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Fore!

Eastern Idaho Golf Trail

Published in the March 2016 Issue Published online: Mar 01, 2016 Articles
Viewed 512 time(s)

Beyond the falls itself, Idaho Falls has another claim to fame: affordable golf. Our three resident championship courses — Pinecrest, Sage Lakes and Sand Creek — are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a fun day on the links. Throughout the region, you’ll find more than a dozen full-size 18-hole golf courses and about twice as many nine-hole/executive courses. Here are a few of our favorites:

Riverside Golf Course occupies the southern end of Pocatello and features 18 holes of tree-lined fairways, numerous doglegs and a very relaxed, casual atmosphere. It can also put up quite a fight when its small, hump-backed rye grass greens are cut tight for tournament play. (Riverside is the host of the Southeast Idaho Amateur.) Many of the doglegs can be carried with a healthy drive, but accuracy is monumental when you go for it.

Blackfoot Golf Course, opened in 1960, is a popular spring and summer destination for players from both Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Its front nine is a true work of art, featuring a trio of holes that could easily be considered the most challenging in all of eastern Idaho. The entire front nine is sprinkled with a variety of old trees, smooth greens and well maintained fairways.

Just up the road from Idaho Falls, Rigby’s Jefferson Hills Golf Course is a short, tight but relatively easy track of less than 6,000 yards (5,883 to be exact). It requires a fair amount of local knowledge on a few holes, such as the sharp dogleg-left No. 9. Here you can either toss out a short iron to position yourself for a pitch shot into the green, or you can go for it with a mid iron or hybrid and loft it over the treeline. Jefferson Hills opened in 1969, but the surrounding old-growth trees and natural water features give it more or a vintage look. Overall, this is one of the most enjoyable places to play in the upper valley.

In Rexburg, the 27-hole Teton Lakes Golf Course is just as demanding as it is beautiful. Nestled down near the lower reaches of the Henry’s Fork and a branch of the Teton River, this par-71 course offers two distinct nines. The first is a typical city-course setup—fairly easy with a mostly straightforward design. The back nine is an entirely different world. On most holes, you will have to carry or otherwise avoid the wet stuff on every shot. The  course, designed in part by golf great Billy Casper, opened in 1987, and now includes a third nine with a rolling links-style layout. Don’t pass it up.

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