Riverwood Golf Course & Resort has a mature eighteen hole course (The White/Red Course) opened for play in 1932, plus an older nine hole course (The Blue Course) opened for play in 1925. The Chippewa River cuts through both of these very scenic courses and comes into play on several of their holes. Both courses have fairways that are narrow and tree lined. The large greens are medium speed, and the terrain is rolling.
The White/Red Course at Riverwood Golf Course & Resort was designed by W. Bruce Matthews
WHITE COURSE - Par 36 (2,996 yards white tees, 2,435 red)
No. 1 - 402 Par 4: Difficult opening hole which requires a well-placed drive to set yourself up for a long shot (150 yards-plus) to an elevated green with trees on both sides. The Chippewa River splits the fairway about 250 yards off the tee.
No. 2 - 374 Par 4: Slight dogleg to the right. Tee sets you up to the right where a bevy of pine trees await. A big bunker on the right hand side attracts many shots while the green is wide but shallow and accepts only precisely hit irons.
No. 3 - 335 Par 4: Don't be misled by the length. There are woods on the right hand side and pines to the left. It takes a poke of 225 to get to the corner of the hard dogleg right hole. A large pond swallows short shots to the slopping green. There's also water over the green.
No. 4 - 140 Par 3: The first of many difficult par threes to come, this hole poses many different obstacles to overcome. A large tree to the front right of the green and a bunker short left mean that hitting it straight is a must. With this being a new green in 2003, it tends to be firmer than the rest so that many balls landing short will run towards the hole.
No. 5 - 528 Par 5: Good par five where you drive out of a chute to a narrow fairway. There's out-of-bounds left and woods to the right. The hole doglegs to the right after the first 300 yards. The front of the green is guarded by a gaping trap while a pond costs you dearly for anything long.
No. 6 - 450 Par 5: It's possible to hit this green in two as you would expect from its length. However, the second shot must go over a forest of tall trees. Two "safe" shots will still get you within 100-150 yards to a flat but hard-to-read green.
No. 7 - 350 Par 4: This hole was remodeled in 1995. Instead of being one of the easiest on the course, it's become challenging. A good drive to an elevated fairway with bunkers on both sides is a must. Your approach shot will be to a narrow green which is guarded on the right by trees and a bunker to the left. If the pin is back right, make sure you take enough club.
No. 8 - 145 Par 3: This hole fits right into the mold of the rest of the par threes on the course â€¦ difficult. The severity of the hole depends upon whether the pin is left or right because of the huge pond in front. Hitting to the fat part of the green may be advisable if it is tucked right. Don't be too aggressive, though, as the river runs behind the green.
No. 9 - 360 Par 4: A dramatic finishing hole on the front. Water runs along the entire left side of the driving area and the green is fronted by water. Keep it down the right side, just short and left of the partially hidden bunker. A large putting surface welcomes your shots, but be careful of the subtle undulations. Also, beware of the bunkers in front of the green and behind it.
RED COURSE - Par 36 (3,186 yards white, 2,517 red)
No. 10 - 410 Par 4: Extremely difficult opening hole on the red course. A drive at or just to the left of the big tree on the right hand side of the fairway is a must. Beware of the Chippewa River meandering in front of you and along both sides of the hitting area. Once you reach the corner of the dogleg left hole, you'll have a long shot into an large, elevated green.
No. 11 - 186 Par 3: Difficult par three with a pond running along the right side of the fairway, stopping about 20 yards short of the green. A pair of traps guard the front and left side with large trees lurking for shots drifting left.
No. 12 - 495 Par 5: This dogleg has two elevated tees and a large trap at the end of the driving area where the hole turns left. For long hitters, it is possible to hit it over the woods on your tee shot or play a draw from the tee box to get to a place where you may reach the green in two. However, the risks may be more than the rewards. A big bunker protects the front left and another guards the right side. You'll be putting on one of the deepest greens on the course so take note where the flag is.
No. 13 - 437 Par 4: This is a new hole (2002) although the green, length and difficulty remain the same. The hole is now a dogleg to the left and not the right. Two large fairway bunkers add to the difficulty of the hole with trees and a hazard along the left side. It's a tough green to hit in regulation with the prevailing wind in your face.
No. 14 - 149 Par 3: An interesting par three, especially from the back tees. The green is plenty big, but so is the water on the right. Trees guard the left so the only safe point other than on the green is short. Tricky green to putt when pin is back.
No.15 - 465 Par 5: Dogleg right par five which is reachable in two from the front tees. Strategically placed drive is key with woods left and a bevy of pines on the right. Big trap covers front right of the large green.
No. 16 - 509 Par 5: Straight ahead par five, just take your best two shots and see how close you get. Traps guard the right side, but there's little trouble other than pine trees on both sides of the fairway.
No. 17 - 233 Par 3: Tree-lined par three which plays like a short par four. The green is elevated so you won't run many on the green. Hit it straight and hit it long, that's your only chance. A bogey here isn't bad.
No. 18 - 302 Par 4: Exciting finishing hole with trouble everywhere from tee to the bottom of the cup. You'll cross the Chippewa River again, and it'll follow you up the right side of the fairway. There's a pond on the left side of the driving area and woods between the fairway and river on the right. You're second shot will be a blind one into a sloping green from left to right. This is easily the most difficult green to putt - stay below the hole for best results.
$10 (cart included), played on Tuesday, May 2012 at 2pm
I admit it: Riverwood is my "go to" course, probably because it is where I was introduced to the game. I like the variety of the three courses, the diverse terrain, even the river which somestimes overflows and disrupts play and constantly requires a diet of mis-hit golf balls. Canoers/tubers routinely float by during a game. It's a very nice place to play golf. This year the clubhouse/restaurant re-emerged as a first class dining facility. Really, if you haven't seen the new 9-8-9 restaurant, you will be amazed. I kind of miss Gimmie's, the normal after round hang out, though. Normally, I play on a nine-hole league, thus my choice of price. But overall, it compares very favorably with the surrounding courses.
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