A First-Class Ride At Riverwood National Golf Course
By Rhett Arens
Golf tends to pride itself on retaining an old world charm even in the face of the annual onslaught of technology that equipment manufacturers bring to our doorstep. Granted, there is honor in adhering to the traditional values which have their roots deep in the Scottish Middle Ages but… why not make life a little more comfortable? Why not let a little global satellite positioning creep into your world? Nothing like a smooth, comfy ride with the course details at your fingers tips and your favorite tunes blue-toothed in as background music. It turns out Riverwood National Golf Course is all over that thinking, and they’ve put their money where their mouth is, introducing a new fleet of the highest tech golf carts on the market.
The fun quotient at Riverwood went up a whole notch this year as General Manager Chris Sauer has brought in the Yamaha Drive2 model cart (latest and greatest) with plush seats and a large touch screen GPS unit mounted in the center of the dashboard. Dashboard? Yes, you know what I mean. Wondering how far the carry over that bunker to your favorite layup yardage is? Need a better look at the slope? The new Yamaha YTX YamaTrack® system features that type of information and more on a dash mounted 10” screen. Data features includes 3D terrain graphics, customizable pro tips, Geo-zones to protect select course areas, clubhouse communications, speed control and the most detailed course elements and distances on the market.
Riverwood National is an easy shot up Interstate 94 lying just north of Albertville adjacent to the Mississippi River, which runs west to east along this stretch. The rolling fairways and moderately tree-lined terrain is perfectly suited for maintaining those manicured greens and fairways in top condition, which regular customers have come to expect since it’s opening in 2006. Fun fact – that opening date qualifies Riverwood as the newest full-course to open in the greater Twin Cities area.
Chris and his busy team have continuously added improvements and adjustments to the playability of the course since its initial opening with a careful eye on insuring the course plays friendly with all levels. The David A. Kirscht design, incorporates 5 sets of tees boxes that provides players at different skill levels plenty of enjoyment opportunity. The Championship tees measure over 7,000 yards, insuring even the best golfers will be challenged and tested. Most recently they have added a set of forward Gold Tee’s that plays to 5,450 yards for the growing number of senior golfers that call Riverwood home. Something for everybody, including those amazing golf carts.
The back nine tends to play with a bit more variety than the front nine with elevations and more trees coming into play. Water will come into play on a number of holes throughout, as do some sizable bunkers. The par 3’s tend towards middle length on both the front and back nines, which should keep those middle to long iron’s busy. The par 5’s aren’t overly long at Riverwood ranging from the 466 yard fifth to the 505 yard fourteenth. Steady swings with center-cut accuracy will yield plenty of birdie looks from those blue tee yardages.
If you’re not in the mood for a full-yardage Championship round at Riverwood you have the option of playing the shorter, executive 18-hole course next door called Vintage. The short course is accessed through a tunnel, which leads you under Highway 39 to the links style course. The18-hole track has enough challenges for the seasoned golfer while providing par 3 and 4 holes for golfers of all abilities. The same attention to detail that is a given at Riverwood carries over to the perfectly manicured greens and well-shaped, time-tested fairways at Vintage. This type of golf is ideal for perfecting your short game or bringing the family together for loads of fun.
The Riverwood staff offers exceptional service on all fronts. The clubhouse personnel are on hand to welcome you and get you started at either course. The Riverwood Tavern offers a variety of craft sandwiches and burgers from the scratch menu along with a wide selection of cocktails. A Tavern specialty is the all-you-can-eat Prime Rib dinner, which is a longstanding hit on Saturday nights. Dining is available either inside or out in the comfortable surroundings.
Chris and his team would love to have you join them in this corner of the Twin Cities for some classic golf on one of their classy, state-of-the art carts. The drive north is no biggie, but what awaits you on the course sure is. It’s time to ride in comfort at Riverwood National.