Gene Bates Nominated for the Architect of the year


Circling Raven Golf Club ( Idaho Panhandle) Earns Distinction in Golf Digest Magazine's Elite List of “ America 's Best New Courses”

Latest National Acclaim for Gene Bates-Designed Course; One of Many High-Quality Amenities at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, a Member of the Brand-New Idaho Golf Trail

( Worley , Idaho ) – Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort today announces that its Circling Raven Golf Club has been named to Golf Digest magazine’s elite annual list of “ America ’s Best New Courses.”

This is the 22nd consecutive year Golf Digest unveils its selections of America ’s Best New Courses. This latest ranking appears in the January 2005 issue (on newsstands December 14). Nearly 150 new golf courses nationwide were nominated for this year’s ranking. Circling Raven, owned by the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe, was rated No. 7 in the Best New Upscale Public category.

Golf Digest's survey covers three categories of U.S. Courses: Private, Affordable Public (for those with green fees of $50 or less) and Upscale Public (for those with green fees in excess of $50). Ten courses are included in each category.

Golf Digest has conducted America ’s Best New Courses rankings since 1982. Its panel of 800 low-handicap male and female golfers played and evaluated (at their own expense) nominated golf courses that opened between May 1, 2003 and April 30, 2004. Golf courses were rated on shot values, design variety, memorability, resistance to scoring and aesthetics. Bonus points were awarded to courses that allow walking. The average scores for each criterion were combined and totaled to determine the winners.

“It is gratifying for Circling Raven Golf Club to be awarded this objective distinction by one of the world’s foremost golf publications,” says David Matheson, Chief Executive Officer of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort and Circling Raven Golf Club and a tribe member. “Our land is sacred to us and we were committed to building a course that seamlessly blended in harmony with nature and which honored the land. Golf course architect Gene Bates did a tremendous job at Circling Raven.”

This is the latest national acclaim for Circling Raven. GOLF Magazine previously named it one of the best new public courses to open in 2004.

Golf course architect Gene Bates is one of America ’s most unsung architects and is regularly being honored for his work. In addition to Circling Raven being honored in this latest Golf Digest America ’s Best New Courses”, his design of Twin Bridges Golf Club in Gadsden , Ala. , was rated No. 9 in the Best New Affordable Public category.

Furthermore, Bates’ design of SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee , Fla. , was named one of the best new public courses to open in 2003.

For more information about Circling Raven Golf Club or the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, visit, or call 1-800-523-2464.

About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort

Convenient to Spokane (WA) airport, the resort and golf club are owned and operated by the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe on a reservation covering 345,000 acres of mountains, lakes, old-growth forest and farmland. The resort spans the western edge of the northern Rocky Mountains .

Golf, gaming (video gaming machines, off-track betting, bingo), brand-name entertainment, fine dining, plush lodging and a spectacular array of natural resources – including majestic snow-capped mountain views – define the resort.

Circling Raven was created amid a unique blend of wetlands, grasslands and woodlands.  At 7,189 yards, the par 72 championship layout meanders through 620 acres, only 100 representing cultivated ground.  Wildlife is abundant, including elk, deer, moose and an occasional black bear.  In fact, the opening was delayed due to damage on two greens by migrating elk.

The player’s experience is that of a links-style course.  On the back nine, the only hole a golfer can see is the hole he or she is playing.   Wetlands impact play on 13 holes, natural grasses complement the wetlands on 16 holes and a mix of Ponderosa Pines, Aspens, Cottonwoods and Birch blend into the scenery throughout.   The blue grass fairways and bent grass greens are closely manicured, as would be expected at a premier resort golf course. 

The player’s greatest challenges are “Tees and Threes,” meaning accurate driving and careful management of the four par 3s, all measuring over 200 yards from the back tees.  White sand, brought in from Emmet , Idaho , fills 60 bunkers.

Circling Raven has been awarded a place in Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary System.


The course namesake is revered in Coeur d’Alene tribal lore.  Circling Raven was an 18th century headman, or chief, whose vision foretold the coming of the “black robes” and the dramatic change they would bring to the tribe.  When Fr. Pierre DeSmet, the famed Jesuit missionary, arrived in the region in 1842, Circling Raven’s vision had already been shared with several generations of tribal members.  As a result, the tribe embraced Catholicism and in short time built the Old Mission Church at Cataldo.  Completed in 1852, it remains the oldest standing building in Idaho

Tribal history also tells us that Circling Raven was a spiritually powerful leader, his name coming from his close relationship to the raven, who helped guide him on his journeys, warn him of danger and show him where to find fish and game.

Golf  Specifics

Yardages:  Gold, 7,189; Blue, 6,578; White, 6,108; Red, 5,389; Green, 4,708

Total Acreage:  670 (including practice area, practice green and clubhouse)

Amenities:  The clubhouse is 6,500 square feet, including the Twisted Earth Grill and full service bar.  Both locker rooms include showers and lockers.  The practice facility covers 25 acres; separated into areas for wedges, sand play and all clubs in the bag. The resort adjacent to the course includes 202 hotel rooms, casino, events center, buffet, and restaurant, off track betting and conference/convention facilities.

Greens: L93 Bent Grass

Turf: Bluegrass tees, fairways and rough

Golf Carts:  Equipped with a Global Positioning System

2004 Greens Fees: Peak season fees: $65 Mon-Thurs, $75 Fri-Sun and include golf carts.

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