golf Digest as the “Best New Public Course” for that year. It was the first design west of the Mississippi for Jones, who has since made his reputation as the “Open Doctor” for his work on renovating U.S. Open courses.
“It’s a sand-based golf course,” explains Rick Reed, general manager of Florence GL, “so it is playable year-round, and with the amenities we have here, and being so close to the ocean, we are a full-scale destination.”
Known for its championship-quality conditions (it has recently hosted the 2016 PNGA Mid-Amateur and 2017 PNGA Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Championships), Florence GL has also developed a reputation for everyday play and hosting events of all kinds. The facility provides excellent guest service, with meeting facilities capable of hosting up to 55 people. The club hosts numerous dinners, company business meetings, parties, weddings, and wine tastings; and also offers great stay-and-play packages with six local hotels (click here to view the available options).
Custom group rates are available, as well as full tournament rates.
Florence GL has a full-length grass-tee driving range, short-game practice area, three putting greens and fully-stocked pro shop. Featuring some of the best greens on the coast, the course consists of six holes played through the coastal pines, six holes with water features, and six holes over grass covered dunes.
For food and beverage options, the 9,000-square foot clubhouse has the Grill & Lounge, which offers lunch daily. The course is located near the tourist meccas of historic Old Town Florence and the epic Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Rediscover a treasure on the Oregon Coast – visit Florence Golf Links this summer.
Florence Golf Links
1201 35th Street
Florence, OR 97439
One of the world’s top golf destinations
Golf courses in Montana, especially Northwest Montana, are some of the most beautiful in the country, making it one of the top 50 golf destinations in the world.
Excellent courses in close proximity, vibrant dining and nightlife options, and the spectacular scenery of Glacier National Park are some of the reasons why Golf Digest called Northwest Montana one of the world’s top golf destinations.
Course styles range from mountain courses with tree-lined fairways and winding rivers to traditional Scottish links-style layouts to courses set along the shores of impressive lakes. “We have 10 excellent courses within a short driving distance of each other,” says Steve Dunfee, president of the Northwest Montana Golf Association.
Getting to Northwest Montana is relatively easy from Seattle or Portland. Alaska Airlines flies daily into Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) and fares for the short flight are surprisingly affordable. Amtrak also departs daily from both Seattle and Portland and delivers passengers at the historic Whitefish Train Depot, in the heart of the golf course action. Do-it-yourselfers won’t find the half-day drive from Seattle or Portland, or the four-hour drive from Spokane, to be difficult. The epic scenery along the way makes the trip all the better.
While golf is definitely reason enough for a visit, Northwest Montana is also home to a dining scene that will surprise even the most finicky sophisticate. The nightlife and bars are considered by some to be legendary. Many visitors think of the lively ski town of Whitefish when they think of the region. However, downtown Kalispell has also cultivated its own impressive stock of dining and nightlife options. Visitors should not miss the great little shops and places to eat in the area’s other small towns including Polson, Eureka and Libby.
Most golfers organize their trips around their tee times, but some will also plan a diversion to neighboring Glacier National Park. Fly-fishing, ziplining, hiking and boating are a few ways that non-golfers will have a great time. “It’s affordable, it’s fun, it’s entertaining and there are so many places to go,” says Dunfee.