Wide World of Golf: Circling Raven

Wide World of Golf: Circling Raven


For the brothers Mikkola, it's another year at Circling Raven Golf Club.

"We meet here...we started in 1991," says Mason Mikkola. "I joined the group in '94."

"Once a year trip," says Wes Mikkola. "It's an annual thing we've been doing for 22 years."

Wes from Gresham, Oregon, and Mason from Missoula, Montana make it a yearly tradition to meed here in Worley, Idaho and play at least a couple of rounds at one of their favorite courses.

"Oh, I put it in my top five," says Mason. "It's just always in good shape."

Since its opening in 2003, Circling Raven has drawn rave reviews for it's natural setting, and the stiff challenge it presents to golfers who dare to try and tame it.

"We have kind of a prairie look...a little rolling hill grassland," says Tom Davidson, director of golf at Circling Raven. "It's very open, and then you move into kind of an alpine forest, very large ponderosa pine, going through rolling grasslands. And then you get a couple holes that are a mix of that."

At over 7,100 yards, circling raven is plenty long. Highlighted by the par-3's, three of the four par-3's are over 200 yards. The shortest one? The 192-yard from the tip. Not to worry, they've got five sets of tees--good for every level of player.

"The par-3's are very stout, and very challenging," says Davidson. "However, we do have five sets of tees, that as you move up, the forced carry gets much smaller."

What isn't getting smaller are the future plans for this blossoming resort property.

"I Think we look at the models like Bandon Dunes, and other places that have really expanded. There's definitely other opportunities for us to do that, and create something that's a multiple day's stay, right here."

Which fits perfectly with the Mikkola brothers' yearly tradition.

"We tried it the first year, and we've been back here ever since. It's a beautiful course."