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:
Four sets of tees
6,385 yards from back tees
Rating of 69.7 and slope of 120 from back tees
1991 Jim Krause design
Renovated in 2006
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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,600 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 130 from the farthest tees * Five tee options
From its roost beside the lake of the same name, The Coeur d'Alene Resort towers over more than just water. It also dominates the skyline and presents views of the region's evergreen-coated mountains and valleys. Although the AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort?s rooms sate guests? needs for creature comforts with down pillows, cotton robes, and pillow-top mattresses, the surrounding area?s activities lure them outside. During the warm seasons, lake cruises take passengers on quick tours and kayak rentals let them see the waterways at their own paces. Guided bike tours and hikes explore the natural beauty of the mountainous surroundings, and snowshoes and snowmobiles conquer icier paths.
Nearby, the golf course, which earned the relaxation haven a spot on Golf Digest?s 2011 list of the 75 Best Golf Resorts in the United States and Canada, challenges all skill levels. After winding along the lakeshore, a forested ridge, rolling woodlands, and a revitalized trout stream, it raises eyebrows with its 14th hole. There, players have to land their shots on an island green?150 yards from the shore and only accessible by boat or catapult.
An onsite spa fuels days of relaxation with treatments that incorporate lake algae as well as the scents of cedar and spruce for distinctively local interpretations of familiar services. Numerous dining options also surround the grounds, letting guests sample everything from the Northwest-inspired fine dining of Beverly's to the family-style barbecue and fish tacos of Beachouse Bar & Grill.
Lined by tall fir trees, Antler Springs Golf Course's idyllic fairways are particularly welcoming to newcomers, as the par-72 course boasts a rating of 64 and a slope of 110. Measuring 4,688 yards from the back tees, the 18 holes reside along rolling hills and paved trails where golfers can drive their carts or lead their pack mules. The highlight of the course is an island that's home to the 6th and 14th greens as well as tees for the 7th and 15th holes, the latter of which doglegs left along three separate fairways before reaching the green.
Nestled in the shadows of Spokane's towering pine trees, the open terrain of Pine Acres helps golfers groom their short games with a nine-hole, par 3 course, expansive driving range, and large practice green. With an average tee-to-green distance of 84 yards, Pine Acres' pins are eminently reachable for players of all stripes, making holes-in-one a feasible goal for aces or those playing with remote-control golf balls. Players can traverse the course in roughly one hour, freeing up time to cool off swings in the shade of one of the range's covered hitting stalls or dig for misplaced time capsules in Pine Acres' practice bunker.
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.