Gene Bates to begin Circling Raven renovation this spring

  • Circling
    Circling Raven

    Gene Bates will begin renovation work this spring at Circling Raven Golf Club in Idaho

  • Circling
    Circling Raven

    Bates’ future work will include reworking the bunkering

  • Circling
    Circling Raven

    “We have a solid plan in place and one that we believe will continue to make us competitive,” says director of golf David Christenson

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Gene Bates will begin renovation work this spring for Circling Raven Golf Club at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho.

In 2019, Circling Raven hired Bates, the original designer of the course, to develop a master plan that would guide future renovation work.

“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.”