Where’s the best place to play golf on the West Coast? We’ll give you hundreds of choices.
Golferswest.com continues its annual assessment of the Top Five courses to play within 12 West Coast states and British Columbia. Today, the 25-part series focuses on: Idaho/Boise
NO. 1 COURSE: SHADOW VALLEY
DIRECTIONS FROM BOISE: Take State St. west to Hwy 55. Turn right and head north for four miles on N. Horseshoe Bend Rd. Course is on the right.
OPENED: 1973 (Architect: C. Edward Trout)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: shadowvalley.com
LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,433 yards (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: The club prides itself on being ‘natural,’ not only in designing a course that blends nicely into the environment but also willingly shares its land with other creatures. It has been certified by the National Audubon Society. Even its tee designations reflect that, Eagle, Hawk, Falcon and Nature.
The course has been a local favorite for decades and has undergone plenty of changes, including a rebuilt No. 6 hole, a 139-yard par-3. It has been rated as the ‘Best in Treasure Valley’ for five straight years.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 2, par-4, 262 yards. Short lateral water hazard runs down the left side and is also protected by trees. You need to clear that distance, around 160 yards, to have a shot at the two-tier green. You also need to carry all the way to the green because of a swale and creek in front.
NO. 2 COURSE: QUAIL HOLLOW
DIRECTIONS FROM BOISE: Take I-84 west to exit 49 and take I-184 toward city center. Take exit 2 at Curtis Rd. and go north. Bear right and E. Veterans Pwy., which changes to N. 36th St. Course is on the right.
OPENED: 1982 (Architects: Bruce Delvin/Robert van Hagge)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: quailhollowgolfclub.com
LAYOUT: Par 70, 6,373 yards (three tee positions)
LOWDOWN: This is a rolling course among the Boise foothills. There are some stunning views. During the summer you see the green carpeted fairways and green stand out amid the shag-rug brown hillsides. As he walk around you see in the distance the rolling hills around the city and the Treasure Valley.
The course has undergone several transformations over the decades but it’s a pretty decent layout now. It has been given a 4-star rating by Golf Digest. One of the course’s most unique features is its giant horseshoe green on the 18th hole.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 2, par-3, 202 yards. Standing on the elevated tee, you’ll have an eye-pleasing view to the green. The elevated green is half way up a hill, protected by bunkers, right and left and front and back. It’s target practice.
NO. 3 COURSE: BANBURY
DIRECTIONS FROM BOISE: Take I-184 west and exit at US-20, Chinden Ave. Turn right on S. Eagle Rd. Turn left on W. Oakhampton Rd. and right and Marypost Pl. Course is on the right.
OPENED: 1999 (Architect: John Harbottle III)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: banburygolf.com
LAYOUT: Par 71, 6,890 yards (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: Banbury’s layout is designed around the meandering south channel of the Boise River. You get a good feel for nature here, as the native plants and animals mix with birdies and bogeys.
The course has been rated in the top 10 in Idaho by Golf Digest for eight consecutive years.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 18, par-5, 499 yards. Water on your right. Water on your left. You have to thread the needle through the middle. Take your drive to the right to avoid getting wet left. The fairway is more wide open than it appears from the tee box. Then on your approach to the green you have – water. It’s on the left with two bunkers behind and one on the right.
NO. 4 COURSE: WARM SPRINGS
DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN BOISE: Starting on Main St., head southeast to E. Warm Springs Ave. and continue for about two miles. Take a right onto E. Walling Dr. Take first left onto S. Capitola Dr.
OPENED: 1972 (Architect: J.D. Evans)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: cityofboise.org
LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,719 yards (three tee positions)
LOWDOWN: You’ll get a lot of carry, especially during the summer, in this relatively flat course in the Treasure Valley.
It’s situated on the banks of the Boise River with scenic views of the foothills. Despite it’s advanced age, it’s well-maintained by the Boise Parks & Rec. Department.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 7, par-4, 455 yards. It’s a dogleg right and nearly everyone has to deal with the large lake down the right side. The long hitters may clear it to the left, with a wedge to the green. But at some point, depending on the length of your drive, you have to fly over the water onto the green, protected by a right-side bunker.
NO. 5 COURSE: BOISE RANCH
DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN BOISE: Take I-184 west, which turns into I-84. Take S. Eagle Rd. exit and go south. Turn left on E Amity Rd. and right on S. Cloverdale Rd. Course is on the left.
OPENED: 1994 (Architect: Russ Isbell)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: boiseranchgc.com
LAYOUT: Par 71, 6,691 yards (three tee positions)
LOWDOWN: There are eight lakes on the course so toss a few extra balls in the bag. Having said that, this is a course that the whole family can enjoy.
It offers a good test of golf but the wide fairways and accessibility make it a good course for beginning golfers as well.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 13, par-5, 634 yards. Just keeping hacking away. This is one of the longest par 5′s in the state of Idaho, where a par is treasured.
- Bob Sherwin
TOMORROW: Northern Idaho/Spokane area