Tag Archives: Rivers Edge

Rivers Edge – Course Review

Summary

On the 9th tee at Rivers Edge
On the 9th tee at Rivers Edge

We visited this Arnold Palmer design in Shallotte, NC on Thursday, May 27 and played 36 holes on a very challenging layout.  From the back tees, this course is rated at 74.7/149 and thankfully we played them one set up.  At 6,440 yards, Rivers Edge is not that long, but the firm fairways and windy conditions put solid ball striking at a premium and tested every ounce of our patience.  Several of the holes are very scenic and run along the Shallotte River and when the tide is out, the site of thousands of golf balls donated in the mud flats gave even the best players in our group cause for hesitation.

Conditions were somewhat of a mixed bag, with several of the bentgrass greens infiltrated with spotty brown patches, which were either dormant grass (unlikely) or some type of disease.  They were rolling fairly slow but were dry and bouncing hard, especially on the down wind shots.  The tee boxes were a little scratchy in spots and the fairways hard and dry.  The series of exposed holes by the river were reminiscent of conditions at a British Open.

Playing notes:

  • #9 is a 90 degree dogleg left par-5 that played into the wind on the first two shots and as you made the dogleg, were forced to contend with a strong right to left wind and a fairway and green that sloped hard right to left.  Trying to keep the ball on the putting surface was almost comical.  I made bogey in both rounds and felt I had conquered the world.  Favor the right side of the fairway off the tee because a drive left of center will catch the hard turf and roll down into the marsh.
  • #10 is a 330 yard par-4 that has more landing room than it looks like from the tee.  I laid up with a 3-iron but could have easily hit 3WD and gained a shorter approach.
  • #16 is a 386 yard par-4 that you must favor the left side on your tee shot or risk a hard bounce right and a lost ball in the river.  Take your tee shot over the middle of the left fairway bunker for the best line in.
  • #17 is a par-5 with an awkward approach because of the positioning of a tree right in front of the green.  Only a left pin placement is actually accessible and seemed a bit unfair to us.
  • #18 is a 360 yard par-4 where you have to decide how much marsh to carry on the tee shot.  I found a well struck 3WD at the gazebo in the distance is a good line and left about a 100 yard shot in.  My playing partner buried a driver in a bunker about 60 yards from the green (video below).  Your choice.

Value (3.5 out of 5.0)

Greens fees are $100 to play at this time which seemed a bit high for the summer.  Of course, ours was included in our package but we found the replay rate of $25 low in comparison to other courses of this caliber, and a very pleasant surprise.  Range balls were complimentary.  We ate lunch in the clubhouse and the entries were delicious and very reasonably priced.  Treat yourself to the blackened fish sandwich if you are inclined.  It was excellent.

Facilities (3.0 out of 5.0)

The clubhouse and grill were good sized with a medium to small pro shop.  The driving range was in very good condition and you hit from all grass stations.  The putting green was medium sized but you weren’t allowed to chip and I couldn’t find an alternate chipping / pitching area.  The practice area was clearly meant for resort players who want a quick bucket to warm up before their game and not for protracted practice.  My rating here would go higher with top notch course conditions because the layout of some of these holes is outstanding.

Customer Experience (4.0 out of 5.0)

The bag drop off / cart attendant was very friendly and provided an excellent first face.  He had your clubs loaded, your range balls in hand, and directions to wherever you wanted to go.  The pro in the shop was very friendly and accommodating and I believe discounted us $10 off the normal replay rate, which was much appreciated.  They got us off when we wanted to play in the afternoon without issue.  The servers in the grill area were very friendly and brought our food and drinks promptly.

On this day, we played the black tees at 6,440 yards and I carded an 84 and an 83.  Rivers Edge is a great layout and we had a lot of fun.  I’d like to replay it when conditions are at their peak.

Overall Rating (3.5 out of 5.0)

15th green looking back at the tee - Rivers Edge
15th green looking back at the tee – Rivers Edge

Most Golf Holes Played – Record Set!

On the 13th tee at Oyster Bay
On the 13th tee at Oyster Bay

Just returned from six days of golf in Myrtle Beach and have shattered my previous record of 198 holes played by a full 18.  We needed perfect weather to play 36 on six straight days and the golfing gods cooperated with partly cloudy skies and temps around 80 every day.  Powered by nine 200 mg Advil tablets per day, the pain and stiffness associated with 12-hour days at the course was kept at bay.

Normally, we’d arrive at the course around 7:00 a.m. and hit balls for 30 minutes and go.  The early tee times allowed for a break for lunch before heading out around 2:30 p.m. for the afternoon round.  Two of my traveling partners also managed the full 216 and the whole affair was exhausting but tremendous fun.  I would not advise taking this on if you have any physical limitations or sense of reasonableness 🙂 .

Leading up to the trip, I had forsaken all practice time for play, mostly over nine hole rounds, in hopes that the added reps would allow me to adjust more easily in bad stretches.  This worked incredibly well, especially when my ball striking took a downturn.  Also we took video of our swings on the course and reviewed at night and I picked up a few nuggets that I put in play the following day.  The added play early in the season clearly helped and the availability of video was like having a swing coach always nearby to assist.  Here’s one of me on my best drive at The Legends Heathland course.  I noticed my ball position was back quite a bit and I’m still trying to figure out what else I did right.  See anything?

Key stats for the 216 holes:

  • 81.08 stroke average
  • 19 birdies
  • 96 pars
  • 74 bogeys
  • 23 double bogeys
  • 4 others

Individual rounds:

  • May 27, Kings North, 84
  • May 27, Kings North, 86
  • May 28, Heathland, 75
  • May 28, Parkland, 80
  • May 29, Parkland, 74
  • May 29, Oyster Bay 82
  • May 30, Moorland 82
  • May 30, Heritage, 81
  • May 31, Rivers Edge, 84
  • May 31, Rivers Edge, 83
  • June 1, True Blue, 81
  • June 1, True Blue, 81

Kings North and Rivers Edge were new courses for me and I shot my highest scores on those venues, which was not unexpected.  Most of the courses were in excellent shape and a delight to play.  Full course reviews are coming for True Blue, Kings North, and Rivers Edge.  Stay tuned!