River Place Country Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
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River Place Country Club Review

Review and Rating of River Place Country Club in Austin

River Place Country Club is one of our favorite golf courses in Texas.  It's scenic, an excellent layout with each hole different than the others, fair but challenging, typically in very good condition, and the membership fees are reasonable.  River Place Country Club is chiseled out of the Austin hills and valleys which provides lots of ups and downs, cliffs, ravines, elevation changes, sloping and rolling fairways, and more. It's a fun and demanding course to play and just driving the cart up and down with all the twists and turns is a blast! River Place offers stunning views and has some huge beautiful homes perched on the hill sides.  For all of those reasons, we rated River Place one of the Best Private Courses in Austin and one of the Best Golf Courses in Texas.

River Place Country Club spent $2 million in 2012 to update the club house and other facilities.  In 2014 another million was spent resizing and resurfacing the greens and redoing the bunkers.  When we played in 2018 the greens and bunkers were near perfect!

The first hole sets you up for what you are going to experience for the rest of the round. From an elevated tee box, this 402-yard par 4 dogleg left requires an accurate tee shot to stay in the rolling downhill fairway, avoid the bunkers left and right, and not over shoot the fairway and land in the ravine leading to the green. Then the second shot needs a precise shot to miss the trees and bunkers and carry the ravine to a downhill green with a false front with significant slope back down to the ravine. 

The front nine goes along a creek that cuts across 6 holes which adds to the course difficulty. There is a lot of variety with no two holes the same - lots of dog legs, dramatic elevation changes, uphill and downhill shots, rolling contoured fairways, ravines, hill sides, and plenty of blind shots.

The back nine is equally as fun but seems a little easier.  #10 and #18 are great - #10 requires an uphill shot over a ravine and back down to a dog leg left green with a tough approach and #18 is a blind shot down a dog leg left fairway to a tight green with a pond in front plus bunkers.

The first time you play River Place be prepared to be surprised and loose some balls.  This course demands excellent course management and club selection skills if you want to score well.  If you can keep the ball in play and have some course knowledge, you'll have a fun, but challenging round.  Don't bite off more than you can chew because the elevation changes, blind shots, dog legs, ravines, creeks, and narrow fairways will test you.  The course is short by today's standards but requires accuracy over distance - on some holes you're best leaving the big dog in the bag!

Generally, River Place Country Club conditions are very good.  When we played in August 2017 the fairways and first cut were in excellent condition but had some brown spots thanks to lots of 100 degree days.  The fairways range from very tight to let-er-rip but don't miss.  All of the fairways are contoured and rolling making for lots of uneven lies and some surprising extra downhill roll that could take you to trouble. 

The bunkers are strategically placed and range in shape and size with some being very steep and deep.  When we played they were in very good condition with soft thick sand. 

The greens at River Place Country Club were also in very good condition and about average size and lots of different shapes,  Most have some slope and undulation, some are well guarded, and most demand accuracy on the approach.  The greens are soft and hold the ball well, run true, and normally run around a 10.

Bottom line - this is a fantastic course and a must play!  Fun, demanding, scenic, lots of variety, and unique and interesting holes.  River Place Country Club is private but allows public play on Mondays if there are no special events

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6,381 72.3 136
Blue 5,859 70.2 134
White 5,337 68.1 125
Gold 5,952 71.0 135
Red 4,347 66.2 113

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Kite & Roy Bechtol
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 61 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Initiation Fees: $10,001 to $25,000
Monthly Dues: $401 to $600

Service is very good - the pro staff is great, the cart lady shows up on time, and you're met at the parking lot with a cart. The Club House is home to a good bar and restaurant with some great food. The practice facilities are adequate. The Club facilities include a pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and more.



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.