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History

A Tradition

of Excellence

Founded on June 10, 1898, the Kalispel Golf and Country Club under the name Spokane Golf Club is considered the fourth oldest golf club in Washington State. Originally located at 14th and Perry Street in the lower South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, the greens and fairways of the nine-hole golf course is said to have consisted of mainly dirt and sand and used tomato cans for cups. The Club was officially established as interest in golf grew among Spokane’s High Society. 

During the early years of the Club, the association sought to find more suitable land and relocated from Liberty Park to Hart Field. But four years later the Clubhouse burned down, which prompted another move to a 140-acre lot near the Little Spokane River. On July 8, 1911, the new course opened for play and is open to this day. Spokane’s original north border virtually ended at Garland Street. Due to the distance between the Club’s location and Spokane’s main residential areas and the scarcity of automobiles, the Club struggled in its new location. To develop membership, the Club operated a jitney (a small bus) to transport members from town on weekends. The first Clubhouse included guest rooms and quarters, where members and staff could spend the night. Since then, countless visitors have come to stay and enjoy the beautiful course and surrounding landscape.

Throughout its 100-plus-year history, the course has seen many notable moments. In 1946, the U.S. Women’s Open selected the Club to host its inaugural Championship, won by World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Patty Berg. More recently, the Club has hosted numerous professional golf greats, including Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Curtis Strange, Nancy Lopez, Fred Couples, Chip Beck, and Nick Price. Tom Watson currently holds the course record of eleven under par. In 1988, famous golf architect Robert Muir Graves made course architecture improvements. His enhancements added additional character and challenge to an already superior golf course.

In December 2015, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians purchased the course, continuing the tradition of excellence and the game of golf. That same year, the Tribe rebranded the old restaurant into the now famous 1898 Public House, opening it for everyone to enjoy. The Tribe renamed the property to the Kalispel Golf and Country Club and promised continued commitment to the future of the Club.

The Kalispel Tribe

Once one of the poorest Native American Tribes in the United States, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians is now one of the top ten private employers in the Spokane region. The historically humble and hospitable Tribe operates a well-diversified business portfolio with Northern Quest Resort & Casino, the region’s premier destination resort, as its largest venture. Tribal health and social service programs, supported by the resort and other businesses, have increased the quality and life expectancy for tribal members and surrounding communities near the Tribe’s reservation along the Pend Oreille River. The Tribe employs more than 2,000 people in the area has donated more than $19 million to regional non-profit organizations.

The Tribe’s Land stretches approximately two hundred miles in length along Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho to where Paradise Montana now stands. The culture is heavily influenced by the environment created by the Pend Oreille River which they call “ntxwe”, a Kalispel word that symbolically means “reduces all other streams to an inferior status”. The people of the Oreille have withstood unimagined hardships to maintain their lives in harmony with “ntxwe”.

The success in their economic development with Northern Quest Casino, their work at Kalispel Natural resources, Camas Center & Clinic, and more provide The Tribe opportunity to care for their land, air, water, culture, and the local community. The Kalispel Golf and Country Club also funds economic development for the Kalispel Tribe and their communities through your memberships, dining, and events.

Significance of the Frog

Because the Kalispel Tribe is such an integral part of the business, it made sense to follow up with symbolism from the Tribe when creating the logo for the Kalispel Golf and Country Club. Kalispel Tribal elders often tell stories about “Frog Island,” a sacred place on the banks of the Pend Oreille River where families once gathered to share meals, dances, and conversation. The Kalispel frog not only represents health, balance, and community; it is a strong symbol of a promising future. The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is committed to this promising future and to providing members and guests at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club for years to come. 

Find out more about the Kalispel Tribe’s rich cultural history and progression at KalispelTribe.com.