River Falls Golf Club – Historic Value

By Brad Parrott

It seems that fewer and fewer people are taking family road trips, I don’t think any one of us can deny ever hearing the phrase, “are we there yet?” If you are not a regular traveler to Western Wisconsin, some might think that is the case when crossing the river to play River Falls Golf Club in River Falls. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Just 10 minutes southeast of Hudson (at 65 mph the entire way), River Falls Golf Club is about 30 minutes from St. Paul.

Pulling into the parking lot you will not be disappointed. In front of you is a beautiful clubhouse with a matching patio to look forward to relaxing on after your round.

River Falls Golf Club started as a 9-hole course in 1929, and is one of the oldest golf courses in Western Wisconsin. Golf courses built during those years provide what some people refer to as “classic” (check out Kevin Norby’s article on pages 4-5 of this issue to learn more about classic golf courses). Golf course designers, in the early years, were forced to utilize the natural undulations of the land because heavy equipment and moving large quantities of dirt was a different story (nonexistent) compared to today.

Since 1929 River Falls Golf Club has added 9 holes, a substantial clubhouse and many course renovations. Between 1960 and 1990, the clubhouse added a kitchen, a dining room, a pro shop, an office, locker rooms, and then a bar.

The Hanson family purchased the course in 2010 and began putting their own touches on the property; the clubhouse has gone through a total renovation bringing the amenities up to date while maintaining focus on the history of the course as well as the golfers. The irrigation system was updated. The original system (a single row system) was upgraded to a double row system and water is now hitting areas of the course that the prior irrigation system never reached. The clubhouse, patio and locker rooms also went through a major renovation.

With all the improvements, you would assume that much of the cost would be passed on to the players. That is definitely not the case here. This year the Hanson’s are pricing rounds at $33.18 + tax with cart for 18 holes, available any day, any time. Nine holes with a cart will be $18.96 + tax. This is a case of not getting what you pay for – you’re getting much more!

On to the course! The first hole is a gentle dogleg right with a generous landing area to help you ease into your round. The next few holes continue with tree lined gentle doglegs bringing you to what some consider their signature hole, #4. Standing on the elevated tee box you look down into a beautiful valley. Trees line both sides of the fairway, and deer are bountiful on this hole.

Hole #5 brings you to one of the more drastic dogleg right, par 5 holes you will come across. Play it smart, but also keep your eyes open for wildlife. Up in the trees along the right side of the fairway, you might get a chance to see our nation’s bird, the bald eagle. Rumor has it, there might be a nest being built. If you have never seen a bald eagle’s nest, it is worth seeing at least once in your life.

The gentle bends and rolling hills, continue throughout your round. The course is fair, but more than capable of taking control and driving your score up. The beautiful conditions are courtesy of head greens keeper, Ben Sanford

No matter what kind of round you’ve had, getting back to the clubhouse will not disappoint. Again, the golfer is the focus. As you sit in the clubhouse or on their beautiful patio, you will find one of the largest selections of tap beer available to either celebrate your round or drown your sorrows. To refuel, there are hot dogs and brats as well as a pulled pork sandwich and several other delicious selections on the menu.

Just as the greens fees are a tremendous value, the food and drink won’t break the bank. River Falls Golf Club is focused on providing a great golf experience at an incredible price.

Don’t forget that River Falls Golf Club is a great location for your event. Whether it for business or pleasure, it is worth your time (and it’s easy on the wallet) to give them a call and see what they have to offer.

Even though the term “value” is over used these days, I am challenged to find a better term to use for River Falls Golf Club.