Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
UI Golf Course
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 06/22/2012
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The University of Idaho golf course provides a unique challenge over the undulating terrain it covers just to the west of the main campus. The par-72 (37-35) layout ranges in length from 5,570 to 6,637 yards. A handful of bi-level greens add to the natural challenge of the varied terrain.

The Vandal golf teams have locker rooms at the clubhouse as well as an indoor practice area and a short-game practice facility.

A history of the course is captured here in this excerpt from the book "This Crested Hill - An Illustrated History of the University of Idaho" by is Keith C. Petersen.)

While a new course served the town's golfers in 1928, it did not greatly benefit the university. "Idaho students have the golf bug again," noted the Argonaut. "Followers of this sport are getting so numerous that flying golf balls are not a rarety on campus...The campus and athletic field are the only places large enough to provide improvised golf courses and practice." Determined to alleviate that problem, students demanded a more suitable location. In 1930 they began voluntarily developing a course during a campus work day, a project university workmen completed the following year. Still, the course proved inadequate, and in 1935 the school purchased seventy acres adjoining the campus southwest of the arboretum, added thirty previously acquired acres to the tract, and made plans to build the state's finest golf course. They turned to Francis 'Frank' James to lay it out.

The University of Idaho course was completed in 1936, shortly after James finished the Washington State course. James's third look at the Palouse region convinced him to stay. "What I like about this country is the way things grow," he said. "I am never going to leave it. I am going to die here." University administrators hired him as manager of the golf course, golf coach, and resident professional. He died on the job in 1952. After his death the university named the course clubhouse after him. A plaque inside reads: "He loved golf, and was loved by all those who played the game."

Indeed, one of James'
most significant attributes was his uncanny ability to design "splendid golf courses" utilizing what nature provided. He did not mutilate the natural surroundings; rather he gently molded and adapted them to a new use. Residents of Moscow and Pullman are the fortunate recipients of three of his designs. They are utilitarian uses of the landscape, enjoyed not only by golfers but by joggers, skiers, hikers, and sledders, a tribute to the man who envisioned them.