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Quail Hollows Golf Course

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Teeing Off in Boise

Bringing Golf to the Treasure Valley for all Ages and Stages

Article by Ashley Loeb

Photography by Ashley Loeb

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

As the Treasure Valley continues to welcome new faces to the community, there has been an influx of individuals swinging for the green. Once thought of as a “stuffy” sport primarily for the well-established gentleman, the golf reputation has been gradually shifting. According to local teaching professional Phil Pollacia from Galaxy 365, as the population of golfers grows, it has become a “more welcoming environment for beginners than ever before, especially here in Boise.”

Who Can Play Golf

One of the best things about golf is that it’s a sport for the lifespan. “Even as a kid, I knew I could do it my whole life,” shared Phil, who started swinging a club in his backyard and he slowly grew into the sport that now consumes most of his day. Whether you start as a child, adult or at retirement, it can be a family sport, or one you take up to spend some extra time with friends, your spouse, or business partners. It’s also a sport that does not require excessive physical exertion. With the option to walk or ride many courses, you get to choose how many steps you’d like to add to your game. 

Why Play Golf

There are many reasons for getting out on the course and taking on the challenge of hitting a small ball into a seemingly smaller hole. For Phil, in addition to being able to take this sport with him across his lifespan, he said, initially, “it was something I could do alone.” Many sports require teams or partners, whereas golf gives you the freedom to play alone or with others. 

Golf also allows one to access and enjoy nature. Some of the most beautiful scenery and views that can only be accessed on the golf course across the U.S. and several other countries. It’s also one of the few sports that can provide a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors. How many sports can you partake in where you can also enjoy a cocktail while cruising across scenic landscapes in a cart?

Phil pointed out that golf can also help teach some valuable life lessons and it’s important to go into golf expecting frustration to arise during the game.  “There are a lot of parables you can draw from golf that relate to life. For instance, there’s a lot of things that can stress you out such as bunkers and there are small margins for error. Because of having that mindset that golf gives me, it helps with perseverance in other areas of life.” 

Although working those life lessons solo is an option, comradery can be another benefit for golf-goers. “You meet people from different businesses” which helps  professionals like Phil network with others. It’s also just fun to meet people from different walks of life. You might even find yourself like we did on the golf course playing a round with the owner of Wetzel’s Pretzels or a world champion high diver. There are also many events that bring people together on the course. Companies like Bank of Idaho throw charity event golf tournaments, people celebrate birthdays and weddings on the golf course, and it’s a place the whole family can spend time together. Other times, it’s just a nice way to enjoy the afternoon with a friend or spouse. 

How to Play Golf

“Equipment matters,” Phil emphasized. If you’re really wanting to improve your game and develop good golf habits, investing in a proper set of clubs, which includes irons and wedges, is key for a good golf swing. Among other local club fitters, Golf 365 is one that provides access to Henry Griffitts, the world’s premiere custom fit golf clubs based right here in Idaho. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to fully commit, used clubs can also be purchased at local sporting goods stores. Two of the most important things to consider when picking out clubs are “shaft flexibility and the lie angle, or how the club sits on the ground when you hold it in a proper stance. For instance, if the club is too short or long, the lie angle will be off, adversely affecting accuracy and consistency of the golf swing.  

Once you’ve got proper clubs, balls, glove, tees, and maybe even a handy range finder to track your distance, it’s good to brush up on golf etiquette before heading out onto the course. One of the most important aspects when being on the course is being aware of your surroundings to avoid hitting others that may be ahead of you. Pace of play is another key aspect to be aware of in the game. Many courses set an average round time and if too much time is spent taking practice shots, or spending several minutes searching for a ball, it slows down the game for everyone.  

When beginning to learn the game, Phil recommends starting slow.  If you don’t have access to an executive course, which is shorter than a standard golf course, you can simply start closer to the green. Phil advised, “It’s better to learn the game from the green back” In other words, work on the short game, like putting and chipping, and slowly work back to the tees. And as a novice, picking up the ball on occasion allows for practice without getting overly frustrated or trying to take shots that are difficult even for the professional. 

During time away from the course, taking a lesson or two, or more, is never a bad idea. Golf is a never ending learning process. “There’s always room for improvement,” shared Phil, even for the professional. And of course, as with any skill you want to improve, practice is key. Finding someone who’s more seasoned or taking lessons from a professional can ignite excitement for the game, and it’s also helpful to continue lessons to maintain or improve if you want to take things to the next level. 

After spending more time on the course, you’re also likely to start picking up on some of the lingo or golf jargon that comes along with the game. For the novice player, mulligans give you a second chance to swing. You may also need to yell “Fore!” to warn others of your shanked shot! When someone seems excited about getting a “birdie” or “eagle,” it’s because they got the ball into the hole under par, not because they hit an unsuspecting feathered friend! If you decide to up your golf game to a more competitive status, signing up for a handicap through USGA will be critical because it represents your ability based on prior rounds played. 

Where to Play Golf

“There’s definitely a market for golf courses,” Phil speculated, as there does not seem to be enough golf courses for the growing population of golfers in Boise. Nevertheless, there are several courses currently to choose from that include ranges and putting greens. 

Thankfully, Boise also offers year-round golf options. Top Golf brings golfers and non-golfers together in an indoor/outdoor facility that provides clubs or allows you to your own clubs to practice to improve your game or play a round of Angry Birds golf. Several venues offer lessons or simulator rental time on indoor golf simulators with virtual golf ranges or courses in addition to club fittings and swing analysis. For instance, Galaxy 365 has an About Golf simulator that gives you access to 70 different courses, all from the comfort of indoors, and also has one of the most accurate ball tracking technologies available. Be sure to check out my golf photos from around the state on CityLifestyle.com. No matter where you choose to play, remember to have fun!

OUTDOOR VENUES

Beginner-Friendly Public Courses

BOISE: Pierce Park Greens; Indian Lakes; Warm Springs

STAR: River Birch

WILDER: River Bend

Additional Local Public Golf Courses

BOISE: Quail Hollow; Boise Ranch

NAMPA: Red Hawk

CALDWELL: Timberstone

EAGLE: Banbury

 GARDEN CITY: Shadow Valley

 KUNA: Falcon Crest

Greater Idaho Public Courses

Sun Valley Golf Resort;  Coeur d’Alene Resort; Circling Raven; The Idaho Club

INDOOR VENUES

BOISE: Golf 365; Golf Galaxy; X-Golf; GolfTec

MERIDIAN: PGA Golf Store; TopGolf (Indoor/Outdoor)

EAGLE: Golf Your Way


 

Treasure Valley also offers year-round golf options in an indoor and outdoor venues, some which provide clubs or allows your own

  • Local Golf Balls
  • Banbury Golf Club Ball
  • Golf Simulator Golf 365
  • Golf Simulator Golf 365
  • Golf Simulator Golf 365
  • The Idaho Club Golf Course
  • CDA Golf Resort Course
  • CDA Golf Resort Range
  • Bank of Idaho Golf Tournament at Banbury GC
  • Bank of Idaho Golf Tournament at Banbury GC
  • Bank of Idaho Golf Tournament at Banbury GC
  • Bank of Idaho Golf Tournament at Banbury GC
  • Bank of Idaho Golf Tournament at Banbury GC
  • Sun Valley Golf Resort
  • Boise ranch Golf Course
  • Boise Ranch Golf Course
  • Banbury Golf Course
  • Phil Pollacia Golf 365
  • Phil Pollacia Golf 365
  • Quail Hollows Golf Course
  • Phil Pollacia Golf 365