About the Course
Several holes feature play from elevated tees to fairways laid out in valleys below with forested hills and waste areas with native grasses framing a number of holes. Nature will play its part in determining your final score – pockets of wetlands create wildlife havens continuing an eco-friendly theme prevalent on all MBK owned courses. Riverdale features Salam Paspalum grass on the tees and fairways, and MiniVerde Ultradwarf on the greens ensuring year round playability.
Playing strategies are defined by numerous hazards from sprawling white sand faced traps and deep sod walled pits to sandy wastes dotted with dune grasses. The design favours intelligent play, with risk and reward options presented boldly, or subtly, on most every hole.
Hole 1 – Par 5
A reachable Par 5 for the longer hitters presents a nice opening hole where most players should make par or better. A wide fairway for your tee shot navigating the bunkers on the right presents players with the choice to lay up short of the greenside bunker that sits short and left or go for it in 2. The green is guarded by 2 bunkers at the front and anything hit over the back presents a difficult up and down so keeping it on the short grass is paramount.
Hole 2 – Par 4
A short straight away Par 4 over a wasteland bunker. A straight drive or long iron leaves a short pitch to a tricky green that will catch anything hit slightly short and feed it back 20 yards.
Hole 3 – Par 4
The first of 2 strong Par 4s in a row and some say a good score on the front 9 starts on these 2 holes. This long Par 4 is played to a wide fairway protected along the right by a long bunker set well below the level of the fairway that will catch anything hit right. Par from this bunker is difficult so take advantage of the wide fairway for a mid-iron second shot to a slightly elevated green. 4 is a good score here.
Hole 4 – Par 4
Slightly downhill Par 4 with a long bunker catching anything hit right. Avoid the fairway bunker at all costs or you will be playing over the water to a well-protected green if the pin is centre or back right. Both a strong drive and accurate second shot required here to make 4.
Hole 5 – Par 3
A great downhill Par 3 with the green sitting at angle to the tee making club selection paramount or you may catch the wasteland bunker featured on this hole. Over the green is a very tricky chip so the preferred play is the centre of the green.
Hole 6 – Par 5
A truly 3 shot Par 5 at over 600 yards from the back tees. Large bunkers are a feature of Riverdale and this hole has one of the largest. 2 accurate shots plotted along this hole to avoid the bunkers will leave a pitch to an elevated green protected on all sides by deep bunkers.
Hole 7 – Par 4
A well-placed tee shot over the right edge of the bunker that sits in this fairway leaves short iron to a fairly flat large green protected by a solitary bunker front left. Be wary here this is a very long green and could leave a very long putt for anything mishit.
Hole 8 – Par 3
A choice awaits here as golfers may choose one of 2 greens – both with their own pros and cons. Choose the high ground and you will have a mid-iron to a very difficult green where anything hit weakly will either find the deep pot bunker or even worse roll back down the hill leaving a tricky pitch shot to a flag that will be invisible from the bottom of the hill. Choose the low road and the target is a narrow island green but the shot plays downhill and is 50 yards closer, but miss this green and you will be playing 3 from the tee.
Hole 9 – Par 4
The best play is a long straight drive to the widest part of the fairway (nearly 50 yards wide) avoiding the bunkers both left and right of the fairway. A precision mid iron is then required to a two level green. Leaving your ball on the wrong tier presents a tricky putt.
Hole 10 – Par 4
An intimidating Par 4 with water running the entire left side of the hole. Navigate as far down as you can without going into the bunker in the middle of the fairway where an accurate second is required to get the ball close to the pin. Be wary of club selection for your second as anything not to the centre of the green tends to feed off to the edges.
Hole 11 – Par 3
An all-water carry Par 3 where anything hit weakly may find the water. Take enough club to get well up this large green and you will have a chance of making the putt as the green is quite flat.
Hole 12 – Par 4
A narrow Par 4 that requires a straight tee shot into a tight fairway. Playing for safety from the tee leaves a challenging second into a very undulating 2-tier green with a false front. Hitting this green is paramount to preserve a par as chipping is difficult especially from behind the green. Putts from the back of this green are nearly impossible to stop onto the front lower tier so be careful.
Hole 13 – Par 5
Riverdales answer to ‘Amen Corner’. This stretch of 4 holes runs around a huge lake that is in play off the tee on all 4 holes. A long accurate drive to a narrow fairway avoiding the bunker on the left that is nearly 200 yards long is required here. The green is not reachable by most golfers for the second shot so the better play is to lay up to the right avoiding the water leaving a simple pitch onto a relatively flat green. The trouble on this hole is from the tee and for your second so staying on the short grass and away from the left side is paramount.
Hole 14 – Par 4
The 15th is a true risk reward hole. Long hitters must avoid the large bunker in the middle of the fairway leaving a simple pitch onto this short par 4. If you are worried about the bunker simply lay-up short leaving around 100 yard pitch to a very wide but narrow green less than 20 yards deep in some sections.
Hole 15 – Par 3
A long Par 3 with intimidating water carry and numerous bunkers protecting anything hot short. A well struck shot will find the relatively flat wide putting surface, but beware this green is also only 20 yards deep so club selection and the ball striking from the tee is paramount.
Hole 16 – Par 4
Water dominates this long Par 4 with nearly the entire left side of the fairway edged by the large lake. A well struck drive and second shot is required here to a green that is set on an angle to the fairway making second shot accuracy all important.
Hole 17 – Par 4
A driveable Par 4 for the longer hitters but beware this green is very narrow and is protected by 2 large bunkers as big as the green. The green is 45 yards long from front to back so may be best to find the fairway down the left side leaving the best angle of attack straight up the green.
Hole 18 – Par 5
A great finishing hole where players must navigate water down the left and a bunker on the right from this elevated tee. Once you have found the fairway an accurate second is required to avoid the tree that sits in front of the green and the bunkers behind it. Many players choose to aim right here as there is plenty of room leaving a simple pitch up the length of the green.