Teton Pines was set out on 360 acres of an old cattle ranch by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay in 1987. Water, in the form of streams, lakes and ponds, comes into play at no fewer than sixteen of the holes. The course lies at an altitude of 6,200 feet above sea level, with fairways routed opposite the winding loops of the Snake River.
Two of the more memorable holes are also rated the two toughest holes on the scorecard. Bunkers lie in wait along the right side of the 634-yard 7th and an enormous lake fronts its shallow, bunkerless green, while the 443-yard 15th narrows markedly as it doglegs gently left towards a green that sits behind a pond populated by a variety of bird species.
Water hazards also feature at three of the four short holes (8, 12 and 16), with wooden bridges allowing golfers access to the green at each of these par threes. The short par four 17th is another fine hole, with trouble right and left of the fairway and a forced carry required for the approach shot to a two-tiered green.
A two-phase renovation project got under way in 2021, with work concentrated initially on the front nine to reduce the size of bunkers, widen fairways and remove trees. In addition, greens on holes 7, 10 and 15 were rebuilt. The upgrade was overseen by Thad Layton of the Arnold Palmer Design company.
Reliable sources at Teton Pines have indicated that there may be an upcoming course renovation in the works. For this reason, it appears as if only 9 holes may be available play during the 2021 golf season. Most renovations nowadays seem to include the addition of length to the golf course. However, I was informed this will not be the case with the Arnold Palmer Design group’s proposed renovations for Teton Pines. The information provided is mostly unconfirmed, but did come directly from the staff at Teton Pines and indicated that the proposed renovations will mostly focus on increasing fairway sizes while reducing the rough. This may sound like just mowing the course differently, but there was more to it. It was further indicated that the renovations will actually reduce the overall turfed areas by bringing native areas more into play, while at the same time mowing the current fairways as wide or wider than previously mown. So perhaps really just a more linksy type of look. Perhaps any replies to this review will shed more like on what may transpire in the near future for this magnificent Arnold Palmer design.
In evaluating the golf course after I recently played, I will say that Teton Pines, despite lying between some spectacular mountain ranges, for the most part is completely flat. Beyond these fabulous mountain views, the most notable feature may be the bunkering that is brilliantly used to frame tee shots and approaches on virtually every hole. There are lots of pine trees and some water hazards, but I really felt the bunkering is what makes this course one of the best in the region.