Golf Report: Golf news, events and course information for Spokane and the Inland Northwest

This course will fool you

Mountainside a tough course to figure out

The greens on the Mountainside Golf Course at Fairmont Hot Springs, like this one at No. 14, make your putts run away from the mountains and frustrate golfers.

Though lacking the diversity of holes found on its sister course, Mountainside offers its own unique challenges, including relatively small greens that border on illegible.

The nearby mountains influence nearly every shot, with tees shots, approaches and putts all running away from majestic peaks and confounding most golfers making their first visit to the wonderfully conditioned course.

The opening hole, a 495-yard par-4 is bit benign, but the 412-yard, par-4 second is an attention-getter that turns gently to the left down a fairway that is pinched on the right by a pair of fairway bunkers. Three of five par-4s on the front nine measure more than 400 yards, with the most difficult being the 425-yard ninth, which plays straight away to a green that is protected by water in front and a trio of sand traps that surround it.

The toughest hole on the course, however, is the 440-yard par-4 11th that plays uphill and into the prevailing wind. And another good test is the 395-yard par-4 finishing hole that features water hazards down the left side of the fairway near the green.

Mountainside’s four par-3s are straight-forward short holes, with the longest being the 190-yard fifth, which greets golfers immediately after they have navigated the difficult 600-yard, par-5 and prepares them for the equally challenging 425-yard par-4 sixth. Mercifully, the seventh hole is a short par-4 that measures a mere 278 yards. But a pair of bunkers on the outside of the right-turning dogleg makes accuracy off the tee a must for anyone hoping to make birdie.

Fairmont’s Mountainside course is the kind of initially confusing layout that can leave golfers a bit frustrated and confused – but eager to return in hopes of figuring it out.