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.

Coeur D

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

Coeur D

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.

www.CDAResort.com

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


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Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

Race to the CME Globe

Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

Rolex Player of the Year

The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

It’s simple math.

The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

1st - 30 points

2nd – 12 points

3rd – 9 points

4th – 7 points

5th – 6 points

6th – 5 points

7rd – 4 points

8th – 3 points

9th – 2 points

10th – 1 point

Vare Trophy

Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

Money-winning title

Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

Rolex world No. 1 ranking

World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


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Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''