Riverhill Country Club in Kerriville was designed by Byron Nelson and Joe Finger and opened for play in 1974. They did an excellent job of leveraging the natural rolling and treed terrain to create an outstanding course that is scenic, fun, and demanding but fair. Byron stated when ask "if you had one course to play, what would it be" and his answer was Riverhill Country Club.
RiverHill is a fairly traditional and straightforward layout with 4 sets of tee boxes plus three combo tee boxes which gives golfers some wide choices to bite off as much as they think they can handle – from 5217 to 7191 yards and a slope ranging from 139 to 126. Bryon and Joe created a course where if you want to turn in a good score you find that placement off the tee is critical, the ability to hit the ball both right to left and left to right to manage the dog legs is needed, and the approach shots need to be accurate and keep the ball below the pin.
Both nines are great – scenic, fun, good variety, and somewhat demanding – but the front seemed more interesting, a little more challenging, and more enjoyable. Some of what you'll need to manage during your round include elevated tee shots, lots of dog legs where positioning is critical, narrow tree lined fairways, guarded and contoured greens, and water and other hazards like trees blocking your shot.
Each of the nines have some great holes, some of which include:
#2 is a 211 yard (from the tournament tee box) par 3 that's all carry across water to a big green with little room for error
#4 is a fun 548 par 5 where placement off the tee is critical as well as an accurate approach shot across the creek to a green sitting on a mound – miss and you're rolling down the hill for a tough chip
#16 is a 445 yard par 4 where you can bring out the camera to capture a stunning panoramic vista from an elevated tee box and then bring out the big dog and let er rip and hope that your tee shot turns out as good as your picture
#18 is a fun finishing hole where your tee shot needs to follow a narrow tree lined fairway
When we played in late July, the fairways were in good condition but starting to show some signs of drt areas abd damage thanks to the drought and water rationing. Most of the fairways are ample and forgiving, but if you spray the ball you'll be under the trees with a tough shot out of a rough that varies from thin to fairly thick.
The bent grass greens at Riverhill Country Club were near perfect – soft, smooth, true, and ran at a good speed around 10 or so. Practice putting and your sand shots before you head out – the greens are guarded with some treacherous bunkers and have lots of slope and contour. A number of the greens are also raised with false fronts.
The bunkers were all shapes and sizes and varied from small lips to some very steep and deep faces. The sand also varied from course and gritty to fine and soft.
Riverhill Country Club is private but available for play if you stay in one of the Stay & Play cottages or casitas and rates are reasonable.