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Riverside Hills Golf Club - San Angelo Review

Texas Outside Rating: 7.0

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
San Angelo
· Locate This Course
Date Last Played: November 17, 2011

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Riverside Hills Golf Club - San Angelo Review

Riverside Hills Golf Course in San Angelo opened for play in 1965 and like most older courses it is relatively short (three sets of tee boxes with yardages of 5297, 5922, and 6465) and fairly straightforward and traditional with tree lined flat fairways.  In most cases you can see the flag and won't encounter much trouble which means that Riverside Hills Golf Course provides a great opportunity to turn in a good score.  However, Riverside Hills is no walk in the park and you need to pay attention:

  • there are six dog legs to content with that require some accuracy to make the turn and avoid some trees that can block your approach shot to the green
  • depending on Mother Nature, water can come into play on two lakes and a creek that crosses or runs alongside the fairway of four holes 
  • three of the four par fours are long (205, 195, and 225 yards) making it tough to nail the smallish oval greens
  • the fairways can be a little tight and if you miss them you’re under the mesquite trees with a tough recovery shot

Most of the holes have a similar look and feel but there are some fun holes like:

  • #2 a 385 yard dog leg left where if you spray it right or left or overshoot the fairway you’ll have tree trouble plus there are a couple fairway trees you’ll need to avoid to have an open shot at the green
  • #9 is a 465 yard par five with a creek (which was dry when we played, but could cause a tough shot if you landed in it) running from tee to green on the right side, a small pond across the front of the green, and a tree in the middle of the fairway in front of the pond which can block your approach shot 
  • the 18th hole requires you need to manage a creek (dry when we played but still trouble if you land in it) along the entire left side of this long 410 yard par 4 and make sure you position yourself to avoid the tree in the middle of the fairway protecting the approach to an uphill green

New owners bought Riverside Hills Golf Course about five years ago and did an excellent job of getting the course in very good condition – the fairways were gone when they bought it!  However, 2011 was a very challenging year with several freezes in the winter, a severe drought resulting in tough water restrictions, and a record number of days over 100.  As hard as the owners have tried, the water restrictions and Mother Nature have taken a significant toll and basically devastated what were lush fairways! 

When we played in November the fairways were mostly dirt and patches of grass and weeds – the good news is you ball rolled forever.  The greens and fringe were in very good condition and the tee boxes were fair.  The owners called it "dire conditions" – the course is still very playable but it’s a shame to see what a lack of water can do to a course.  We talked to several people who told us that last year the course was in excellent condition with green lush fairways. 

The greens were in very good condition and showed no signs of damage.  They are all round or oval shaped and a tad small putting a premium on your approach shots.  They held the ball well and ran true but a little slow around an 8 or so.  Most of the greens are slightly raised and flat to gently sloping with some severe slope off the green around several sections near the edges of the green.

There are no bunkers on Riverside Hills Golf Club.

Bottom line – this course provides a relaxing and enjoyable round with an opportunity to score well plus it’s a great value - can't wait to play it again when it rains and water restrictions are lifted!

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,465 70.5 113
White 5,922 68.3 108
Red 5,297 69.8 105

Course Information

Course Architect:
Jack Helton
Greens Type:
328 TIF
Greens Condition
8.8
Greens Difficulty
7.0
Fairway Condition
4.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
easy
Beware of water on 6 holes and the 0 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
7.0 out of 10
Beauty:
7.5
Difficulty:
7.0
Variety:
6.5
Fun to Play:
7.5
Value:
7.8
Condition:
6.0
Front Nine Rating:
7.0
Back Nine Rating:
7.0
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$18.00 to $27.00

Service is very good and management is committed to providing a good golf experience. The Club House is dated, the pro shop has a limited supply of the basics, and the grill has snacks and drinks. The range and putting green are adequate.

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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.