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Shoshone Golf Club to celebrate centennial next month

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | June 27, 2022 2:32 PM

BIG CREEK — Legendary golfer Ben Hogan may have said it best when he said that, “the most important shot in golf is the next one.” While this comment might’ve applied specifically to the game itself, it can also be attributed to time.

For many businesses the most important 100 years is the next 100 years, but before you plan for the next century, you have to be around for a century.

Shoshone Golf Club can now say that its done just that.

Tucked away in the hills overlooking Big Creek, and much of the I-90 corridor, what might be classified as one of the area’s best kept secrets has endured to its first centennial.

First, let’s take a step back and take a little peek at how Shoshone County’s oldest golf course got its start.

Shoshone Golf Club opened in the summer of 1922 as a small 3-hole course in the Big Creek drainage area that now houses a mine waste repository.

Traditionally a white-collar sport, Shoshone Golf Club’s original patronage was primarily doctors and mining executives — and as the Big Creek community grew around it so did its popularity.

However, as flood issues remained a constant threat and subsequent mining expansion and clean up was needed, the community at the mouth of Big Creek faced extinction.

Sano Haldi, who first got involved with the club in the 1970s and acted as the club’s director of golf and golf pro, can recall quite a bit of the history associated with the club and course — including when impending clean up efforts associated with the nearby mining operations threatened to end the existence of the course and the houses around it.

“The river — at the time — was the color of a cup of coffee with a whole lot of cream in it and the government told them they needed to clean it up. Several of the houses that were down there originally ended up being sold and then moved to Osburn or Kellogg. I lived in one of them for five years,” Haldi said. “And then on Labor Day 1978 was the last time we played on the old course. We played on the new course up here the following June.”

The new course featured a more traditional 9-hole format and was broken in by none other than iconic golfer Sam Snead — a PGA champion who ruled the golf world for the better part of four decades (30s to 60s).

Haldi believes that Shoshone Golf Club may be the oldest course on this side of the Cascade Mountains.

“At the very least, it’s the oldest between the Cascade’s and Milwaukee,” Haldi said with a smile.

In the years since that 1979 grand reopening, the course has been well used and visited by several icons of the sport — both regional and national.

Next month, Shoshone Golf Club plans on celebrating its big transition into triple digits with a bit of a party.

Haldi, along with the club’s new manager Hunter Gust, is planning for a fun-filled day that is expected to include a golf scramble, social hour at the clubhouse, all followed by a catered dinner.

“I’m sure more than a few memories will be recounted, especially as the adult beverages start flowing,” Haldi said. “We have so many members and former members who live across the area who we would love to see.”

Shoshone Golf Club’s 100-year celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 16.

For more information, call Shoshone Golf Club at 208-784-0161.

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