Idaho’s Panhandle

Updated: August 3, 2020

Here is a look at the courses in the Idaho Panhandle:

• Avondale: The course opened in 1968 with nine holes. It is semiprivate and still open for public play. The course underwent a $2 million remodel project a few years ago and was actually closed for nearly a year to make all the improvements. The results are impressive.

• Circling Raven: The newest course in the area opened in 2003 in Worley, Idaho – about a half-hour south of Coeur d’Alene or east of Spokane. The course is owned by the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe and was part of a $30 million expansion project recently by the tribe that includes new hotel rooms and more. The course plays to 7,189 yards from the tips and is spread out over 400 acres. Adjacent to the course is the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. 

• Coeur d’Alene Golf Club: Long before the resort came along, the Coeur d’Alene Golf Club was a fixture on the landscape. The course opened in 1957 and is popular with the locals. Not a bad place for the visitors, too.

• Coeur d’Alene Resort: World-famous resort opened for play in 1991 and has been ranked among the top resorts in the world. Course is known for many things, but two things continually stand out when people talk about the Coeur d’Alene Resort: The condition of the course and the Floating Green. The condition of the course is considered among the best in the country, and the Floating Green is always an attraction.  The par-3 green can be floated anywhere from 100 to 185 yards from land and golfers ride a boat to the green. A major re-modeling project added length to the course a few years ago. While the Floating Green gets most of the attention, there are several other outstanding holes at this resort course.

• The Idaho Club: The resort, located in Sandpoint, opened their new 9,200 square-foot modern-style clubhouse this year after their previous clubhouse burned to the ground 12 years ago. The course is a Jack Nicklaus design with a reputation for being scenic and challenging. The club is private by allows public play from 10:30am to 7pm. Weekday prices are $75 and $95 for weekends. Overnight rentals are usually available. Seattle native and former PGA Tour player Jeff Golf is the Director of Instruction. 

• Highlands: Course opened in 1991 and features some terrific scenic views. The 16th hole is a standout and is memorable. The hole is a 322-yard par-4 and is considered the signature hole of the course. The fairway is lined with trees and rises to a ridge. At the top of the ridge you can see all kinds of trouble on the way to the green, things like bunkers, water, mounds and trees. The course removed the country club part of its name to avoid confusion a few years ago. 

• StoneRidge: When the owners of StoneRidge Golf Course, located about a half-hour from Coeur d’Alene in the town of Blanchard, decided to make some changes to the golf course. Not satisfied with a quick fix, they shut down the golf course for more than a year to come up with the kind of changes they envisioned. Nine re-opened in 2002 and the second nine shortly after. There are new tee boxes, new greens, new sand traps, new ponds, new cart paths . . . just about everything is new. The $3 million project gave the course the kind of face-lift the owners, Bridge Partners, hoped for. 

• Priest Lake: Located about 90 minutes from Spokane on the upper Idaho Panhandle and near Priest Lake with the Selkirk Mountain. Range as a backdrop. It is a nature walk with tall tree-lined fairways and numerous ponds that challenge your game. Keep an eye out for wildlife.  At 6,100 yards from the tips it plays longer than the yardage shows. The front nine was built in the ‘60s and remodeled in 2004, the back nine winds through the forest and was added in 2002. 

• Twin Lakes: Course is located in a residential community in Rathdrum, Idaho, about an hour’s drive from Spokane. It plays to 6,277 yards with is a completely different look on the front and back nines. The club is semiprivate, as homeowners own the course.

• University of Idaho Course: Withstanding the test of time, the University of Idaho Golf Course was originally designed by Francis L. James and constructed in 1933. Nestled among the rolling hills of the Palouse, panoramic wheat land vistas change with the seasons from emerald green to amber gold against a mountain backdrop. This unique course is challenging, offering a variety of shots from uneven lies to elevated and recessed greens.  

• Prairie Falls: The course blends the two most popular styles of golf courses, Parkland style and Links style, into one 18-hole course. The golf course sits on 119 acres of ground, of which 23 acres is native grass. Prairie Falls is an Audubon certified course in environmental planning, wildlife management, and water conservation. Some of the wildlife seen on the course have ranged from the occasional Moose, Elk, Eagles, Osprey, Turtles, and a spotted dog. The golf course is open, on average, 300 days a year.