Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course Review

50 Words or Less

The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is much more than the floating green.  A gorgeous course that’s designed to let the recreational golfer have a memorable time.  Outstanding customer service.

Introduction

Most golfers know only one thing about the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course: #14, the floating green.  I was certainly in that camp when I signed up for my trip there.

When I arrived, I found out that this place has much more to offer.  This is a drop-dead gorgeous course with phenomenal customer service.  And the rest of the course?  It’s so good, I’d play it again even without #14.

Practice Facilities

So much of the Coeur d’Alene Resort centers around the lake, so it’s fitting that the range does, too.  To warm up, golfers hit floating balls into the water.  While it’s not ideal for mapping your distances, it is a break from the ordinary that’s lot of fun.

Behind the driving range, you’ll find two sizable putting and chipping greens.  The resort does an excellent job keeping the putting surfaces and the surrounding rough in a condition that mirrors the course.

Customer Service & Amenities

Every aspect of the Coeur d’Alene Resort is top notch.  Your round starts with a short boat ride from the hotel to the golf course.  At the course, you’ll find a large club house with excellent food and a massive pro shop.  As you can imagine, pictures of the Floating Green are available on everything from socks to golf balls to hats.  Most importantly, everyone we encountered was warm and helpful.

I can’t wrap up this section without mentioning our forecaddie, Dylan (pictured above; I’ll trust you to figure out which one).  Dylan is among the best caddies I’ve ever had.  He ran all over the course making sure that everyone in our fivesome had a yardage on every shot and a read on every putt.  He also had a perfect caddie demeanor – realistically positive.  He sized up everyone’s game, gave them great advice, and kept them upbeat.  If you’re lucky enough to have him in your group, make him hit a shot – he’s a stick, too.

Beauty & Scenery

With the natural beauty of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the hills and mountains beyond, it would have been impossible to build an ugly course on this property.  However, the designers did more than just rely on nature; they maximized its potential.  They went so far as to hide the bathrooms in the sides of hills so they can’t be seen from the course.

Two things stand out when I think back to my experience at this course.  The first is the color palette: the lake and sky combining to form every shade of blue, the rich greens, the gleaming white bunkers, and the 30,000 red geraniums planted throughout the course.  The other strong memory is the aroma.  Throughout much of the round, you’re surrounded by a pine smell that’s so thick you feel like you can touch it.  Both of these things provide the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course with a wonderful sense of place.

Tee Shots

At 6,803 yards, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Course isn’t intimidatingly long, but it does require accuracy.  The fairways are no more than average in width, and there are plenty of fairway bunkers and trees to obscure your second shot.

The rough at Coeur d’Alene is immaculately maintained, but that will be cold comfort when you’re trying to hack a shot out of it.  It’s not long enough to hide your ball, but it’s lush and will absolutely rob your approach of distance and spin.

Those two paragraphs may lead you to think that CDA is for players only, but that’s not the case.  In fact, the course is designed with the recreational player in mind.  One helpful feature is that many of the fairways are banked in to keep balls from running into the rough.  Additionally, with the exception of the water hazards, it’s hard to lose a ball.  The rough and trees provide challenge, but you always have the ability to recover.

Approaches

More than any other single factor, your iron play will determine your ability to score at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Course.  The first thing for visitors to consider is that you’ll be playing at elevation and your iron shots may travel a bit farther than normal.  Try to sort that out before you hit the course.

One of my favorite things about the CDA Resort Course is the variety of green shapes.  From the “fidget spinner” green on #5, to long, skinny greens, to traditional round greens, you’ll need to think carefully about club and shot selection to hit many greens in reg.

Finally, and at the risk of stating the obvious, your second shots will be much easier if you’re playing from the fairway.  The banked fairways that I mentioned earlier only help golfers who are in the short grass.  If you’re in the rough, you’re often dealing with uneven lies in addition to the thick grass.

Greens & Surrounds

While the Coeur d’Alene Resort Course is generally designed to help the recreational player have fun, the bunkers are the exception.  They are large, deviously positioned, and often have steep faces.  If you’re not a strong bunker player, focus your course management on staying out of the traps.

The surrounds at CDA Resort Course are wonderful.  There’s tremendous variety, and they give the strategic golfer plenty to think about.  There are bunkers tight to greens and others set back.  In some cases there is tightly mowed grass all the way to the green, in other cases you have more rough to navigate.  Some surrounds are flat, others bring significant contours into play.  You’ll need a full compliment of short game shots at your disposal to score well if you’re missing greens.

Once you’re on the green, the hard work is over.  Listen to your forecaddie and you’ll be in great shape.  The breaks tend to be subtle – very few putts were more than a couple inches outside the cup – and first-timers will have difficulty picking them up.  These greens are pure, so there are no excuses for not rolling in a few birdies.

Overall Design

Before I get to my favorite holes, I want to applaud the designers of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course for striking such a wonderful balance between fun and challenge.  Throughout the course, you see little things they did to make the course friendlier for the amateur player.  At the same time, no one is coming out here and posting a low score without real skill.  It’s a balance that many courses shoot for but few achieve.

Ultimately, the best compliment I can give the CDA Resort Golf Course is that when I was finished with 18 holes, I just wanted to keep playing.  

Favorite Holes

#5 – Par 3 – 148 yards

The front nine has three par 3s that are all really good, but my favorite is #5.  With a green that looks like a fidget spinner, it’s a hole that can change completely based on pin location.  It’s not bad aesthetically, either.

#17 – Par 4 – 269 yards

The yardage screams “driveable,” but the massive pine on the left side of the fairway says, “Not so much.”  This is the ideal short 4 because you can make a six as easily as you can make a three.

#14 – Par 3 – Yardage Changes Daily

Did you really think I wasn’t going to list this one?  Everything about this hole is a blast.  Each tee shot in your group is full of drama, then you hop on “The Putter” for your ride to the green, and when you’re finished you get a certificate with your score on it.  Gimmicky?  Maybe.  Fun?  Absolutely.

Conclusion

I came into my round at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course thinking it was just a place I wanted to check off my bucket list.  I left wondering how soon I would be able to get back there.  From the beautiful aesthetics to a design that balances fun and challenge, this is a must-visit destination.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great review Matt. I’ve been wanting to play this course since 2005 when we found it in Tiger Woods PS2 video game. I’ve always wondered if it was worth the flight from the east coast now I’m going to have to start seriously planning.

  2. Daniel Bratlie

    The whole town of CDA is amazing!!! I have traveled all over the US, and this sleepy little town is prettier than most. I travel here as much as possible, the golf is amazing, so many other courses to mention. You will never be disappointed in this place!!

  3. Dan Shepherd

    Matt – your review was uncanny in how closely it mirrored my experience at Coeur d’Alene Resort Course. It’s a fun golf course, immaculate, and player friendly, in large part due to the exceptional fore caddies. And a trip there must be accompanied with playing nearby Circling Raven Golf Club. They’re the two top-rated public courses in Idaho. It’s a great one-two punch of a golf destination getaway. Cheers! – Dan Shepherd

  4. I had the opportunity to play this course in early June and the review is spot on, can’t wait to go back because the course was amazing. If you not from the Idaho area, when you are playing this course, add in a day and play Circling Raven as well, makes the trip complete

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