Circling Raven Golf Club is up for another curtain call in 2013, 10 years since the first ball flew – 10 years since the first jaw dropped, eyes widened and hearts fell captive to Gene Bates’ sprawling masterpiece.
We need an almost full-blown research project to count the accolades for a course that’s an annual name on “Top 100” lists and on the very top of listings for tribal, resort and casino courses. The crown jewel in the golf-rich Inland Northwest, Circling Raven’s allure earned the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort its “destination resort” credentials.
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s vision for a destination resort spans 20 years, leapfrogging from bingo, to casino, to casino/hotel in the early years, then expanding to include an events center. The casino boasts more than 1,800 gaming machines, along with casual dining, a massive buffet and a gourmet steakhouse. A lavish spa capped the most recent expansion, an addition of 97 rooms, bringing the overall hotel space to 300 rooms.
Circling Raven is in the back yard. Yes, it’s a resort course, offering five sets of tees playable for golfers of all skills. But the best of low handicap amateurs and even PGA players enjoy the challenge from the gold tees—7,189 yards, a 74.9 course rating and a 144 slope, all flowing over 620 acres.
It’s been a decade, but jaws still drop, eyes still widen, hearts fall captive. Circling Raven just gets better, and some things just never change.