Gene Bates Adds Another Tour Event To His Resume

 Gene Bates Adds Another Tour Event To His Resume

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WORLEY, IDAHO – Golf Architect Gene Bates seems to have a thing with building championship calibre golf courses that all the major and minor tours just can’t seem to resist . . . This past August he added yet another tour tournament to his impressive list of tour events hosted at one of his designs.

The Symetra Tour – The LPGA qualifying tour which is the same as the Korn Ferry tour for the PGA – was hosted at the Native American owned and managed, Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho.

This added to his impressive list of tour events held at Gene Bates designed courses such as the; PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour, LPGA Legends Tour, Buy.Com Tour, Nationwide Tour, PGA of America’s National Championship and the USGA Public Links Championship.  Outstanding.

More Than Just The USA . . .

The Gene Bates designed the Serapong Golf Course at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.  It hosts the SMBC Singapore Open, an Asian Tour event since 2005. In 2020, the event was won by the USA’s PGA tour player Matt Kuchar, edging out European Tour’s Justin Rose by 3 strokes. The tournament was canceled in 2021 because of COVID but is scheduled to return to Sentosa Golf Club in 2022.  In addition, the course was voted “Best Golf Course On Tour” by the Asian Tour members.

Beating fierce competition from a number of other famous golf clubs around the world, the Sentosa Golf Club and Serapong Golf course was crowned the “World’s Best Golf Club” in 2019-2020 in worldwide competition.

The club has had an unprecedented amount of success recently, hosting no fewer than six globally televised golf events in past two years – two SMBC Singapore Open’s, two HSBC Women’s World Championships, along with the Men’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific Championship.  This is an achievement unmatched by any other golf club in the world.

The ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ award, presented in Dubai, was judged by an internal panel of worldwide golf and club experts who considered a broad spectrum of factors that combine to create a club of outstanding excellence.

The Circling Raven Course

In 2003, the Gene Bates designed Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley Idaho, stormed onto the golf scene as one of the top Tribal courses in the USA as well as receiving high accolades as one of the best overall golf courses in the entire Pacific Northwest . . . an honor they still maintain nearly 20 years later here in 2021. 

Circling Raven was again voted as the #1 Golf Course in Idaho by Golfweek Magazine, The course is nestled among 620 acres of wetlands, woodlands and Palouse grass lands. This is typically THREE times the amount of land usually allocated to a course design. In this case, the Tribe wanted to honor and protect their ancestral lands and directed Gene to use the entire acreage and encompass the entire parcel.

The 18 hole, 7,189 yard course will have you admiring the aesthetics almost as much as the play itself, as the course is set against the nearby mountains, foothills and rolling terrain. It is spectacular.

About the Event . . .

The Symetra Tour event was a real community undertaking with hundreds of volunteers, local sponsors and fans all helping to cheer on and support the 132 players from 40 different states and 14 countries to compete in this unique women’s tour event.

The community opened their arms and hearts to these wonderful players giving them a glimpse of the Northwest Indian culture with several Native events  that included ceremonial dancing and traditional food.

Some of the host sponsor comments are below . . .

Laura Penney – Resort and Club CEO – The Coeur d’Alene Tribe chose to host the championship because it helps empower women, girls, and Native Americans through the game, which was a mandate that our Tribe set when we decided to build Circling Raven Golf Club.  We’re honored to host you, our guests and spectators, and to partner with our sponsors through the Symetra Tour. We are certain that Circling Raven will live up to its reputation as one of the finest golf courses in the United States, and we are thrilled to see these incredibly talented young women take it on.

Chief James Allan – Chairman, Coeur d’Alene Tribe – When the Tribe determined to build Circling Raven, it mandated that our enterprises and activities empower our people and those with whom we partner. The Circling Raven Championship perfectly encapsulates this mission. It aligns with our constant efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for women, minorities, youth and Native Americans. That we can do so through the great game of golf and simultaneously illuminate all that is great about the region, the people, our sponsors, and the players, is an ideal confluence of positivity and proactiveness.

The 2021 Circling Raven Championship is proud to be a Symetra “Road to the LPGA” Tour event. Together we are showcasing a plethora of wonderful things. These include the rising-star professional women players, the selfless volunteers, the supportive sponsors, and of course the spectators.

Winner’s Circle – Chien Wins Her Third Symetra Tour Title

Peiyun Chien (Pingtung, Chinese Taipei) came into the Circling Raven Championship on the heels of three consecutive missed cuts. With a last-minute putter change, she carded 19 birdies and three bogeys over three days to finish -16, good enough for a one-shot victory over Demi Runas. It was Chien’s third career win on the Symetra Tour.

“I think the course conditions were really good and everyone played very well. You need to putt very well here and make more birdies to win a tournament,” said Chien. “I wasn’t playing very well this year so this win gives me a lot of confidence to fight until the end.” 

On a more local note, Native American golfer and Idaho’s own Gabby Lemieux of nearby Caldwell, Idaho finished tied for third – just two strokes off the tournament champion. This was her career best finish bettering her T8 finish at the 2021 Garden City Charity Classic.   Way to go Gabby – You made us all proud!

Article By: John R. Johnson –

New Gene Bates Master Plan 

New Gene Bates Master Plan 

WORLEY, IDAHO – In 2003, the Gene Bates designed Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley Idaho, stormed onto the golf scene as one of the top Tribal course in the USA as well as receiving high accolades as one of the best courses in the Pacific Northwest . . . an honor they still maintain nearly 20 years later here in 2021.

However, to be the best at anything, one cannot sit on their laurels and not constantly strive for improvement. So in 2019, the Coeur d’Alene Tribal leaders commissioned Gene to create a long-term master plan for the entire facility.

See Link for original release –

The multi-phased master plan is a roadmap for the future, implementing key renovations and improvements so not to impact the course operations and revenues over time.

First up this Spring, is the re-positioning of the 1st and 10th tees to help with course flow and space. Then the creation of a 12,500 square foot practice putting green, just in time for the top female players that are coming out to the Symetra Tour event in August – The first step towards becoming a LPGA tour player.

In autumn of 2021, the club will work on a 25-acre practice facility, which includes a multi-faceted practice area, private and group teaching facilities, target greens, fairway and green side bunkers, and an extra putting green.

The plan in the following year/years includes adding a challenging “Twisted Earth” nine-hole course and then reworking the tees and bunkering on the original Circling Raven Course. “We have a solid plan in place and one that we believe will continue to make us competitive and regain a ‘Best-in-Class’ rankings,” said, David Christenson, Director of Golf.

Assisting Bates on the project will be golf course superintendent Brian Woster, who helped to build the original course in 2003 and oversaw the grow-in.

Old Course Hosts Champion Tour

Old Course Hosts Champion Tour

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA,  Darren Clarke won the TimberTech Championship on Sunday for his first PGA TOUR Champions title, two-putting for birdie on the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer.  Clarke won for the first time since the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities the last few years, so it’s great to finally win one,” Clarke said. “I wouldn’t be working this hard if I didn’t think I could still win.”

The 52-year-old major champion from Northern Ireland had a 17-under 199 total at the The Old Course at Broken Sound.

The Old Course at Broken Sound has been an annual tour stop for the Champions Tour since 2007. One of the longest continuous stops on the tour today.  However, The Old Course is hardly old. The course went through an extensive Re-Design in 2004 under the guiding eye of golf architect, Gene Bates of North Palm Beach, Florida. By extensive, this was a 100% new re-design, nothing was left of the original course. The new design included an all new routing plan over 10 additional acres that had been acquired with multiple new retention ponds as per local water regulations.

The efforts certainly paid dividends, as BoardRoom Magazine bestowed its “Renovation of the Year” award to Gene Bates and The Old Course at Broken Sound.

Congratulations to Darren, it’s nice to see you back in the winners circle. Click to see the full Champions Tour story here – Champions Tour Story

New Gene Bates Master Plan 

Golfweek’s Best Casino Courses

WORLEY, IDAHO, Golfweek’s Magazine issue #5 of 2020 named Circling Raven as one of the top Native American Casino Courses.  Built in 2003, the Gene Bates Signature Course has been a constant on the national and regional Golf Courses Awards list.  

It is currently ranked by Golfweek as the #19 Casino Course in the USA and the #2 Best Course You Can Play in the state of Idaho.  Gene’s most recent Native American Casino course – Salish Cliffs in Washington State is now ranked as the #7 Casino Course in the country.

The Tribe has commissioned Gene Bates to present a new master plan to include 9 additional holes, enhanced and expanded practice areas and repositioned tees to aid in player flow.  The work is planned to be finished by 2021 in time for the upcoming Symetra Tour event to be held at the course.

To see the entire Golfweek article PDF – Click this LINK

World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Club

World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Club

Sentosa Golf Club Awarded World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Club

SINGAPORE,  The Gene Bates designed Sentosa Golf Club recorded its most recent award as the World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility. Awards were presented at the annual World Golf Awards. The club premiered a new environmental documentary film at the awards to raise awareness of the importance of climate change in golf.

The documentary forms part of the club’s GAME ON campaign, which has received backing from The R&A following its launch at the SMBC Singapore Open earlier this year. It shows viewers some of the key measures already implemented at the club, such as the creation of bee colonies, the installation of reservoir lakes and the banning of single-use plastics.

The club, which became the first golf club in the world to sign the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Agreement back in July, hopes the film will serve as inspiration to golf’s response to climate change, as well as help clubs around the world to understand the importance of reducing their carbon footprint by implementing initiatives for the betterment of the environment.  Sentosa is also planning a free environmental toolkit to further help golf clubs deal with climate change.

The club also took home the title of ‘Singapore’s Best Golf Course’ for The Serapong course for the third year in a row. The course plays host to the SMBC Singapore Open every year, welcoming the world’s best players from all around the world.

“The eco-friendly award and being recognized as Singapore’s Best Golf Course”, Manager, Andrew Johnston added, “is a tremendous achievement for Sentosa. Being awarded these accolades is down to the hard work that is put in by all our staff and members to maintain the high standards that are set by the club.”

The entire Bates Group Golf congratulates the club on their latest world honor. The full article is here at this LINK.