Nestled among high meadows and ponderosa pine forests close to Idaho's vast Frank Church Wilderness, the Osprey Meadows at Tamarack Resort is an integral component of the first all-season resort permitted in the U.S. in over two decades. True to Robert Trent Jones II's record of environmentally responsible design, we preserved much of the land in its natural condition, so the course looked mature right from the start.
One of the challenges in designing Osprey Meadows was to seamlessly route the golf course through two different terrains. Lakes, streams, wildflower meadows, wetlands, and groves of aspen characterize the first terrain, while the second consists of higher ground punctuated by stately ponderosa pines. At our client's request, we also designed the layout to serve as cross-country ski terrain in the winter.
RTJ II's solution to these challenges created a golf course that journeys between these two zones, using such design features as doglegs, split fairways, wetland cross hazards, dramatic waterfalls, and occasional island-style greens and fairways, as well as bridges and boardwalks, to tie the golf holes into a consistent whole. Osprey Meadows is strategically complex but provides plenty of room for less-skilled golfers. As a nod to St. Andrews, where townspeople often stop to watch play at the eighteenth green, the final hole at Osprey Meadows lies adjacent to the resort village and welcomes the scrutiny of passersby.
The course features 69 bunkers, and the greens average 7,000 sq ft. Four sets of tees- named "green" through "double black diamond" to parallel the difficulty ratings of ski slopes- remind visitors of the world-class downhill runs located above the golf holes.
Alfredo Miguel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the resort, has said of RTJ II's design at Osprey Meadows, "This is imagination. This is a piece of art. It's very harmonic with nature." The golf press also offered kudos based on early glimpses of the layout. Sports Illustrated said, "The mountain meadows of Robert Trent Jones II's eighteen-hole golf course almost make you forget you just dumped your ball in the drink." Travel and Leisure Golf described "playful, often deceptive holes." But there is nothing deceptive about the peerless quality of the golf design, a natural part of one of the West's great resorts.