If last season’s soft opening
(in September) is any indication, Riverview Country Club is poised to become one of the Easton, Pa., area’s most popular courses. Despite a severe storm that barreled through the area around the same time, the course averaged about 100 players per day. Now, enjoying its first full season as the latest addition to the Lehigh Valley golf lineup, the course is seeing a steady stream of new players, return guests and corporate outings.
“Everyone is raving about our conditions,” says head professional Kevin Edwards when asked what stands out most about the fledgling course. “We’re cutting and rolling the greens more often instead of just cutting. Plus, people like the contrasting look between the bent grass and bluegrass fairways.”
One of the most unique features of the golf course is its use of these two types of grasses in the fairways. The majority is comprised of bluegrass, but there are bent grass landing areas. In addition to providing better lies, the bent grass sections allow players to more easily frame the landing areas since the two species have contrasting colors and textures.
It was prolific area architect Jim Blaukovitch that took the former farmland and created what owner Strausser Enterprises calls an “American links” course. That is, a largely open layout on the front nine with more woods and elevation changes on the back. Located in a valley, several of these holes feature dramatic drops such as No. 12, a 200-yard, par-3 that dives about 70 feet to the green. Number 13, a 580-yard, par-5, drops about 60 feet. Edwards says this big hole is “probably the most difficult but also the most well-liked. I’m surprised by how many people love that hole.”
There are four ponds on the course, three of which are manmade, including the one surrounding the 17th hole’s island green. When completed (the estimate is 2006 or 2007) the clubhouse will feature a ballroom for banquets, weddings and other affairs, plus a sports bar, pro shop, fitness center and day spa. However, an outing pavilion should be ready by the time you’re reading this and a driving range is planned for next season. There are no plans for the course to become private, but semi-private memberships will be offered in the future.
In addition to housing developments being built around the outside of the course, a future phase calls for The Riverview Village, a collection of small neighborhood service stores and pedestrian walkways that resemble the villages of by-gone days. Plus, out of town guests can stay in the Frost Hollow Country Inn, an 18th century stone farm house surrounded by three historic barns. Riverview Country Club
Address: 1 Riverview Place, Easton, PA 18040
Phone: (610) 559-9700
Architect: Jim Blaukovitch
Greens Fee: $45-$60 including cart (walking permitted)