With its iconic floating green and picturesque setting, Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course impresses.

Not exactly where you might pinpoint a top-notch golf course, but in northern Idaho, yes that Idaho, a mere 100 miles from the Canadian border, among the foothills of the Northern Rocky
Mountain, Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course is steadily gaining the golfing community’s attention—and for good reason.

Founder of Coeur d’Alene Resort and Golf course, Duane Hagadone—who has holdings in printing, publishing, real estate and land development—wanted the Coeur d’Alene lake to be the focal point of a golf course he envisioned as he sat on the lake’s edge after purchasing the property in the late ’80s.

Located on the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Coeur d’Alene Resort opened in 1986, known now as the “Playground of the Northwest.” In 1987 on the property adjacent to the resort, Rutledge Sawmill, that provided lumber for the greater Northwest region had cut its last log after a 70-year tenure. From the shore overlooking the lake, when the mill was in its final days of operation, Hagadone had a wild idea that would ultimately become an iconic highlight among any golf course across the country.

The overall personality of the course is wondrous, with the expanding Pacific Northwest as a backdrop. Smaller in acreage at just over 62 acres the course’s definition rises from the lake landscape.

“It’s very unique in that it has a park-like setting. You have a variety of different hole and fairway areas from those laden with trees and gradual hills, to more flat terrain. Fernan Creek that runs just below two of our holes opens up directly into the lake. There are lake views at just about every hole,” says head golf professional Andy Mackimmie.

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Situated along Lake Coeur d'Alene, resort founder and owner, Duane Hagadone fought to create the nowiconic floating and moveable 14th lake green. The entire course is laid out in a park-like setting, maximizing the enjoyment of majestic scenery and natural resources—making the resort ideal for a myriad of outdoor activities, as well as the perfect setting for the Coeur d'Alene Resort Spa.

Surprising—but deserving—the course has been compared to Augusta National Golf Course in terms of its immaculate and precise grooming and maintenance. Initially rated on the easier side, Coeur d’Alene did go through a remodeling phase in the mid-1990s to heighten itself as a bit more challenging and competitive.

“We did the remodeling and created up to seven different tee markers and added bunkers. We’ve really expanded it and made it a course for just about everyone,” adds Mackimmie.

As for that iconic course highlight, Hagadone, when visualizing the course had a creative, definitely out-of-the-box idea he would not let go of. He had to fight his architect, course designer Scott Miller and consultant, legendary golf pro Jack Nicklaus, but Hagadone was adamant of not only including a floating lake green, where the sawmill’s log boom once sat, but also making it moveable. As a mobile green, the floating 14th has the capabilities of being altered by up to 160 yards. Although the green seems intimidating floating in the distance, at 15,000 square feet it is a fairly large target.

As of 2010, the 14th at Coeur d’Alene was estimated at three times the cost of any other green ever built, but as an attraction and unique addition to golf it’s absolutely worth it. Maybe the most fun aspect of hole 14 is that to get to the green golfers get to enjoy a quick ferry ride on a boat fittingly called The Putter. From the green there are impressive views and photo opportunities of glacier-created created Coeur d’Alene lake and the encompassing forest and mountain region.

Built on a barge system, the design and contours of the green followed. The 14th has a full 18 inches of soil, making it USGA approved, and from an environmental standpoint, during irrigation of the green the water is captured and pumped directly to an on-shore septic system, making sure the fertilizers do not jeopardize the integrity of the lake water.

Other attractive holes are numbers 2, 3 and 6—all par-3s. “Those are very picturesque because they elevate about 80 feet above lake level giving way to spectacular lake backdrop shots,” says Mackimmie.

From the golf professional perspective, Mackimmie highlights hole 11, comparing it to hole 13 at Augusta. A long par-5, hole 11 sees Fernan Creek running parallel with the fairway until quickly cutting across prior to the green, making sure golfers stay attentive to keeping their ball dry.

An exceptional place for vacationing year-round, Coeur d’Alene has a charming, and welcoming downtown with plenty of quaint boutique shops and restaurant options. As is expected, their busiest months are in mid-summer from June through August. Set on the eastern side of the Pacific Northwest the climate is certainly drier than that of the coastal regions of Oregon or Washington.

Coeur d’Alene offers many packages that are structured depending on the time of year, with the spring and fall seasons being more affordable for golf play and resort stay.

Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. 2nd St.,
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814. (855) 999-7998 or www.cdaresort.com