RIVERBEND GOLF COURSE
|My Score/Best Score
|Located in the Kent Valley, Riverbend is flat and
very easy to walk. This is a course I watched being built
and first played the 2nd day after it first opened in
1989. The trees then were little saplings. You won't find
as many grown trees as you will on other Northwest
courses, but those little saplings are now almost 10
years old and finally starting to get to a size where
they can come into play. The fairways are generally wide,
and there isn't much deep rough (unless they haven't
mowed it for a while). Fairway and greenside bunkers will
come into play as will wetlands and ponds causing water
to come into play on 8 holes. Greens are medium size and
contain various curves and breaks. Yardage is just 6666
yards from the blue tees, but often roll is not as much
as you might anticipate, particularly in the wet season.
I'll also add that last season I played this course in an
evening league, so I put in quite a few rounds and am
pretty familiar with the layout. There is also a par 3
course and a driving range across the street.
|The greens have potential, but aren't in as good
shape as they could be. Some seem to putt slower than
others, and footprint indentations are a problem on some
of the softer greens. Number 8 comes to mind as being
more lumpy than some. Size is decent but not huge, so 3
putts are possible if you miss far from the pin. While
there aren't a lot of big tiers or levels, there are
some, and the greens are not flat. You will need to be
concerned with the break, which incidentally is often not
as big as you first see.
|The biggest form of hazards come from the many
bunkers and ponds. Not only will you find greenside
bunkers, but there are more than the usual allotment of
fairway bunkers that come into play. If that isn't enough
there are 8 water holes, and some out of bounds to
|The fairways are generally wide and tend to be on
the wet side in the winter. Summer roll is about average
as the course stays pretty well watered. Condition is
|Lost Ball Factor
|If you avoid the drink, you shouldn't need that
many balls in your round. There are a couple of
opportunities to snap one OB into the Green River or to
an adjacent road, but if you keep the ball on the course
and dry, you should find it.
|Courses don't get much flatter than this. The
biggest walking challenge is the somewhat long walk from
the 10th tee to the 11th, then the 15th back to the 16th.
If there was ever a course you could walk, this is
|I like this course when my long game is off since
there is often lots of room to spray the ball around. As
the trees come in this will be less useful. The course is
not over taxing and fairly forgiving, but to shoot a good
round, you will be required to stay out of trouble and
execute some shots. The views of Mt. Rainier can also be
spectacular albeit being somewhat surrounded by city like
|The course is a bit too wet in the winter,
although you won't see temporary greens or tees (thank
goodness). Some of the bunkers could use some more sand,
and the greens in general more consistency. It seems the
ones in the shade roll a bit different. Also the lack of
elevation changes can get sometimes mundane, but the
hazards and bunkers sort of compensate to keep it
interesting. The course also plays a bit long from the
women's tees, over 5500 yards. Perhaps a closer set of
tees would help out.
|A good muny course for under $30 even on the
weekends. Slow play can be a problem, but it isn't as bad
as say Auburn. The Tacoma public courses are at least as
nice and a bit cheaper but a longer drive unless you live
While there are better
courses in the Puget Sound area, I've played this course
a lot, primarily because it is close to home, convenient,
and lets me work some of the kinks out of my game. It's
worth at least a look if you are in the area.
||A shot looking back towards the 3rd
hole from the bike/jogging trail. The bridge is coming
from the 3rd green towards the 4th tee.
||Looking from the bike trail across
the 3rd fairway, and over the pond/lake separating the
3rd and 4th holes. The front edge of the 3rd green can be
seen on the right of the picture. Two bunkers down the
left side are visible.
||The 5th hole, a mere 150 yard par 3
from the blue tees plays pretty much as you see it.
Bunkers guard the right front, left and right rear.
Beyond the trees on the left is the bike path, which is
||The 554 yard par 5 sixth hole is
arguably the toughest on the course being the 1 handicap
hole. OB lies along the bike trial down the left side.
You need to favor the right side to have any chance at
reaching the green in two. If you go left at all, you
will be laying up towards the fairway bunkers. The
entrance to the green is pinched by tall trees requiring
a precise lay-up shot to not get blocked out. The mild
two level green can cause putting difficulties.
||The 10th, a 374 yard par 4 looking
back from the green to the tee. A fairway bunker comes
into play on the right side, and the main road is OB
left. There is also a bunker right rear of the green
which is not visible in this picture.
||The 11th hole is a 389 yard par 4
with a pond down the left side. If you venture too far to
the right you may have some tree trouble into the green.
A large greenside bunker guards the right front.
||The 12th hole, a 359 yard par 4
looking back from the 13th tee. This is a dog leg left,
where you can cut as much of the pond as you want. If you
favor the right, there is a fairway bunker to contend
with. If you go too far through the fairway, you may have
some small trees to negotiate. The green has a small
bunker guarding the right front. All down the left is the
||Another view looking back over the
12th green across the pond to the 11th fairway.
||The 13th is a short 157 yard par 3 to
a 3 level green, although the levels are not severe.
Going left will leave a very difficult approach over a
bunker. Going way left is a fence and OB. The green falls
away right with another bunker on that side. This is one
of the deeper greens on the course and pin position will
dictate club selection.
||The 15th hole is a 414 yard par 4
with no particular trouble off the tee except the small
trees and the fence OB left. The green is guarded with a
bunker left front. This view is from the green looking
back down the fairway.
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This Page last updated 02/01/99