Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, United States
Architect: Scott Miller (1986)
6,803 Yards, Par 71
My Quick Review: If in the area, it is difficult to turn down the opportunity to play the famed floating-green, but the golf course is boring, over-manicured and expensive.
1) There is a definite focus on beauty over brains. The golf course was as green as any golf course I have every played, and as a result, was as soft as any course I have ever played. Despite recent dry weather, balls regularly backed up in the fairways and plugged in their pitch-marks on the green. But heck, it looks good.
2) There are way too many trees, but see point 1. On many holes trees encroached on playing corridors and made for worse golf holes. But, I think most resort golfers don't mind. Standing on the 2nd tee I said to the three guys I was playing with that the trees on the right really encroached on the fairway and I thought the hole would be better if a few were removed. They all looked at me like I was crazy and one told me, "but the trees look really good."
3) A few of the holes are poorly conceived. For example, the fairway on hole 4 is, at its widest, 19 yards wide and it narrows to 10 yards in places. And, only half of that width allows you to see the green. Another example is a back pin placement on hole 5. There the green is a total of 6 yards wide.
4) Green contours are all but nonexistent
5) The island green is pretty cool and darned intimidating.
Hole 1: Par 5, 540 Yards
A gentle, simple opener. In no way does it prepare you for the narrowness that is holes 2-7.
Nowhere was the need for tree removal more apparent than on this hole. From the back tees, half of the narrow fairway is blocked by trees less than 100 yards from the tee (just ask 2 of my playing partners if they're in play!).
View from gold tee
The set of three trees to the right block a good portion of the green. Half of our group nicked those trees and were left 70 yards short of this 155 yard hole
A very short par 4, but of little interest. The fairway is just too narrow. One has almost no choice but to try and lay up between the bunkers where the fairway is widest (at just under 20 yards). Challenging the bunker, the fairway narrows to 11 yards.
The first of back-to-back picturesque par 3s. This one is an island of sorts, surrounded by sand. Certainly the most interestingly shaped green on the golf course, but the shaping is, in my opinion poorly conceived. The fingers of the green are just too narrow. For example, the green is just 6 yards wide where the pin was located on the day I played.
Downhill, scenic and semi-blind (from the back tees) with as flat a green as you will ever find.
A difficult hole with another tree-lined tee shot. Those trees that should be removed right of two are some of the same trees that should be removed right of 7. And while they're taking those trees out on the right of 7, they should also think about taking some trees out from the left of 7.
Off the tee, trees block out the right side of the fairway, which is the ideal place to be
This hole has a tree in the way, though I think they did that on purpose here!
Those trees in the picture actually block out half of the fairway. Again, my playing partner hit them off the tee, leaving a 2nd shot of some 575 yards.
A big-boy par 4. Off the tee the only issue is avoiding the large bunker down the right. I obviously played the wrong tees since the bunkers were well out of my range at 290 yards and I was free to wail away on the tee shot.
Approaches from the left provide to clearest view of the green as approaches from the right suffer a semi-blind approach over the fairway bunker. The green appears to accepts shots from both sides equally.
My favorite hole on the course. There is plenty of width, but the fairway slopes (gently) right to left. If you want to get home in two, you must play up the right edge of the fairway to allow for the kick left and still be able to see the green (too far left would be blocked out by trees).
A fairly straightforward lay-up, but bunkers at the end of the fairway do stop a player from hitting away aimlessly.
Hole 12: Par 3, 249 Yards
A very long par 3, but wide open short of the green to allow for shots to be run-on. Again, with the soft conditions this is very difficult.
There is water on three sides of the green, but given the length of the hole, I'll bet it rarely comes into play as most players will miss short.
A little bit more filler until the long wait to play the island green is over. A pretty par-4 that is nothing more than a lay-up short of where the water juts into the fairway and a short-iron.
The day I played it, the green was playing 198 yards into a steady 1-club wind. 17 at Sawgrass eat your heart out. I hit 8-iron at Sawgrass; hybrid at CDA and there is a gallery as the 14th is overlooked by the clubhouse/restaurant.
My caddie informed the group that the average group hits 8 shots on the hole, and 1 will be dry. I hit first. I was dry. Everyone else put two in the water. Just to test her stats, I hit a second ball --- water. She was right, 1/8.
A good short par 5. If you want a clear look at the green, you must challenge the bunker on the left.
My caddie told me that this hole was the CDA Resort's version of a links hole. I'm convinced she had no idea what that means. Anyways...
The tee shot is dominated by a large bunker on the right that must be avoided.