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.
Teaching professional David Fern gives stance and swing pointers in an effort to make the game easier for his students. Situated on the Spokane River, the nearly century-old Downriver Golf Course welcomes golfers with a practice facility where Fern can identify their swing issues, while videotaping lessons for easy review later. To get an immersive learning experience, players can opt for a playing lesson, during which time the coach and student will play a round of golf. Along the way, Fern will cover the finer points of shot selection and course management, as well as how to determine if a bunker is filled with quicksand.
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.