The Scottish Links Style Layout Of RiverLakes Ranch Creates An Incredible Shot-making Challenge!
Voted #1 Golf Course in Kern County for the last Five years!
The Links at RiverLakes Ranch is a distinctly unique golf course—the likes of which you’d never expect to see in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. First of all, whoever heard of Scottish stye Links in the middle of the desert?
Well when architect, Ron Fream designed the layout at RiverLakes Ranch, he incorporated quite a few Scottish golf elements including burms and a rolling, undulating style unique to the Central Valley.
Also, adding to the links feeling that pervades RiverLakes, Fream let many of the native grasses around the bunkers grow. Often you’ll find the wild roughs around the bunkers as high as six feet! You may wish to include a scythe in the bag if you’re hitting a bit crooked!
RiverLakes is home to Canary Island pines and California Redwoods creating an aesthetic tension seldom found in nature.
RiverLakes Ranch also incorporates quite a bit of water—hence the name. In addition to the 12 man-made lakes that help provide water hazards on more than half the holes, the Friant-Kern canal wends its way through RiverLakes. While not a natural water hazard, the canal adds to the uniqueness and challenge at RiverLakes Ranch.
And for all its eclecticism, RiverLakes Ranch was built with considerable attention paid to the natural environment. Almost all the earth moved to create the lakes at RiverLakes was used to create the contouring and burming which give the course its distinct shadowing and shape.
In fact, the more than 200 acres that this championship course occupies will challenge your idea of what a great public golf course can be. The variety creates an incredible challenge of shot making and imagination!
The nines each have a distinct feel. The front nine is more open, while the back plays in and out of and around the old almond orchards. Multiple tees make the Links accessible for both the average and short hitters as well as creating a great challenge for the low handicapper.
And consider the variety in these holes alone: the 154-yard, par 3, third hole features a severely contoured green surrounded by deep, man-eating pot bunkers. The 415-yard, par-4 sixth has no bunkers at all, while the 491-yard, easily reachable, par-5 ninth has 17 of them! That’s right—SEVENTEEN BUNKERS ON ONE HOLE!
Several of the holes offer risk-reward, how much should I bite off choices for the big hitters. A couple of the par-fours holes are drivable, but those who miss their tee shots will wish they'd played safe because of the unforgiving nature of the incredibly tall native grass roughs.
One such choice will come on the signature hole, the 494-yard, par-5 18th, and its island green. The hole's length will tempt long hitters to go for the green in two, but those who are even slightly offline will pay the price as their ball goes the way of Davey Jones’ Locker.
And then there’s the simple, jaw-dropping beauty of the place! Even if you’re not hitting it great at RiverLakes, you’re still guaranteed an absolute thrill for the senses. The course constantly changes shapes and form as the sun moves across the sky. Depth perception and surety of form seem to get blurred and when your day is done and you’re ready to leave the Links at RiverLakes Ranch you get the feeling that the place you are leaving is not the place you saw several hours earlier that day! You’ll have to come back to be certain!
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