Review of River Crossing Club
Wow, this is truly a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country in Spring Branch! It's a great layout, excellent greens, fun yet demanding, scenic, and in excellent condition – plus country friendly service – it's hard to beat all of that. Their website sums it up well – "Always considered one of the best-maintained courses in this part of Texas, River Crossing Club is also known for being one of the most playable courses. It's a perfect balance of challenge and forgiveness that provides one enjoyable round after another."
River Crossing Club has received a number of other accolades over the years, some of which include:
- Golf Week rated River Crossing Club the "13th Best Course in Texas"
- The San Antonio Business Journal stated it is "the 3rd toughest private course in the area"
- voted the "Golfer's Choice Home Course,' "Best Overall Course in Texas," and "San Antonio Area Favorite Golf Course"
Here are some of the reasons why we love this course which offers some of everything that makes golf fun, challenging, frustrating, and expensive (I lost three balls!):
- lots of strategically placed bunkers ranging from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters plus a couple that have trees growing in the middle of them
- several dog legs left and right, a couple of which offer a good risk-reward opportunity to try and shorten the hole
- tight twisting rolling and contoured fairways that put a premium on accuracy rather than distance
- challenging green complexes – bunkers, false fronts, slope and contour, and subtle breaks
- several forced carries over water or natural areas – some of which are very intimidating
- split fairways that will temp you to try the shorter and risker side rather than the safer but longer side
- lots of variety with each hole giving you something a little different from the others
- some elevated tee shots as well as some slight uphill as well as downhill approach shots
Don't let any of that discourage you from playing this fantastic course – there are 5 sets of tees boxes but don't bite off more than you can chew, focus on club selection and course management, and study your putts carefully. River Crossing is very fair but demanding, puts a premium on accuracy over distance, and the greens are huge! You can't help but love this course and want to play it again, and again, and again.
Some of the holes that we loved included:
- #1 is a 410-yard par 4 dog left with water along the left and a fairway split by a thick challenging rough – the shorter left slide is tight with 4 huge bunkers and water if you miss left and the right side is safer and wider but longer to a huge green with two big bunkers
- two fun par 3's – #2 is a short 140-yard par 3 with an island green with a big bunker and swirling winds near the green and #15 is a 203 year downhill shot over a pond from an elevated tee box
- #8 is a blast to play – a 554 yard par 5 with a blind shot off the tee (a great risk-reward shot to try and fly the hill and miss the trees and natural area), a narrow twisting fairway, a stately sprawling oak that encroaches into the fairway, a small oblong green with a saddle, and a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding countryside
- #17 is a 535-yard slight dog leg downhill hole with a string of 8 challenging pot bunkers along the left side about 120 yards out
When we played the fairways were in very good condition and a real joy to hit out of. That wasn't the case with the rough – great shape but thick and challenging to hit from and in some cases it swallowed your ball. The fairways at River Crossing Club ranged from tight and twisting to some wide open let-er-rip shots off the tee box. Most of the fairways are tree lined, rolling and contoured, and have plenty of mounding. Miss the fairway and rough, which is not that hard to do, and you're blocked by trees or in the natural area and most likely lost. A few homes are scattered in the trees and set well back off the fairway. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife.
The greens at River Crossing were also in near perfect condition. They were soft and held the ball well and ran at a good speed around 10. They are huge with plenty of slope and some undulation with very subtle breaks that are hard to see. Three putts – thanks to the breaks and huge size of the greens – were common. Practice putting before you head out! The greens on the front average are larger averaging 41 yards deep while the back average 35 yards deep.
The River Crossing Club bunkers ranged from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters, a couple of which were big enough to have a couple trees in the middle of them. They ranged from very steep and deep to about average and the sand ranged from perfect (soft, fine, thick) to a little firm and gritty.
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Service was outstanding - outgoing, friendly, and helpful. The pro shop is well stocked. The practice facilities are good and includes free range balls. There is water and ice on the course and restrooms are clean. And the grill at the turn has great hot dogs and sandwiches at very reasonable prices. The clubhouse has a good bar and very good food.
Jari - David Petry took Jaris place