The relationship between Gene Bates, ASGCA (Bates Golf Group) and Idaho’s Circle Raven Golf Club dates to before the course’s 2003 opening. After all, it was Bates who designed the 7,000 course across 620 acres of designated tribal land. And now, a course renovation in the planning since 2019 is set to roll on.
Golf Course Architecture reports:
“Our goal was to have a roadmap that we could share with the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe, which would keep their asset current and relevant and allow us to continue to offer an experience at a high level, relative to the costs,” said director of golf David Christenson.
“We wanted a plan that would allow us to continue to operate the course and not impact revenues. Therefore, we started phase one by developing a plan for the expansion of the putting green, repositioning the tenth tees, and changing the presentation of the back tee on the first hole – around the Stensgar Pavilion and behind the clubhouse facility – to improve the flow.”
Assisting Bates on the project will be golf course superintendent Brian Woster, who helped to build the course in 2003 and oversaw the grow-in.
“We believe these changes will be meaningful to our guests and especially for the players that are coming out to the Symetra Tour event in August,” said Christenson. “The new putting green at 12,500 square feet should allow players plenty of space to work on their short game.”
In autumn, the club will work on the 25-acre practice facility, which includes a practice area, teaching facilities, target greens, fairway and greenside bunkers, and an extra putting green.
“The plan in the following years includes adding the Twisted Earth nine-hole course and then reworking the tees and bunkering on Circling Raven,” said Christenson. “We have a solid plan in place and one that we believe will continue to make us competitive and hopefully regain a ‘Best-in-Class’ rankings.”