Webster’s dictionary defines unique as having no like or equal; being the only one of its kind; standing alone in comparison with others. The 14 th hole island green at Idaho’s five star Couer d’Alene Resort certainly qualifies for this distinction. The 15,000 square foot green is the one and only moveable floating island green in the world. That’s unique!…and that’s exactly what resort owner Duane Hagadone had in mind when he enlisted golf course architect Scott Miller to design the hole and the course. The 15,000,000-pound island is moved daily to its new computer generated distance by a one-inch cable connected to electric winches in the green’s substructure. Depending upon where the island is positioned, a tee shot can be anywhere from 100 to 175 yards. If your tee shot finds the crystal clear snow fed waters of Lake Couer d’Alene, you can reload for a second shot. To speed play only two shots at the green are allowed before you must board the small ferry for the short ride to the island and your next shot from the drop zone.
Par the hole and you will receive a Certificate of Achievement for your golfing wall of fame. The world famous 14 th hole is challenging and fun to play, as are the course’s other 17 holes. On paper, at only 6309 yards from the blues, the par 71course with its 121 slope rating might look to be easy. Don’t be fooled. Snow-white bunkers, strategically placed around the greens and in the wide rolling fairways, make proper club selection and shot execution paramount for a good round. The natural beauty of the course also makes concentrating on golf extremely difficult. Playing from the tips, the par 4’s are mostly 420 yards plus. The par 5’s range from 491 yards to 566 yards, and one par 3 is 208 yards. Even the short 257-yard par 4 17 th hole requires good course management and well-placed shots.
Architect Scott Miller created the course with three distinct golfing experiences; a links experience while playing on sculptured fairways, a mountain experience from observing fairways carved from native rock croppings, and a water experience while absorbing beautiful lake views on every hole. When you combine these experiences with finely manicured bent grass tees, greens and fairways, and the over 60,000 petunias, junipers, geraniums and wildflowers that add rainbow like color to the course, you have a treat in store when you play this Northern Idaho gem. To add to the ease and enjoyment of playing the course, each foursome has a caddy who acts as both a forward caddy and a putting green guru; golf carts are equipped with tee dispensers, beverage cart coolers, shoe/accessory storage areas, waste receptacles, and club and ball washer; course maintenance is done at night to avoid conflict with golfers; and tee times are lengthened to 10 minute intervals so you never feel rushed.
Before or after a round of golf, you can fish, swim, kayak, parasail or cruise about on 23 mile-long Lake Couer d’Alene, once described by National Geographic as one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world. For shoppers in the family, the picturesque town of Couer d’Alene, with its population of approximately 35,000, offers both small family-owned stores and well appointed mall shops. When it comes to dining, a variety of delightful restaurants in the resort and along Couer d’Alene’s picturesque streets offer a variety of pleasures for every taste. Beverly’s, the resort’s fine dining restaurant, was one of my favorites. It combines a casual relaxed atmosphere with delicious certified prime beef entrees, a world class wine cellar, and spectacular panoramic views of the lake to provide a wonderful dining experience. When in Northern Idaho, make the elegant Couer d’Alene Resort your headquarters.Play the course and its famed14 th hole and you’ll agree that just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Great Wall of China, the moveable floating island green is One Of A Kind. For more information about the Coeur d’Alene Resort, which is perennially ratedas one the top 10 resorts in the U.S. by readers of Conde Naste Traveler magazine, visit www.cdaresort.com. For golf reservations call 1-800-935-6283.