River Crossing Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.4

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Spring Branch
Website · Locate This Course
· Discounted Tee Times
Date Last Played: July 30, 2012

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River Crossing Club Review

Review of River Crossing Club

Wow, this is truly a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country in Spring Branch!  It's a great layout, excellent greens,  fun yet demanding, scenic, and in excellent condition - plus country friendly service and affordable rates - it's hard to beat all of that.  Their website sums it up well - "Always considered one of the best maintained courses in this part of Texas, River Crossing Club is also known for being one of the most playable courses. It's a perfect balance of challenge and forgiveness that provides one enjoyable round after another.

River Crossing Club made our list of the Best Texas Public Courses and it also received a number of other accolades, some of which include:

  • Golf Week rated River Crossing Club the "13th Best Course in Texas"
  • The San Antonio Business Journal stated it is "the 3rd  toughest private course in the area"
  • voted the "Golfer's Choice Home Course,' "Best Overall Course in Texas," and "San Antonio Area Favorite Golf Course"

Here are some of the reasons why we love this course which offers some of everything that makes golf fun, challenging, frustrating, and expensive (I lost three balls!):

  • lots of strategically bunkers ranging from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters plus a couple that have trees growing in the middle of them
  • several dog legs left and right and couple of which offer a good risk reward opportunity to try and shorten the hole
  • tight twisting rolling and contoured fairways that put a premium on accuracy rather than distance
  • challenging green complexes - bunkers, false fronts, slope and contour, and subtle breaks
  • several forced carries over water or natural areas - some of which are very intimidating
  • split fairways that will temp you to try the shorter and risker side rather than the safer but longer side
  • lots of variety with each hole giving you something a little different from the others
  • some elevated tee shots as well as some uphill approach shots

Don't let any of that discourage you from playing this fantastic course - there are 5 sets of tees boxes so don't bite off more than you can chew,  focus on club selection and course management,  and study your putts carefully.  River Crossing is very fair but demanding, puts a premium on accuracy over distance, and the greens are huge!  You can't help but love this course and want to play it again, and again, and again.

Some of the holes that we loved included:

  • #1 is a 410 yard par 4 dog left with water along the left and a fairway split by a thick challenging rough - the shorter left slide is tight with 4 huge bunkers and water if you miss left and the right side is safer and wider but longer to a huge green with two big bunkers
  • two fun par 3's - #2 is a short 140 yard par 3 with an island green with a big bunker and swirling winds near the green and #15 is a 203 year downhill shot over a pond from an elevated tee box
  • #8 is a blast to play - a 554 yard par 5 with a blind shot off the tee (a great risk reward shot to try and fly the hill and miss the trees and natural area), a narrow twisting fairway, a stately sprawling oak that encroaches into the fairway, a small oblong green with a saddle, and a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding countryside
  • #17 is a 535 yard slight dog leg downhill hole with a string of 8 challenging pot bunkers along the left side about 120 yards out

When we played the fairways were near perfect - lush, plush, very few divots, and a real joy to hit out of.  That wasn't the case with the rough - great shape but thick and challenging to hit from and in some cases it swallowed your ball.  The fairways at River Crossing Club ranged from tight and twisting to some wide open let-er-rip shots off the tee box.  Most of the fairways are tree lined, rolling and contoured, and have plenty of mounding.  Miss the fairway and rough, which is not that hard to do, and you're blocked by trees or in the natural area and most likely lost.  A few homes are scattered in the trees and set well back off the fairway.  Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife.

The greens at River Crossing were also in near perfect condition.  They were soft and held the ball well and ran at a good speed around 9 to 10.  They are huge with plenty of slope and some undulation with very subtle breaks that are hard to see.  Three putts - thanks to the breaks and huge size of the greens - were common.   Practice putting before you head out!

The River Crossing Club bunkers ranged from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters, a couple of which were big enough to have a couple trees in the middle of them.  They ranged from very steep and deep to about average and the sand ranged from perfect (soft, fine, thick) to a little firm and gritty.

Bottom line - a must play if you are anywhere within a hundred miles!  You best hurry up and book a tee time on this great course, it won't be long before the go private and don't allow any public play.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,838 73.0 133
Gold 6,505 71.7 131
Blue 6,072 69.8 128
White 5,663 67.9 124
Red 5,278 71.2 124

Course Information

Course Architect:
Larry Hawkins
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
9.8
Greens Difficulty
9.3
Fairway Condition
9.8
Bunker Condition
9.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Course Map
Beware of water on 5 holes and the 54 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.4 out of 10
Beauty:
9.0
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
9.8
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.8
Front Nine Rating:
9.8
Back Nine Rating:
9.3
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$50.00 to $60.00

Service was outstanding - outgoing, friendly, and helpful. The pro shop is well stocked. The practice facilities are good and includes free range balls. There is water and ice at the clean on-course restrooms. And the grill at the turn has great hot dogs and sandwiches at very reasonable prices.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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