by John Fritz
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - For 20 years, the golf course at the Coeur d'Alene Resort has set the standard for golf settings with its pine trees, geraniums, not to mention its world famous floating green.
As director of golf operations at the resort, Brendan Lenihan loves to see golfers get lost in the luxury of the course.
"It's just a unique experience all in all, with the lake, the mountains and the great weather we have out here. All that combines for a great experience," said Lenihan.
|About the course...|
Notes: Lake views from all 18 holes; Readers Choice 2009 (GolfWorld Magazine); 5-Star Designation from Golf Digest; Only course in Northwest to be Audobon Sanctuary Approved (2000)
It's remarkable how far and fast the forecaddies go to make it happen. Eddie Hernandez has been running the fairways on the course since 1998. He considers the course his house, and every golfer his guest. Since day one he's been in hot pursuit or perfecting his craft.
"If I'm able to be quick and slick, and slip in and out – be efficient, be a ghost – all of a sudden my guests are like, ‘whoa, where'd this guy come from?"
Hernandez is one of three caddie masters who lead the resort's crew of 110. They make up a group of guys and gals ages 19 to 62. They're tireless mission is to make guests happy.
"To do that you have to be hustling out there, running a lot, putting a lot of miles on the ole sneakers every summer," Lenihan explained.
"You know what, it's a labor of love," added Hernandez.
Or more specifically: labors of love.
From tour guide to coach, to landscape artist and packrat, to confidant and psychologist, the list of responsibilities seems endless but never senseless to guys like Hernandez.
"We can't take this for granted," said Hernandez. "Basically, we're around the game we love. We're in a beautiful setting. It's like a walk in the park out here."
On average the caddies can log about 10 miles per round. Their paths can differ but the aim is always the same.
"A means to an end is not the point," said Hernandez. "The means itself is what it's all about."
For two decades it's been the only public course in this part of the country where caddies come with the experience. Spend a day with them and it's clear: the hole on the logo is only half the story at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course.