Terrace Lakes Resort
About Terrace Lakes ResortThe Terrace Lakes Resort in Garden Valley, Idaho, located in the mountains of the Boise National Forest, offers budget-friendly accommodations with a motel, one-room cabins and two-bedroom condos. Amenities range from a restaurant, sports bar, wine room, geothermal pool and golf course. There are no bunkers on the 5,930-yard course. The back nine winds along the mountainside and creeks. Hiking trails serve as cross-country-skiing trails in the winter.
Amenities & Services
Golf courses at Terrace Lakes Resort
Images from Terrace Lakes Resort
Front is a nice warm up for the terrific back nine
There is nothing wrong with the front nine at Terrace lakes, unless you're comparing it to the back nine. More open and less scenic, the front is a nice warm up as the back - while short - is tight, narrow and not terrible forgiving. Most of the pictures I've loaded (but not all) are of the heavily wooded back nine where, particularly from the blue tees, you simply must hit your drive where you are aiming. Balls venturing into the woods are not likely to come back out.
Having said all that, I really enjoyed this course... so much in fact that, after a quick bite, we went back out for a second round (re-rounds are free other than a cart fee if you have one, which you probably will, more on that later). I played the back much better the second time through, in part because I put my driver away in favor of my 3H. Unlike the front nine, you really can't gain much back there with driver, but you can get into trouble (even on well struck balls... simply by out-driving the fairway, as happened to me on my first pass through #10). I was also helped the second time through by knowing the greens a little. Narrow and sloped at times, knowing the best path to approach them can really save you strokes in your short game.
The course was in pretty good condition overall. The front (more open and a little baked) was - once again - not quite as good as the back. The greens rolled reasonably well for a small public course in the mountains. Terrace doesn't have any bunkers, so those were easy to avoid. The primary defense for this short (the tips are under 6000 yards) course being angles, elevation change and some rather tight windows that place a real premium on accuracy.
Anyone can play and enjoy the front nine; however, the back nine (from the back anyway) could get frustrating for high-mid or high handicappers... there is an opportunity to go through a lot of balls (n.b. it's worth it).
I would say the course is very walkable except for the (and this is not hyperbole) 1/2 mile trek from the 9th green to the 10th tee box. Because of this, the course strongly recommends using a cart. If there is no one else out there, I'd say walk it and enjoy the mid round stroll, but if the tee sheet is full it would be very hard to retain your place "in line" without a cart.
As far as other amenities, we enjoyed out meal there as much as one can in the time of Covid. We stayed in their hotel which I do not recommend unless you're kind into roughing it... it's small and on uneven ground, but was clean and functional. There is a natural spring pool you can use if you stay there as well. It's also worth mentioning that their driving range has a 160 yard carry limit, so you'll have to loosen up your driver on the course.
We found the staff in the pro shop both delightful and very helpful. We also enjoyed the other golfers we met. They were all helpful with the nuances of the course (some of the blue tees are a little hard to find, for example), and just generally nice.
Only a little over a hour from Boise, Terrace Lakes will be on out regular summer rotation going forward and I very much recommend giving it a spin if you have the chance.