Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course
"The beauty queen of courses"

Story & Photos by: Ed Stone

“The Beauty Queen of Golf Courses”

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is an oasis in the northwestern United States.  The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course is a one of the most beautiful golfing layouts you will ever encounter.  It features a 15,000 square foot floating island green (#14, par 3) at a cost of some $2 million in the early 1990’s.  Built on 200 acres, the course presents a park-like setting with some 30,000 geraniums, 1,500 wild flowers, 4,000 petunias and 25,000 junipers.

Being privileged to have played some of the world’s best links, I must admit, I call this one “The Beauty Queen of Golf Courses.”  The par 71, 18-hole course is more than just a one-hole attraction. It has been recognized and honored as one of the Top 20 courses in America, as well as a Gold Medal Resort by GOLF Magazine and a perfect 5-star rating from Golf Digest. It can also give you a spectacular and panoramic views that you may not find in other golf courses. Since recognized with those honors, the Coeur d’Alene Resort has spent an additional $3.5 million on the course to add fairway bunkers, increase length, and completely refurbish its second signature hole, number five another par-three.

A view of the #3 green with Lake Coeur d'Alene in background

To understand why and how this resort is so well managed, maintained and classy in every respect, you need to know a little about the individual who owns this wonderful place in Northwestern Idaho.  It is privately owned by Duane Hagadone and operated under the management of the Hagadone Corporation based in Coeur d’Alene.  The corporation is involved with newspaper publishing, real estate and hospitality.  The later is where the resort and golf course come into play.  We are told that Mr. Hagadone personally visits all of his properties in the Coeur d’Alene area each Sunday.  He is often seen at the golf course and around the resort.  In talking with many of the employees, he allows management to do their job, but certainly has a “hands-on” style making sure guests receive the finest service.
In the 80’s Duane Hagadone had seen Lee Trevino make a hole-in-one at a skins match.  He was also conceiving the development of an 18-hole golf course as part of his acquired resort property.  He stood on the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene on a Sunday morning and saw a tug boat moving logs.  These two events gave him the idea of building a floating green.

The 338 room premier luxury hotel and four-season resort

We must digress and understand that the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course was originally the site of a sawmill from 1916 to the early 1970’s.  It sat idle until the Hagadone Corp. purchased it in 1988. A substantial clean-up effort ensued, with the removal of hundreds of old pilings, a clean-up of the lake shore and lake bottom, with the removal of hundreds more sunken logs, demolition of a large number of buildings and the subsequent conversion to the beautiful, environmentally friendly, world-class golf resort it is today.

Awards are plentiful for the resort and golf course,
to name a few:

• 2009 Readers' Choice Awards – GolfWorld Magazine, receiving a #1 ranking in course conditioning and #3 in service which vaulted The Coeur d'Alene Resort to the top of all resort courses in the Western United States overall.
• 2006 Meetings and Conventions Magazine Gold Tee Award – recognized as one of the leading golf/meetings hotels throughout the world.  Winners were nominated and selected by readers of M&C, based on their overall excellence.
• Smart Meetings Magazine – Recognized and earned the elite Platinum Choice Award.
• Readers Choice, Golf Magazine: Gold Medal Award - Designated among the Top 20 Courses in America, 2000
• Golf Odyssey: Top 20 in the world and perfect scores for golf experience and golf course service, 2000
• Golf Digest: Top Award for America's "Sweet 16", 2000
• Only course in Northwest to be Audubon Sanctuary Approved, 2000
• Urban Land Institute Award: Recognized Developmental Projects that Exemplify Superior Design Relevant to Contemporary Needs and Resourceful Use of Land While Improving the Quality of the Existing Environment.

 The #5 hole, par 3 at Coeur d'Alene
The floating green is 15,000 square feet and weighs 5,000,000 lbs

Fran and her forecaddie, Chris Browning a native of Spokane, WA

Two custom designed, hand crafted, Honduran Mahogany Water Taxis transport golfers from hotel to course

Chef Tim Heining presents his "Beyond the Reuben" sandwich to yours truly. yum, yum!


  • Scott Miller who worked with the Jack Nicklaus Organization for 10 years.

The Floating Green:

  • Size: 15,000 Square Feet
  • Weight: 5,000,000 lbs
  • Movement: Playable Yardage 100-175 Yards (267 Yards for Winter Storage)
  • Distance: Changes every day! (Distance controlled by computer)

The Golf Course:

  • Opened April 1, 1991
  • Par 71
  • 6,735 Yards in Length
  • Encompasses 200 Acres
  • The Course includes 4.5 miles of concrete cart paths
  • Restrooms are located beneath #7 & #10 Tees (out of site from golfers)
  • Contoured course so you are not able to see other golfers
  • Lake views from all 18 holes

Bent Grass:

  • All Tees, Greens, and Fairways provide a playing surface on the Fairways equal to that found on Normal Greens
  • Transportation from the Coeur d’Alene Hotel to golf course:
  • Two custom designed, hand crafted, Honduran Mahogany Water Taxis
  • Forecaddie & Guest Service Program:
  • 1 Caddie per Foursome - Private Concierge for Guests: Rakes Sand traps, Finds Golf Balls, Cleans Clubs, Provides Distances

Laser Distance Reader:

  • The only Golf Course in the world to use them

15 Minute Rule:

  • Providing an enjoyable round in 4 1/2 hours
  • Fax orders on #9 Tee and deliver in Picnic Basket on #10 Tee
  • Complimentary sports massage therapy on Practice Range

Maintenance Staff:

  • Two full time positions per hole: All maintenance is done at night
  • The mowers are equipped with special lighting for night maintenance
  • There are maintenance personnel staffed 20 out of 24 hours a day
  • Golf course Superintendent, Kevin Hicks, and the entire golf course team should take great honor in being ranked 'the finest conditioned resort course in America'.

Practice Area:

  • Over the water Practice Range using floating golf balls
  • 2,400 sq. ft. putting green, 3,500 sq. ft. chipping green, practice sand bunkers, certified club fitter to assist with lessons, clinics & demo days, located at the practice range, 7 days a week.

Luxury Carts:

  • Custom designed carts feature heated seats and are equipped with Tilt Steering, Tee Dispenser, Beverage Cart Cooler, Shoe/Accessory Storage Area, Waste Receptacle, Ball and Club Washers (eliminating all waste receptacles, ball washers and club washers on Course).

Tee Times:

  • 10 minute interval Tee Times so players do not feel rushed.

The Resort Golf Course Pro Shop:
The Golf Pro Shop offers a complete line of quality pro-line golf equipment and Floating Green Logo Apparel plus unique logo gift items. With names like Cutter & Buck, Taylor Made, Callaway, Titleist, FootJoy plus many others.

The Floating Green Restaurant & Snack Bar:
Here you can dine with views overlooking the 14th tee and the floating golf green.  Open for breakfast, lunch, after-golf cocktails, and dinner (summer months only).  Be sure to check in advance as to hours of operations.

Coeur d'Alene's 25,000 square foot Conference Center with 25 meeting rooms

Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene, the 338 room premier luxury hotel and four-season resort enjoys Northern Idaho's limitless activities of outdoor sports.  For snow ski enthusiasts, the resort is less than an hour from the Rocky Mountain’s powder snow at the Silver Mountain and Schweitzer Mountain ski areas.
Recently, the hotel completed a modernization and reconfiguration of the 25,000 square foot Conference Center.  Custom furniture was created for the 25 meeting rooms along with installing state-of-the-art kitchen facility devoted to meetings and groups. This has been a $20 million refurbishment of the facilities in a resort-wide renovation program including a brand new $10 million spa.


The Spa Coeur d'Alene is one of the Top 54 Resort Spas in America

The 30,000-square-foot Spa Coeur d'Alene has also garnered its share of awards, too.  This state-of-the-art facility offers a serene magical setting of waterfalls, fountains and lake views from every window.  The Spa has become known as "The World's Most Romantic Spa” in a special report for the Sherman's Travel newsletter and featured on  Conde Nast Traveler also named The Spa Coeur d'Alene as one of the Top 54 Resort Spas in America.  It is truly one of the most majestic spars I’ve experienced.

• Beverly’s is the upscale restaurant and offers not only beautiful views of Lake Coeur d’Alene, but also such delicacies as caramel-braised muscovy duck and hot huckleberry soufflé. 
• Dockside serves as a laid back, family style restaurant.  Daily, it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is located off the hotel’s lobby with views of the boardwalk and marina.  The varied menu offers burgers, fish ‘n' chips, huckleberry pancakes, chicken marsala, fresh salmon or halibut.
• The Floating Green Restaurant serves up spectacular views of the lake and floating green, along with delectable cuisine.  My encounter with Chef Tim Heining was most delightful and rewarding.  Chef Tim served me his specialty, “Beyond the Reuben.”   This is a sandwich worth making the trip to Idaho.  Instead of the typical Thousand Island dressing, he uses stone ground mustard, aolili and cabbage tossed with red wine vinegar and oil and replaces corned beef with pastrami.  He uses two different kinds of cheese: white American and provolone with tomato slices.  All of these ingredients are place between two slices of grilled marbled rye bread.  Don’t miss it!
• Other restaurants and lounges include: Bonsai Bistro, Tito Macaroni's, Beachouse Restaurant, Cedars Floating Restaurant, and The Shore Lounge.

The Coeur d'Alene Resort is world-class on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene

The Coeur d'Alene Resort is renowned for its accommodations and world-class golf on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It enjoys a four-season resort located in Northern Idaho's limitless outdoor playground. The Resort is less than an hour away from the winter's Rocky Mountain powder at the Silver Mountain and Schweitzer Mountain ski areas.  It combines luxury with endless recreational opportunities and serves as an ideal locale for conventions and wedding celebrations.  Coeur d’Alene Resort, (a member of the Preferred Hotels) is located 31 miles east of Spokane, Washington and 100 miles south of the Canadian border.

For the golfer and/or traveler seeking the best, I would rate this regal showplace at the top of my list.  I think you too will agree, it is “the Beauty Queen of Golf Courses” and so much more.

Watch A Video About The Floating Green


The Coeur d'Alene Resort
115 S. 2nd St.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
PO Box 7200,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816

Reservations & Golf Packages:
Toll Free: 800-688-5253

Hotel Information: 208-765-4000
Fax: 208-664-7276
Groups or Meetings: 800-365-8338

The Golf Course
Golf Information: 800-935-6283

The Spa
Reservations: 800-684-0514
Spa Information: 208-765-4000 Ext-5000

Wedding Services:
Toll Free: 800-365-8338

Sales and Catering Office
Reservations: 800-365-8338