New golf course is taking shape in Clark Fork

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CLARK FORK — Pebble Beach it’s not, but with the help of Clark Fork High School teachers and students and a host of community members, a new nine-hole Par 3 golf course is starting to take shape in Clark Fork.

Located on land behind the high school, a stretch of holes ranging in length from 80 yards to 230 yards has been etched out of the trees. Over the course of several years, Wampus Cat students, parents, staff and various community members have donated their labor and time to slowly help build the course, located behind the football field.

“We had the property back there, and said why not use it, it was sitting there idle,” said Clark Fork principal Phil Kemink, one of the driving forces behind the project. “We’re trying to turn it into a community-based course. Go play and have a good time, and be a positive addition to the community.”

The course isn’t being built with any school district funds, just hard work from the community. The three-par layout is far from a finished project, and even when it’s finally ready for play, won’t be your typical golf course.

“It’s not going to be a perfectly-manicured course,” admits Kemink. “We’re not going to use fertilizers.”

But for anyone wanting to go out and strike some golf balls on a summer afternoon, they’ll now have that option in Clark Fork. Kemink envisions a pay-for-play system akin to the new disc golf course on the University of Idaho property in Sandpoint, where players simply drop a nominal fee into a box on the honor system when they play.

No timetable has been set for any official opening, as much work still needs to be done before the course is remotely playable. On that front, Kemink is excited about this Saturday, when Mountain West Bank is organizing a volunteer work day.

“This volunteer day will be one step closer,” said Kemink, thankful for the bank’s gesture. “It’s part of their community outreach. They approached me, and I said ‘I’ve got a project you might be interested in.’”

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