Nestled in the long shadows of Spokane's towering pine trees, the lush, open terrain of Pine Acres grants Spokane's golf community verdant recreation. With an average tee-to-green distance of 84 yards, Pine Acres provides an ideal, low-pressure training ground for club-wielding cadets still calibrating their optimal swing-speeds. Dedicated duffers can traverse the nine-hole turf-loop in roughly an hour, leaving the rest of their afternoon open to reflect rigorously on their on-course performance or start secretly moving shag carpet into their own private, putting-green-themed speakeasy. Though the course's relative ease and the pro shop's generous club-rental fare ($0.50 per club, not covered by this Groupon) make this a perfect haunt for neophytes, the course is also suitable for masters of the white orb looking for a relaxing atmosphere to practice their short-irons, still seeking the hole-in-one that never was, or continuing their quest to find the Sand Trap Rake of Destiny.
With over 32 years' experience in the restaurant business, including a role as Executive Chef at Disneyland, owners Walt and Victoria MacDuff apply their culinary expertise to comforting Italian pastas, pizzas, and proteins. Chicken picatta ($12.95) comes bathed in white wine and lemon, sauteed with capers, and draped across a chaise lounge of fresh linguine, while freshly made pizzas and their introverted cousins, calzones ($8.95-$22.45), come served piping hot, with an array of toppings. Ensure your tongue and digits are on intimate terms, as the Wednesday night 12-ounce prime rib special ($16.95, with starter salad, potato and vegetable) demands excessive finger-licking. In the midst of such paisan provisions, a breakfast menu of French toast, eggs, and pancakes is as unexpectedly welcome as a rogue onion ring in a basket of fries.
Awarded one of the “Top 10 Golf Experiences Within Idaho” by Golf Digest, The Highlands Golf Course beckons golf enthusiasts with forests of towering pine trees and rolling terrain of verdant beauty. The course was originally designed by Jim Krause and opened for play in 1991, though anyone who hasn’t played it since 2006 will appreciate the additional tee boxes and marked improvements in bunker playability resulting from course renovations. Six lakes come into play, demanding deft club selection around the greens and impeccable swan dives to retrieve errant golf balls. Narrow fairways and several doglegs also place a premium on flawless drives off of your playing partner's belly button.
As a warm-up or a cool-down, practice at the driving encourages skill development with grass tees and nearly 400 yards of open expanse. A short-game practice area recreates most on-course situations a golfer can conjure up, with sand bunkers and two regulation flagpoles that double as golf cart jousting lances.
Course at a Glance:
Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises commands a fleet of vessels that takes passengers over the blue waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene during day and evening festive themed cruises such as scenic St. Joe River cruise, Sunday brunch, and seasonal sunset dinner cruises. During warm summer days, scenic jaunts can take passengers on family-adventure based cruises, including the Pirates Of The Coeur d'Alene, which entertains guests with singing, dancing, swordplay and rogue pirates. During the winter season, cruise goers can enjoy educational cruises to Beauty Bay where they can see the annual return of the bald eagles out to region. As Christmas approaches, the ship decks fill with wide-eyed audiences who drink in spectacular holiday-light shows on their way to Santa's workshop and a towering illuminated Christmas tree. The winter also brings New Year's Eve cruises; a party cruise hosts live DJs, dancing, and ice-luge drinks, and a more relaxed dessert cruise features classic pop music—but both give passengers unparalleled views of fireworks and fill champagne glasses for toasts to another year without alien invasion.
Cool breezes gain steam over the waters of Hayden Lake before moving through the pine trees that line the fairways of Avondale Golf Course, adding to the bucolic splendor of the 18-hole, 6,600-yard layout. The course's short-grass corridors switchback through a combination of tree-lined and open terrain, with water hazards complicating passage on five holes, placing precise shots and webbed golf shoes at a premium.
A stint at the natural-turf driving range helps golfers to warm up for the round, a necessary measure for slow-starting swings that may struggle to reach the lengthy par 4 second hole—rated the course's hardest from the men's tees—in regulation. After hunting birdies and inflating the egos of smug putters across the landscape, players can recess to the Water Hazard Bar & Grill to recap memorable shots over dinner and drinks.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled amid the Lewis-Clark Valley's rolling hills and serpentine Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Bryden Canyon's 6,359-yard, par 71 course poses an intermediate challenge for both golfers and cup-and-string phone conversationalists. Sparkling ponds lap at the banks of the course's bookending greens, ensnaring rogue balls in its watery depths, where they are used as game pieces by the course's hungry, hungry hippos. As the cleat-clad chip, drive, and putt their way through 18 holes dotted with devilish sand traps and howitzer-lined bunkers, cunning eyes might catch glimpses of deer, coyote, and mountain goats as they steal into the mist surrounding the grounds.