Standing on the tee of the 12th hole, looking down at the green some 60 feet below and the Delaware River in the background, one fully takes in the natural and manmade beauty of Riverview Country Club, one of the top new clubs in Pennsylvania.
Architect Jim Blaukovitch and developer Strausser Enterprises created a true masterpiece, which has quickly become one of the hottest golf destinations in the Lehigh Valley.
Opened in 2004, Riverview CC is a fair, challenging and interesting test of golf. It is also superbly conditioned, and a course that asks the best players to hit very good shots, but also friendly for less accomplished golfers.
“We have received a ton of compliments from people since we opened,” said Kevin Edwards, head professional at the club. “One of our unique features is that we have two types of bent grass in the landing areas and first cut off the fairways. This serves to frame the fairways and presents a nice visual target off the tees.”
There are some 70 bunkers scattered about Riverview, which stretches to over 6,500 yards from the tips. The front nine is rather open, something of an “American links style” of routing, says Edwards, while the back nine is a more traditional Northeast woodland tract. The course has some elevation changes and several water features.
Perhaps the most discussed hole on the course is the 13th, a splendid 585-yard par-five that is a true three-shot hole. Out of bounds guards both sides of the fairway and there is water and sand traps protecting the left side of the lay-up area, with a pond in front of the green.
The 17th hole is another beauty, a relatively short, 385-yard par-four. But the approach must be true, as water completely surrounds the putting surface and chipping area.
“The 17th hole is a bit daunting for higher handicap players,” said Edwards. “But you are probably hitting into the green with a mid to short iron and the target area is pretty large. The 13th is our most talked about hole and it really is one of the more attractive holes on the course.”
Number 18 is a great finisher. The par-five is 520 yards from the tips and big hitters can think about getting home in two. But a pond guards the fairway landing area, making a well-struck tee shot crucial to further exploration of the hole, which doglegs right.
Edwards said Riverview hosted about 30,000 rounds last year and visitors enjoy the both the layout and the pace of play.
“Our customers are a mixed lot,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of people from the Lehigh Valley, and probably 40 to 50 percent of our play on the weekends is from New Jersey. People have heard about us, we are very affordable, and have a great product.”
As for the reasonable greens fees, Edwards was right. Sixty-five dollars gets you 18 and a cart during prime time. And fees drop for certain times of the day with a twilight rate of $35 for 18 and a cart after 3 p.m.
“People in this area are very price conscious,” said Edwards, “so we always take that into consideration. Our prices are better than other courses with lesser conditions.”
Plans are in the works for a spectacular clubhouse, which will sit on a rise of the property and offer a view of the Delaware River, as well as a large practice facility. Finishing touches are being put on a function pavilion and there is a temporary clubhouse/pro shop on site. Riverview Country Club