For people who love playing, a day on the worst possible golf course is better than any day not swinging the clubs. But you can really tell when you're playing somewhere special, and Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley is one of those places. That's why Inlander readers named it their favorite golf course in North Idaho.
Much of what makes Circling Raven a must-stop for weekend hackers and low-handicappers alike is the incredible landscape. Circling Raven Golf Club Director Dave Christenson notes that the Coeur d'Alene Tribe dedicated an incredible amount of land for the course when they opened it 16 years ago. "A course is normally 140 or 150 acres, and we have 620 acres out here," Christenson says. "The reason they did that is they wanted to be able to access some of the special land we have."
Eighteen holes at Circling Raven will have you crisscrossing bridges through wetlands, dodging trees in woodlands and finally cruising through lush Palouse grasses, and "you rarely see another hole except the one you are playing," he notes, adding that while you won't see houses or condos lining the fairways, you might see a moose cruising through. When you consider the pristine condition of the course, the complimentary driving range to get warmed up, and plenty of options for 19th hole libations at the clubhouse and nearby Coeur d'Alene Casino, you have an incredible day in store any time you visit.
Barring a major shift in weather patterns, Circling Raven will open this year before the end of March for the first time. Another first? The arrival of the Symetra "Road to the LPGA" Tour stopping at Circling Raven Aug. 24-30, bringing 156 women golfers who are vying to join the top echelon of women's professional golf. This will be the tour's first stop in Idaho, and first time playing a No. 1-rated course in its 40 seasons to date, Christenson says.