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Circling Raven Golf Club
On a recent trip to Coeur d'Alene we were fortunate enough to get to play two fantastic courses - Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course and Circling Raven Golf Club. Here is the link to our review of the Coeur d'Alene Resort and Golf Course. You can't leave coeur d'alene without playing some of the other fantastic courses in the area, so we drove 25 minutes south of Coeur d'Alene to play in Worley. Circling Raven is built on Coeur d’ Alene Tribal land and includes a casino and reasonably priced lodging and golf packages. Golf, gaming, brand-name entertainment, fine dining, plush lodging and a spectacular array of natural resources – including majestic snow-capped mountain views – define the Circling Raven Resort. Circling Raven Golf Club has been named the nation's best Indian casino golf course in the nation by Native American Casino Magazine. This is the second consecutive time Circling Raven has garnered the top spot in this list published by the national industry publication
Circling Raven Golf Course was created amid a unique blend of wetlands, grasslands and woodlands. At 7,189 yards, the par 72 championship layout meanders through 620 acres, only 100 representing cultivated ground. Wildlife is abundant, including elk, deer, moose and an occasional black bear. In fact, the opening was delayed due to damage on two greens by migrating elk. The player’s experience is that of a links-style course. On the back nine, the only hole a golfer can see is the hole he or she is playing. Wetlands impact play on 13 holes, natural grasses complement the wetlands on 16 holes and a mix of Ponderosa Pines, Aspens, Cottonwoods and Birch blend into the scenery throughout. The blue grass fairways and bent grass greens are closely manicured, as would be expected at a premier resort golf course. The player’s greatest challenges are “Tees and Threes,” meaning accurate driving and careful management of the four par 3s, all measuring over 200 yards from the back tees. White sand, brought in from Emmet, Ida., fills 60 bunkers.
Circling Raven Golf Course is a beautiful golf course carved through the woodlands, rolling hills and meadows about 7 miles from the southwest shores of gorgeous Lake Coeur d’ Alene. Their address is Worley, ID but I never saw a town and it took about half an hour south of the town of Coeur d’ Alene.
We played the course in late June, 2008. Circling Raven head golf pro, Tony Cuchessi, and his crew have done an excellent job of whipping their course back in to shape after the record harsh, cold, snowy, late winter of ‘07/’08. This Gene Bates design takes full advantage of its stunning setting of pine-draped mountains, forested meadows and protected wetlands.
Each hole has a significant name from the Coeur d’Alene tribe as shown carved on the four stones by the first tee. Tribal history also tells us that Circling Raven was a spiritually powerful leader, his name coming from his close relationship to the raven, who helped guide him on his journeys, warn him of danger and show him where to find fish and game.
The Circling Raven can be a monster. It measures 7,189 yards with a 74.8 rating and a 140 slope from the tips. Yet it's only a 4,708 yard friendly jaunt from the Green tees. Take your choice of five tees to fit your game.
A couple of my favorite holes are the par 5 12th hole. It’s a downhiller over or around a stand of tall Ponderosa Pines. Then it’s uphill to the right around some healthy bunkers. Then it’s left to a fairly receptive green.
Another favorite is the 15th. It’s a tight banana shaped downhill par 4 ideal for a controlled fade. Don’t overshoot this green or you’ll be in the marshland with the Idaho wildlife.
Speaking of “wildlife”….be sure to hit the Circling Raven Casino adjoining the course for your food and drink and a shot at totally electronic gaming……….with dealers! Casino offers 1,800 machines for play in smoking and non-smoking areas, off-track betting for horse and dog races, high-stakes bingo, entertainment and many other amenities. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week every day of the year. The resort is regularly voted the most popular casino in the Inland Northwest. You'll also find an outstanding Stay & Play package. Enjoy.
Written by Sam Sherstad - Writer, Recreation Travel Reviews