Journey’s End Golf Course – Congratulations are in order. We finally made it…or did we? Is this the end of our quest to find the perfect 9-hole course? Is this the perfect course? Is Shelley, ID the end of the journey? Is it time to retire Always Time for 9? Where do we go from here? Let’s go to the first tee and find out.
There were no tee markers at Hole #1, so we just picked a spot to peg it up and off we went at this 236 yard par 4 from the white tees (wherever they were). Even I should be able to drive the green on this opening hole. There’s trees and out-of-bounds to the left and a small outcropping of native grasses to the right. The green is large and very inviting for your tee shot. Hole #2 is straight, wide, and flat. Hole #3 …please refer to the description of hole #2 except #3 is only 240 yards! The first three holes are very achievable eagle opportunities.
It’s an excellent course for the beginning golfer because it’s wide open and not too busy. As you exit left at #3, you will walk right by tee box for hole #8. At this point, it would be very easy to shorten your round to 5 holes! If you want the full experience, keep going around the horseshoe bend and you will eventually find the par 3 fourth hole. The only hazard is a big bunker to the right, front of the green. If this is the journey’s end, I don’t want it to end here! The course is in a nice neighborhood; it’s relatively hazard-free; it’s in good condition; but it’s just…boring.
Hole #5 – ditto to all the above. At Hole #6 the course starts to break out of its rut. Another short par 4 (288 yards), but trouble can be found to the left. There is a road running down the left side (so time your shot accordingly); a small building (restroom? pumphouse?) to avoid; and a bunker by the green.
Finally something different at Hole #7. A par 4 with a big dogleg to the right. A large fairway bunker guards the bend if you try to take too much off the dogleg. If you approach the green from the left, bunkers can be hazardous to any short shot. And for good measure there is a bunker behind the green ready for a long miss. Where did this hole design come from?
Hole #8 is a par 3 of 155 yards with a pond to carry. A difficult hole for the high-handicap golfer. Karen, how many of your balls found a watery grave? The ninth hole is the number one handicap hole and I can see why. A par 5 of 491 yards with water down the fairway to the right and more water to carry to get to the green. Boring it was not!
Rating – Par (38 out of 60): I take back what I said after the first four holes about the course being boring. Very easy holes 1 through 5 lull you into a hazy trance especially when it is hot like today. But then…BOOM!!! Holes 6, 7, 8, and 9 abruptly bring you out of your malaise. The course is flat and easy to walk; in excellent condition; and the staff was very friendly. One note to the regulars who play the course, please do a better job of fixing your ball marks on the greens. I was fixing two to three each hole.
The journey does not end here…we will keep searching and playing ’til the end of our time!
Since we finished the round in about two hours what else can we do in this area of Idaho? When you think of Idaho, what comes to mind…Potatoes! A stop in Blackfoot, ID to visit the Idaho Potato Museum is a must. You will experience the history and culture of the world’s most humble vegetable. Learn about the many facets of the potato industry from planting and irrigation to harvesting and processing.
Once you’ve had your fill of potatoes, head to Idaho Falls and learn more about the history of Idaho while visiting the Museum of Idaho. Complete your day with a beer and burger at Snow Eagle Brewing & Grill and a leisurely stroll (photographing wildlife) on the riverwalk along the Snake River.
1407 N 630 E, Shelley, ID 83274; 208-357-3700; www.journeysendgolf.com