River Falls Golf Club – Play The Fastest, Smoothest Greens Anywhere!
By R.J. Smiley
River Falls Golf Club is the oldest golf course in western Wisconsin. Opening in 1929 during the Golden Age of Golf (the first golf boom), this beautiful golf course has stood the test of time for almost 100 years, it’s wonderful natural qualities have kept golfers returning year after year. Doug Hanson, owner and general manager, of this venerable old course wants Twin Cities golfers to know that: “THE GREENS AT RIVER FALLS ARE PERFECT! VERY, VERY FAST AND VERY SMOOTH!”
Each one of the unique holes that make up River Falls GC seem to have been spawned by a different father. Each hole on this golf course inherits a beauty that is unrepeated among its siblings. Playing a round of golf at River Falls is like going into an ice cream shop and eating one scoop of 18 different flavors. You thought you liked the last one until you tasted the next one.
Author’s Note: My favorite ice cream flavors, excuse me golf holes, at River Falls Golf Club are the par-5 fifth and the par-3 17th. Over the past 60 years I have played over a thousand golf courses. There is not a hole that comes to mind with a more dramatic tee shot than the 5th at River Falls. The view is dramatic, but for a right-handed player the tee shot feels clumsy. The tee shot requires more than a power fade – it requires a “duck slice.” For a left-hander who can hook it, the hole has a much more comfortable feel. The seventeenth is a terrorizing tee shot over a gnarly canyon that was formed by centuries of erosion of the wind swept plateau top. Don’t worry about pin placement, just get it on the green.
“The layout has changed very little,” says Hanson. “But the conditioning of the golf course just keeps getting better. We have made major investments in equipment and maintenance practices. We have improved the clubhouse to give it a more modern look and feel. We know that we must have a great product and a price point based on value to attract our customer base from the Twin Cities.”
Hanson’s operation is really a golf course with several mini-businesses under one roof. “First of all we are a golf course. Players keep telling us how good our course really is compared to some public courses in the Cities.” He went on to explain that the original private membership club, built a large banquet room that is perfect for company meetings, large and small. The space also works well as a venue for a wedding reception. Many brides have been given away by their fathers overlooking the spectacular valley below followed by a reception in the ballroom.
The patio has been upgraded and expanded to accommodate the locals and not-so-locals that come to River Falls Golf Club for dinner and live music on balmy summer weekend evenings. 2015 marks the second year that Junior’s Bar and Restaurant of River Falls has managed the food and beverage operations.
$25 – Monday Special
Every Monday all season River Falls Golf Club has a flat price of $25 for green fee and cart. Senior golfers understand that a few golf courses offer that kind of rate for seniors, but times are restricted and non-seniors have to pay the full price. For the price of a cart fee at some “big name” courses, all golfers can enjoy private course quality greens (maybe faster) and wonderful conditions for only $25. For that price, it is definitely worth the drive across the river to River Falls.
Friday Night (Date Night) On The Patio
From Memorial Day to Labor Day every Friday night becomes “Friday on the Patio.” This promotion was designed to bring couples to the golf course. Late afternoon golf with cart for two people is only $31 (tax included). When the final putt has been holed, the couples proceed directly to the patio where they can relax with happy hour drink specials and live music from 6 to 9. While the live music, soft blues or jazz, is playing and the sun is setting over the river valley below, couples can feast on weekly specials prepared by the chefs from Junior’s Bar and Restaurant. Junior’s prides itself in using locally grown natural foods whenever possible.
What could be better than golf, music and great food with that special person or friends, while enjoying a view that has been spectacular for thousands of years.