The Golf Club at Black Rock is a regular in some published US Top 100 ranking charts. The property, which includes significant residential development, overlooks the stunning Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the topography is nothing short of spectacular.
Architect Jim Engh, who once lost the first golf ball in Latvia, must have rubbed his hands together when he saw the site for his creation at The Golf Club at Black Rock. Glacial movement created this exciting landscape and the course comes alive on the dramatic par five 3rd which plunges some 200 feet downwards to the bottom of a natural valley. The course then enters its undulating prairie phase where natural wetlands become hazardous.
The front nine is exciting enough, but the back nine is truly wild and spectacular with panoramic lake vistas and plunging, cliff hanging holes. There is excitement at every hole and you can expect to be breathless by the time you reach the sanctuary of the 18th green.
In 2009, the Jim Engh course at The Golf Club at Black Rock was due to have the company of a Tom Weiskopf 18-holer, which was to be more traditional and softer in style than the rugged Engh course. However, the economic downturn has placed that particular development on hold.
Black Rock sits above the Lake at Coeur d'Alene, an incredibly beautiful resort area in Northern Idaho. Black Rock is a very upscale club, with a fabulous clubhouse and many beautiful homes. The moose heads and mountain-lions decorating the locker room are as entertaining as they are spectacular.
The 3rd hole is a 611 yard par 5 that plays sharply downhill through a valley of tall trees. This hole requires intelligent play for your first two shots as you trundle downhill and then play to a slightly raised green surrounded with hungry hazards. Almost everybody takes carts due to the distances from green to next tee. As you park your cart, you realise that pretty much every green-site is in a bowl where your cart is 30 feet above you.
The 11th hole is the signature hole which plays downhill to a plateau fairway, leading you to play towards waterfalls and enormous rocks which create that punchbowl feeling to the raised green.
I did enjoy the unique challenge of playing at altitude and the demanding nature of playing from elevated tee-boxes.