For the past 37 years in a row the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial has been vital in supporting the fight to cure cancer and leukemia. This years tournament is slated for August 20-23, 2014. For more information please http://www.killebrewthompsonmemorial.com
It’s been a season of great news in Sun Valley when it comes to making it easier than ever to visit this amazing all-season playground. This week, Fly Sun Valley Alliance, the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority and Sun Valley Resort announced new non-stop air service connecting the busy Denver, Colorado, hub with Sun Valley’s Friedman Memorial Airport starting this summer. Beginning July 2, United Express flights operated by SkyWest Airlines will fly between the two destinations and service will continue through September 23. It will be a great Fourth of July celebration, indeed!
Starting this summer, Sun Valley will welcome direct fights from Denver
CRJ 700 regional jets will bring 70 travelers to Sun Valley from the Mile High City. Six seats will be in United First Class with 64 in the economy cabin. Sixteen seats are extra-legroom Economy Plus seats providing options for every flyer with every budget.
Denver is a huge hub for travel from the east coast and south, making it easier than ever to come hike, mountain bike, fly fish, swim and golf Sun Valley this summer.
Sun Valley is thrilled with new service connecting Sun Valley with San Francisco this winter and looks forward to welcoming visitors from Denver in time for July 4 celebrations
“This new nonstop route to Sun Valley will allow additional connectivity to eastern US cities and other destinations in United’s global route network,” said Vic Kerckhoff, United’s director of leisure sales. “We are pleased to be expanding our service to the Sun Valley market and look forward to a long-term successful partnership with this important destination.”
The initial flight schedule shows jets departing Denver at 7:15 p.m. and arriving in paradise at 9:03 p.m. Flights return at 7:30 a.m., arriving in Denver at 9:11 a.m. This takes advantage of connections from all major eastern markets.
Welcome to Friedman Memorial Airport -- the gateway to our year-round playground
The new summer flight will run daily from July 2 – August 25 and 5 times per week from August 26 – Sept 23 and represents 5,500 additional seats into Sun Valley for the 2014 summer season.
“We are extremely excited about this additional new United Airlines nonstop service to Denver,” said Eric Seder, Board President of Fly Sun Valley Alliance, an organization engaged in strategic air service development efforts for the Sun Valley area. “Our community has shown its support for improving air service and we are getting results.”
Ron Fairfax, Chairman of the Friedman Memorial Airport noted, “This is one more very positive step in the ongoing public-private partnership work underway to improve air service to Sun Valley for the benefit of our visitors, our businesses and our local residents. The airport is proud to be a part of this collective effort.”
The friendly professionals at Friedman Memorial Airport will make your travels as worry-free as possible
I am personally really excited to learn about this new service as I hope it makes it easier for my brother and his family to come visit from their home in Colorado. I also know it will entice all my east coast friends to come out to see for themselves why I always say Sun Valley is just as beautiful in the summer as in the winter. The welcome mat it out!
This new service is the latest in direct flights that link Sun Valley to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Welcome to Sun Valley. The fun starts now!
Sun Valley looks forward to welcoming visitors from the Denver-area and beyond this summer and hopefully next winter, too. Everyone is hard at work to add winter service for 2014-2015.
Minnesota Twins slugger and Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew founded the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament to raise funds for research into the disease that killed his teammate. The event returns to Sun Valley Resort this month for the 37th consecutive year.
Statistically, discovering someone you love has cancer is an experience almost everyone will go through. I was starting week two of a new job as arts editor of the Idaho Mountain Express when I got the news. My father, who was more than 5,000 miles away in my home country of England, had acute myeloid leukemia. For Harmon Killebrew, one of the most prolific power hitters in major league baseball history, discovering that his Minnesota Twins teammate had leukemia ignited a philanthropic urge in the man who hit 573 home-runs in his career.
During that career, baseball journalists lamented Killebrew’s understated personality. “Killebrew is so quiet that sportswriters have given up trying to jazz up his image,” said Time magazine in 1964. “He didn’t go out, he didn’t go ballistic, he didn’t go anything but bald,” wrote Steve Rushin in thisSports Illustrated article following the Hall of Famer’s death in 2011. But this baseball-star-turned-Boise-insurance-salesman had a more permanent legacy ahead of him: funding research into a cure for cancer.
While my father won his battle with the disease, Danny Thompson lost his, passing away in 1976 at the age of 29. The tragedy of such a young life and great talent being cut so short inspired Killebrew and his friend Idaho congressman Ralph Harding to start an annual event to raise money for research into the disease. Debuting in the summer of 1977 as a celebrity clambake, the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament has generated over $12 million for the battle against leukemia.
A Payette boy, Killebrew chose to host the event at Sun Valley Resort, on whose magnificent courses the four-person two-best ball tournament has been played ever since. Drawing stars from the world of baseball and Hollywood, such as Joe Washington, Jack Morris, Don Felder and Kevin Sorbo, the tournament’s high profile has helped generate substantial donations to the University of Minnesota Cancer Research Center in Minneapolis and St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise. “Due to the participation and support of nationally known celebrities and sponsors, the tournament has not only raised in excess of $11 million that has gone directly to leukemia and cancer research, but over the years these funds have been used in various matching grant programs leveraged to the million dollar level annually,” Tournament Director Georgie Fenton said in an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express in 2011.
Killebrew lost his own battle with cancer in 2011, and last year the tournament was renamed in its founder’s honor. The first Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament raised $700,000, bringing the grand total collected over 36 years to $12.5 million. Not bad for a round of golf in an idyllic setting.
Huey Lewis and the News return to Sun Valley to entertain at the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament on Wednesday, August 21.
This year’s tournament runs from Wednesday, August 21 through Saturday, August 24. Registration for the 2013 tournament is now closed, but tickets are still available for the benefit concert on August 21 at 8 p.m. featuring Huey Lewis and The News. Purchase tickets from $54 to $255 here, or opt for a $159 hotel package of one night’s lodging and two show tickets by calling 800-786-8259 or clicking here.
Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho -- cool and zesty on a hot summer's day
Chef Erik Olson of the Sun Valley Club doesn’t really go in for exact measurements. Rather, his cooking is done to taste and his taste tends toward the flavors of southwestern cuisine. As a child growing up in Arizona, he grew heirloom tomatoes and peppers as a hobby and cilantro is his favorite herb. He loves to eat light, commenting, “When it was 118 degrees out, we all wanted food that was anything but heavy.”
But his culinary training and experiences broadened his horizons and while he still loves the flavors of his childhood, his palate embraces endless kinds of food. At Sun Valley Resort, he spent one season at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge and one year catering in the Sun Valley Inn kitchen before assuming the mantle at the Sun Valley Club and bringing his point-of-view to the restaurant’s kitchen.
Step one: create a brunoise of fresh, seasonal vegetables
For the summer, Chef Olson created an incredibly fresh, surprisingly hearty and just right spicy crab gazpacho for the menu. The presentation is beautiful, with just picked colorful vegetables and a generous portion of crab meat creating a tower in the middle of a tangy tomato broth. It is just the right combination of cool flavors for a hot summer day.
Chef Olson has shared his recipe with readers of the Valley Sun as part of our Recipe from the Resort series. You will certainly enjoy this dish at home on the deck, accompanied by a nice dry white wine. Or come to the Sun Valley Club and let Chef Olson do the chopping for you, as you luxuriate on the restaurant’s beautiful large patio that overlooks the golf course, Dollar Mountain and Baldy.
Note: Chef Olson is a big fan using the technique called a brunoise — a very fine 1/8” dice. But if your knife skills aren’t up to the task, no worries. Your gazpacho may not look as pretty as his, but it will taste just as good.
Spoon the tomato-y broth around the vegetables taking care not to drown them
Clubhouse Crab Gazpacho
2½ or 3 ounces of shredded King Crab or Dungeness crab (you can take the meat from crab legs or buy it fresh in lump form.In a pinch even good quality canned crab will do).
Brunoise dice of fresh:
Red bell pepper
Zucchini, no seeds, only the skin and flesh
Tomatoes, flesh and skin only, no seeds
Enough of each to fill a small ramekin
For the broth:
About three cups of prepared tomato juice
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 to 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, depending on how much heat you like
1 to 1½ tsp red wine vinaigrette
1 Tbl. sugar
A few dashes of Tabasco sauce, again, according to taste
½ tsp. fresh chopped jalapeno
Fresh cilantro and basil
Green onions, cut on a bias and placed in ice water to curl
In a bowl, stir the chives and cilantro into the tomato juice.
In a small bowl, pack in diced vegetables until they take the round shape.
Tip the vegetables into the center of a shallow soup bowl.
Carefully pour the broth around the vegetables.
Shape crab meat into a small ball using your hands.
Place the crab ball carefully on top of the vegetables, creating a small ‘tower.’
Sprinkle curled green onion on top of crab meat as a garnish.
Chef Olson shows off his flavorful dish in the Clubhouse dining room
Be sure to come to the Clubhouse to sample and enjoy the rest of Chef Olson’s summertime creations. These include: a heirloom tomato salad with a white balsamic reduction, fresh burrata and arugula tossed with pesto and pine nuts; grilled sockeye salmon served with haricots verts, yellow and purple wax beans, fennel and red onion, and for dessert, new cookie sundaes and a decadent strawberry amaretto sundae.
The Clubhouse is now also offering duck tacos. These fabulous tacos are available on the patio Mondays and Mondays only from 4 – 7 p.m.Following a round on the links, a bike ride or whatever your active Sun Valley day offered, enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail from the full bar and dig into as many duck tacos as you like, priced at $5 apiece.
The Sun Valley Club offers one of the most pleasant dining rooms and patios in the Wood River Valley. Be sure next time you are making lunch plans to include this beautiful spot.
On Monday nights, grab some friends and come for a duck taco and cocktail on Sun Valley Club's stunning patio
Enjoy the food, the putt-putt golf and the views this Father's Day at the Sun Valley Club
Scenario No. 1
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, your father, who works so hard and does so much for your family, opens his well-intentioned gift. Imagine his delight at receiving (a) a new set of drill bits (b) a tie (very useful for Idaho) (c) a new electronic gadget that his children will proceed to take away from him, ‘just to help set it up!’ Proceed to the backyard and put him to work over the grill, preparing a festive meal for the gang. Watch the joy on mom’s face as she realizes she gets to clean up!
Scenario No. 2
Hear the sound of laughter ricochet off the manicured greens as dad and the family enjoy a rousing round of putt-putt at the Sun Valley Club. Everyone’s short game skills are put to the test. Victory is celebrated, defeat quickly forgotten. The 18-hole Sawtooth Putting Course offers 52,000 square feet of fun for every age and skill level. And the best part? On June 16, putt-putt is complimentary!
Try your skill, or just have fun, on the Sawtooths Putting Course
Next, your group, comprised perhaps of dads, grandfathers, friends, children and spouses then walks a few short feet to the Clubhouse for a fabulous feast that dad doesn’t have to cook and mom doesn’t need to clean up.
Tuck into a special menu. Choices include a rack of baby back ribs or chicken with baked beans, corn on the cob, potato, corn bread and honey butter or an old fashioned western bacon cheeseburger and, of course, beer. If dad prefers to celebrate his big day with a gin and tonic, there is also a full bar. The restaurant’s regular lunch menu, including fresh and healthy salads, sandwiches and other favorites will also be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A special late afternoon menu will be available until 5 p.m.
The Clubhouse is casual, but elegant, with spacious tables conducive to conversation. Dine on the deck or inside. Both spots offer stunning views of Baldy, Dollar and the rolling, expansive greens of the Trail Creek Golf Course. In fact, if dad was inspired by the putt-putt, he may end up playing the front nine.
The Sun Valley Club provides the perfect backdrop for Father's Day
Sun Valley was recently recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top 75 resort courses in North America. The signature Trail Creek course challenges golfers of any ability. The legendary Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed this traditional alpine course in 1980 with a full compliment of stream carries and ominous bunkers well positioned to catch the errant shot. Just across the street, dad may also choose to tackle the White Clouds course. Encircled by some of the most sublime scenery in the Lower 48, dad will enjoy these nine holes, situated on cloud nine. This course complements the Trail Creek Course by presenting contrasting play with more sand trap shots, side-hill lies, risk-reward and blind shots.
The Clubhouse is consistently my father’s favorite spot to have lunch, so our family will certainly be stopping in on the 16th for a memorable meal and to swing at some golf balls. Treat your dad, and the entire gang, to a wonderful, relaxing and delicious Father’s Day in Sun Valley. Just come on in. No reservations are needed. The memories will last forever and he will certainly appreciate it more than another necktie.
Happy Father's Day to my dad who always has my back and who is my favorite fishing buddy
Father’s Day has the highest percentage of collect calls of any day during the year.
Father’s Day has been celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June since 1972.
Golfing and skiing are as different as two sports could be, not in the least because one requires snow and the other lots of sun. Well, we have both here in Sun Valley, and while golfers are dusting off their sticks, don’t expect to see snowboards and skis heading into storage just yet. Thanks to the vagaries of Mother Nature, right now you can ski on Baldy in the morning and crack out the clubs in the afternoon.
Today, April 5, is the official opening of Sun Valley Resort’s driving range and practice greens, and with skiing on Baldy continuing through April 14 there’s a fantastic fortnight to be had for enthusiasts of both sports here at Sun Valley.
Trail Creek’s trademark holes: Hole #14, "Bullwinkle," is one of the course's top 3 trademark holes, it got its name from the shape of the large sand traps on the player's left hand side. Joining it are #10, a scenic par 3 over a pond looking right at Bald Mountain, and #3, a long, tough par 4 that is the most challenging hole on the course,
This is the earliest opening of the golfing facilities in recent memory, according to Jeff Petersen, director of golf. “It certainly is very, very early, by far the earliest opening in my nine years here,” he said. “Generally an early opening for us is towards the end of April, so we’re a couple weeks ahead of where we normally are, even for an early opening.”
There’s still a week or two to wait to tread the greens on Sun Valley’s three world class golf courses, Trail Creek, White Clouds and Elkhorn, but Petersen anticipates it will be sooner than last year, which was April 24. “Most likely the middle of the month,” he said. “But it’s up to Mother Nature, as always.”
So while the limited snowfall late in the season may have disappointed the skiers, it has certainly given golfers plenty of reason to rejoice. “It’s the changing of the guard now,” said Petersen. “It’s certainly a little bit shorter and a little bit abrupter than we’re used to but that’s the beauty of being in the mountains.”
Petersen arrived in those mountains in 2005 and took over management of the courses in 2008. During his tenure, golf at Sun Valley has undergone an impressive transformation. “When I first arrived we were in our old golf shop, which was very tiny and outdated. In the summer of 2008 we opened up a beautiful clubhouse, added an additional 9 holes and improved the practice facilities greatly.”
Today, Petersen believes Sun Valley offers everything golfers could want from a golf resort. “There’s a wide mix of different golf holes throughout, from the 18 hole Robert Trent Jones-designed Trail Creek course, redesigned in late 70s/early 80s, which offers a wonderful traditional design and layout, to the new 9 hole White Clouds (opened in August 2008), which offers a more open course, more akin to the mountain-lifestyle, a lot of undulation, lots of up and down. It’s a great contrast to what we have down below on the Trail Creek course.”
Jeff Petersen in Sun Valley's Director of Golf. His favorite time of year to play at Sun Valley is the fall. "Mornings are always preferred, it's so quiet and scenic. Sneaking in a late 9 holes in the evening is a great way to do it too," he said.
The new facilities have also helped broaden the appeal of the sport, a 58,000 sq ft clubhouse provides the perfect spot for a family to relax and hang out while dad or mom gets in a round, plus the Sawtooth Putting Course is a great place to introduce the young ones to the sport, or encourage a newcomer.
I asked Petersen what he thinks makes golfing at Sun Valley so special. “The look,” he said. “You never have the same shot or the same view twice.” Turn one way and you’re staring right into Bald Mountain, turn the other and there are the Pioneers peaking out at you. “It’s just very scenic and very traditional and true to what the surroundings are here.”
The wildlife viewing also lends to the appeal. “We have a deer family that tends to nest down here in the early spring time,” Petersen said. “We’ll have a couple fawns born in early spring.” As long as they keep their distance, wildlife and golfers exist in perfect harmony, barring the odd hot-dog stealing fox.
Despite the serenity and beauty of the surroundings, this is far from a walk in the park. “The course is very challenging,” Petersen said. “From your very good, low handicap players to the recreational higher handicap players, we have a set of tees for all, it can stretch out to be just shy of 7,000 yds in length, or down to 5500 yards, good golfers and bad golfers all alike can find something that will challenge them.”
A new challenge to look forward to once the season gets going is a completely redesigned #1 hole. The large pond on the left was shrunk and the green expanded, resulting in a better designed hole. “Late last fall we started redesign work of our opening hole on Trail Creek,” Petersen said. “Most of the preparatio for rolling out turf has been done already, and sod and new grass will go down this spring and we hope to be playing it come July 1.”
But, thanks to the infuriatingly indecisive Mother Nature, there are still plenty of rounds to be got in before then, and a few more runs down Baldy, if you’re quick!
Go Play! The Pro Shop and Practice Facilities are open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (208.622.2251), the Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant are open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (208.622.2919). The $124 per person “Come Early. Play Late” golf package is available through June 9th and includes one night’s lodging and 18 holes of golf on one of Sun Valley’s courses and cart. (888-383-2522). For more information visit www.sunvalley.com/golf
Since arriving in Sun Valley almost nine years ago, I’ve discovered one of my favorite sights is that of deep dark clouds rolling into the valley on a quest to obscure our normally brilliant blue skies. The drama they bring as they cuddle up to the mountain tops is breathtaking, as are the storms that generally follow. And really, one does get somewhat bored of 330 days of pure, unadulterated sun.
While 45 holes is a dream to many, the 18 of the putting course was far more our style for a first family golfing day. On the advice of Dominick Conti at the Golf Shop we kitted the children out in collared shirts (“so they will feel part of the golfing experience”) and hit the greens.
As the clouds gathered, threatening but not yet ready to give up their cargo, the scenery was stunning, more than making up for my complete lack of interest in golf. The tykes however, were in heaven. And as most parents discover sooner rather than later, anything that makes your offspring happy makes you happy. (Apart from SpongeBob SquarePants—if I could get my hands on that darn pineapple under the sea…).
Baby Sun gets ready for a run at the balls
After a spring in Florida with his grandpa, Little Sun has ample golfing experience. Tucking his scoring pencil behind his ear (a trick the trusty Dominick had showed him), he strode up to the first of the 18 holes and knocked it out in 3 strokes. Well, as he pointed out grumpily, that would have been the case if Baby Sun’s incurable delight at seeing a little white ball shoot across the grass hadn’t been followed by the irresistible urge to chase it. We eventually curbed this desire by putting a ball in each of her pudgy hands.
Modeled on the famous Himalayas Putting Course at the historic home of golf, St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, the Sawtooths is a lot of fun for serious golfers but it is absolutely perfect for a family day out. Offering downhill, sidehill and uphill putts as you weave around the 52,000 square foot course, we all felt like “proper” golfers—without actually getting in the way of the proper golfers.
It's time to get into the club!
After an hour of decent physical exertion, lots of laughs and just one tantrum, we headed for the luxury of the patio seating outside the splendid Sun Valley Club. Here Big Sun and I enjoyed a much-needed frosty beverage while the tykes wolfed down some toasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Pure perfection.
Here are some quick clips of the Sun family in action
When you get right down to it, it’s actually easier to make it as a professional golfer than it is as a professional golf course architect.
Don Knott is one of those lucky few people with the talent and tenacity to make the cut as a professional golf course architect. But he hasn’t simply made the cut.
Don has become one of the most highly respected golf course architects of all time. If there were a Master’s Tournament for golf course designers, Don–-who designed Sun Valley’s White Clouds course and redesigned Trail Creek–would get a lifetime exemption.
Don Knott designs his golf courses to fit within the natural landscape
"Golf is still golf"
Don didn’t always have a love affair with golf. A collegiate All-American swimmer at UC Berkeley, the Northern California native didn’t pick up the game until graduate school.
He started playing Berkeley’s course simply because he loved the outdoors and had a passion for landscape design. Don quickly got hooked on the game and could often be seen riding his motorcycle to the local college course, carrying his clubs on his back.
Knott landed an internship with the legendary Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects (RTJ2) in Palo Alto, California. He quickly made his mark in the company and was hired on, eventually becoming RTJ2′s Lead Project Architect and Senior Vice President of Design, spending the next 26 years helping the firm to construct golf courses all over the world.
"The game is pretty traditional. It’s been 18 holes for a long time," Don explains. "Golf is still golf. People still hit the ball the same way as they always have. The key to all great courses isn’t how much money they cost to build, it’s that they fit into the natural landscape. A good golf course design makes it look like you haven’t moved any dirt to make it, at least that’s the goal."
"It’s hard to build a bad course on a great location," Don explains. "But there has to be magic to the location if it’s going to be a truly special course. There’s a reason Pebble Beach is so famous.
"Of course, you have to have nice views. But there should also be a wee bit of mystery and intrigue," Don explains. "The origins of the game are not based on scoring. The origins of golf are that it’s an obstacle course through nature. You hit the ball and then you go see what your fate is."
"Idaho is just spectacular"
"I still love the game and play when I can," says Don, who left RTJ2 in 1999 to found the Knott & Linn Golf Design Group with fellow golf course designer, Gary Linn.
The breathtaking view from the White Clouds course, Hole #4
Based in Mountain View, California, they are busy building courses across the globe, but one of Don’s favorite places to swing the sticks is still Idaho.
"Jug Mountain Ranch in McCall is one of my favorite spots, and the 360 view you get at the courses in Sun Valley makes it a really special place," says Knott, who travels to the Wood River Valley each Summer to play in the Danny Thompson Memorial.
"The whole mountain scene in Idaho is just spectacular," Don declares, professing the type of admiration for the Gem State that golfers all over the world have for his work.
There may be more than 28 million golfers in America alone, but there’s only one Don Knott, and players all over the country–and especially in Idaho–are certainly happy he made the cut as a golf course architect.
The Sun Valley Resort Golf Course Trail Creek front-nine, driving range, practice putting green, and the Sawtooth Putting Course are now open for the season.
This weekend, on May 14, the 9-hole White Clouds course will open for the season. Please call the Sun Valley Club Pro Shop for tee-times and more information (208) 622-2251
The Sun Valley Club Restaurant is currently serving lunch daily from 11am-3pm and the Sun Valley Club Bar is open daily from 11am to closing.
Don’t miss out on the Prime Rib Special every Sunday from 11am-3pm.
For restaurant information please call (208) 622-2919.