New Twist Planned for Eastern Idaho Project

Something new and different is what Phelps Golf Design plans to give the operators of Teton Lakes Golf Course here in this college community. Phelps associate designer Kevin Atkinson is developing a preliminary proposal for a links-style nine holes to compliment the existing parkland and lakeside layouts at this 18-hole municipal facility co-owned by the City of Rexburg and Madison County, the home of Brigham Young University-Idaho.

The original nine opened in 1978 and the second in 1984, according to Director of Golf Duffy McFarland. Two floods between those opening dates resulted in the basic architectural differences between the front and back sides.

“The developers want a distinct third nine and asked for a links setting on a relatively flat, 60-acre site,” Atkinson says. “Generally, when you add holes to an existing layout, most people want all the holes to blend together. But here we have two existing nines that are already quite different from one another. The developers want to embrace that difference by building a third nine that varies from the existing holes. I think that’s great.”

The addition is in the concept and master-planning stage. Atkinson is developing preliminary routing plans and budget numbers that he expects to submit to municipal officials by the first of the year. Construction could start next spring, although no specific date has been determined.

“We’ll need the extra nine holes within the next few years,” says McFarland, noting that the municipality purchased the land over several years. “The course will be built. It is just a matter of time. Phelps Design has been super to work with. Kevin has done a very nice job. We would rate the firm an A-grade.”

Greens fees at the existing course are $16. One of the primary goals is to keep the facility affordable. One way to do that is by using local materials. For example, five miles from the course are natural sand dunes that motocross drivers from throughout the country travel thousands of miles to enjoy.

“The dunes are about 30 miles long and three to four miles wide,” McFarland explains. “The sand could potentially be used in the bunkers and waste areas.”

Adds Atkinson: “We are trying to think outside the box, searching for material sources that may cost less than traditional items. The dunes are raw, blow sand with no vegetation. We have taken test samples and could get it at a very affordable price.”