Elevated summer golf: The Coeur D'Alene Resort & Spa in northern Idaho

By Brandon TuckerAugust 21, 2012, 5:20 pm

Long-known for its floating green and a location beside one of the northwest's favorite lakes, The Coeur D'Alene Resort & Spa is sporting a fresh look after major renovations.

COEUR D'ALENE, Id. -- The famous island green that floats atop Lake Coeur D'Alene just scratches the surface as far as just how much The Coeur D'Alene Resort & Spa embraces its location beside one of the northwest's most alluring lakes. Even activities traditionally suited for dry land have a knack of finding their way onto the water. 

The wealth of ways to enjoy the lake -- including one of the region's top courses -- along with the resort's recent major upgrades, make it a top destination for those looking to play golf and a whole lot more.

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Originally opened in the 1980s, the resort spent the last several years upgrading amenities, highlighted by tripling the size of the fitness center. The lobby area was redesigned, which included the addition of a giant fish tank stocked with giant koi, installed as the centerpiece. The lobby bar, Whispers, was redesigned and opened up as well to blend in with the lobby more and create more activity.

It's a first impression that shows the property, owned by the Hagadone family since it's opening in 1986, is keeping up with the times quite nicely. But you're not coming to Coeur D'Alene for much of anything indoors, at least in the summertime. You want the crisp, dry air of 2,100-foot elevation and the scenery of the Bitteroot Mountains that encircle the lake. 

Most resort activities takes place dockside or can be reached by boat. In fact, there isn't much need for a rental car, as the hotel is smack dab in the heart of downtown Coeur D'Alene. Residents with a motor boat, or guests who rent one from the resort, can even happy hour bar-hop to lakefront spots like Eddie's at Gozzer Ranch. Or, outdoor tour company Row Adventures shuttles guests to other excursions beyond the lake, like cycling the legendary Hiawatha Trail

Dockside, one of the resort's dining concepts, lures guests down first thing in the morning for a hot breakfast and cool lakeside breeze to breakfast on a boat. The resort even introduced 'Paddleboard Yoga,' blending together two of the hottest outdoor crazes, and makes 'sun salutations' and 'downward-dog' maneuvers all that more difficult to pull off.

The resort's water theme extends to the spa in a most refreshing way. After a day outdoors, the resort's spa awaits with one of the more uniquely satisfying treatments. Massages are followed by five minutes in a 15-point shower with a choreographed sequence of sprays and fluctuating water temperatures, which should have your entire body sufficiently loosey-goosey by dinnertime.

Among the various dining venues at the resort, the top draw is located on the hotel's seventh floor, Beverly's. When the elevator doors open, a floor-to-ceiling wine rack showcases just part of a $1.5 million, 16,000-bottle wine collection, which they claim to be the largest in the Northwest. The sommelier will be happy to guide you through daily tastings, while the dinner menu showcases a mix of fish and meats like buffalo tenderloin to pair a glass or bottle with.

Golf beyond the floating green at Coeur D'Alene

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The Coeur D'Alene Resort Golf Course sports plenty of innovations, beginning with a water taxi from the resort across the lake to the clubhouse. From here, golfers warm up by hitting floater balls from the shore back out into the water. For those tensing up at the thought of watching balls repeatedly splash prior to their round, a range-side masseuse awaits golfers who need a quick rubdown prior to teeing off (range massages are included in certain packages).

The club's golf carts are customized with sporty trim, rims and hidden storage compartments, including a large cooler in the front, and resemble the decked out rides you might find on at a posh private club somewhere in Palm Springs. On the course, the fairways are unblemished, thanks to the fact carts are never allowed on them (forecaddies come along with every group), and rakes are even kept underground in small compartments beside sand traps to stay well out of sight.

But despite these novelties, the golf course has classic bones. With a traditional parkland setting set on modest acreage, it's routing is easily walkable with a caddie. And while the island green steals the show, each par 3 here is a standout. The front side, in fact, has three par 3s in four holes, each of which are remarkable in their own right. The short third hole tip-toes atop a small beach beside the lake. The fifth, which was enhanced during the course's renovation in 2003, is a short but devilish wedge shot to a boomerang-shaped green surrounded by one giant bunker, whose edges are accented with rock outcroppings. Finally, the par-3 sixth hole plays from an elevated tee straight downhill with the lake as a backdrop. All three could warrant themselves the signature hole - or at the very least the title of 'best par 3' if it weren't for the 15,000-square-foot marvel sitting off shore.

More golf around Coeur D'Alene: Circling Raven Golf Club

Circling Raven

Coeur D'Alene has become a hotbed of high-end, private golf courses in recent years, particularly with the addition of Black Rock and Gozzer Ranch. But golfers can enjoy a handful of standout public plays in the area as well.

About 30 minutes to the south of the resort in Worley, the Coeur D'Alene Native American tribe (who own the southern third of the lake) crafted their own casino resort, home to Circling Raven Golf Club.

Circling Raven showcases the expansive, open spaces of northern Idaho country. There are 650 acres of rolling hills and low-lying wetlands, where wheat fields and forests make for a surreally peaceful environment. On the back nine, no two holes play parallel and golfers get the sense they're the only group around for miles.

Circling Raven and Coeur D'Alene are darling complements to one another: whereas Coeur D'Alene is a picture perfect, lakefront resort-style course, Circling Raven is a little more of a golfer's golf course, with some great risk-reward tee shots and meatier par 3s and top-notch practice facility.

In addition to Circling Raven, other nearby plays are the Jack Nicklaus-designed Idaho Club and Palouse Ridge. Spokane residents will proudly proclaim they have one of the best value-laden summer golf scenes in the U.S., home to such muni standouts as historic Indian Canyon, which was built in the 1930s.

For online tee times in the Spokane area and greater washington and northern Idaho, visit GolfNow.com.

Getting to Coeur D'Alene

The Coeur D'Alene Resort & Spa is located on the northern shore of Lake Coeur D'Alene, 30 miles east of Spokane International Airport (GEG), which is served by the likes of Southwest, United and Delta and connects to many airport hubs in the west.


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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.

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Returning Park grabs 54-hole Founders lead

By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 2:09 am

PHOENIX – In the long shadows falling across Wildfire Golf Club late Saturday afternoon, Inbee Park conceded she was tempted to walk away from the game last year.

While healing a bad back, she was tempted to put her clubs away for good and look for a second chapter for her life.

But then . . .

“Looking at the girls playing on TV, you think you want to be out there” Park said. “Really, I couldn't make my mind up when I was taking that break, but as soon as I'm back here, I just feel like this is where I belong.”

In just her second start after seven months away from the LPGA, Park is playing like she never left.

She’s atop a leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, looking like that’s exactly where she belongs.

With a 9-under-par 63 Saturday, Park seized the lead going into the final round.

At 14 under overall, she’s one shot ahead of Mariajo Uribe (67), two ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn (68) and three ahead of 54-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies (63) and Chella Choi (66).

Park’s back with a hot putter.

That’s not good news for the rest of the tour. Nobody can demoralize a field with a flat stick like Park. She’s one of the best putters the women’s game has ever seen, and on the front nine Saturday she looked as good as she ever has.

“The front nine was scary,” said her caddie, Brad Beecher, who was on Park’s bag for her long run at world No. 1, her run of three consecutive major championship victories in 2013 and her gold medal victory at the Olympics two years ago.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“The front nine was great . . . like 2013,” Park said.

Park started her round on fire, going birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. She was 6 under through five holes. She holed a wedge from 98 yards at the third hole, making the turn having taken just 10 putts. Yeah, she said, she was thinking about shooting 59.

“But I'm still really happy with my round today,” she said.

Park isn’t getting ahead of herself, even with this lead. She said her game isn’t quite where she wants it with the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major championship, just two weeks away, but a victory Sunday should go a long way toward getting her there.

Park is only 29. LPGA pros haven’t forgotten what it was like when she was dominating, when she won 14 times between 2013 and ’15.

They haven’t forgotten how she can come back from long layoffs with an uncanny ability to pick up right where she left off.

Park won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year in just her second start. She left the tour again in the summer with an aching back.

“I feel like Inbee could take off a whole year or two years and come back and win every week,” said Brittany Lincicome, who is four shots behind Park. “Her game is just so consistent. She doesn't do anything flashy, but her putting is flashy.

“She literally walks them in. It's incredible, like you know it's going in when she hits it. It's not the most orthodox looking stroke, but she can repeat it.”

Park may not play as full a schedule as she has in the past, Beecher said, but he believes she can thrive with limited starts.

“I think it helps her get that fight back, to get that hunger back,” Beecher said. “She knows she can play 15 events a year and still compete. There aren’t a lot of players who can do that.”

Park enjoyed her time away last year, and how it re-energized her.

“When I was taking the long break, I was just thinking, `I can do this life as well,’” Park said. “But I'm glad I came back out here. Obviously, days like today, that's the reason I'm playing golf.”

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Joh on St. Patrick's ace: Go broke buying green beers

By Randall MellMarch 18, 2018, 12:57 am

PHOENIX – Tiffany Joh was thrilled making a run into contention to win her first LPGA title Saturday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she comically cracked that her hole-in-one might have been ill-timed.

It came on St. Patrick’s Day.

“This is like the worst holiday to be making a hole-in-one on,” Joh said. “You'll go broke buying everyone green beers.”

Joh aced the fifth hole with a 5-iron from 166 yards on her way to an 8-under-par 64. It left her four shots behind the leader, Inbee Park (63).

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

One of the more colorful players on tour, Joh said she made the most of her hole-in-one celebration with playing partner Jane Park.

“First I ran and tackled Jane, then I high-fived like every single person walking to the green,” Joh said.

Joh may be the LPGA’s resident comedian, but she faced a serious challenge on tour last year.  Fourteen months ago, she had surgery to remove a malignant melanoma. She won the LPGA’s Heather Farr Perseverance Award for the way she handled her comeback.