- "Below average"
Have returned to play here a couple more times this spring. Not a lot has changed except the bent grass greens were very firm, which I found odd. The course will be closed all summer until post Labor Day for green conversion and they are operating on 16 holes until mid-june when the conversion starts as they are reconfiguring 2 holes currently. It is my hope they alter a couple greens during the renovation. Greens on #6 & #9 need restructuring since many near perfect approach shots, even many putts, end up in the creek or marsh hazard due to their current lack of fringe and slope. Most Fairway grasses this last visit were fine, except for the landing areas on #10 & #14 where ALL the cart traffic is directed. I was hoping for cleaner Golf Carts this year however they were nastier & more grimy than before. Hopefully after all the construction is complete .. next year these things will get the attention they need. Read The Review
- "Great course"
The improvements on the course continue. A lot to tell here.
First, the course is closing around June 12th to re-do all of the greens in Mach 1 Bermuda (I think that's the right kind, it was used at Streamsong) with the plan to re-open around Labor Day. Some updates to the clubhouse and driving range are also part of the plan.
In addition, they have been building new tees on several holes (back tee on par-5 18th, new tee to stretch par-3 11th to nearly 220! if you are brave, new tees on 3 open for play). A lot of sod has been put down in places to fill in bad spots and around tees and greens.
All of the tree stumps that were still there a couple of years ago from the removal of hundreds of trees on the parallel holes 12-15 on the back nine have been removed.
And finally, they have begun work on moving the 1st green back behind the pond where it was originally and moving the 8th green back and to the right to a higher spot to avoid the flooding problem the creek on that hole has presented over the years.
This course is a great value and definitely worth the drive to get there. Read The Review
Grasses on the course are currently great (although slightly thin & compacted in several fairways on the back 9 due to 80% of the carts following the same track). NOBODY here follows the 90deg rule and prob 35% still park on Tee Boxes. As noted in a prior review, course conditions are not the current issue at ROaks. It’s the totally unstructured operation of the place. Every visit we have to sort thru the carts to find any that actually have Sand in the Divot Bottles, and or, no sticky residue from prior use. The clientele currently using River Oaks is all over the board. Due to its troubling history but current great course conditions you’ll find a wide Range of Folks playing here. One group will be wearing sleeveless Wife Beater Tee Shirts, cut-off Jeans with 20 yr old tennis shoes while the next group very well dressed. You’ll find a new $70,000 Truck parked next to a 40 year old delapidated one with 2 Giant ‘Don’t Tread on Me” Flags sticking of of the Bed. Guess that’s where some of the Dogs I’ve seen on the course in Carts rode on their way to the course! River Oaks has reached a transition period to where it needs to decide which direction it wishes to pursue. With very little effort RO could be come a Nice Golf Club. Adding Water & A Bathroom on the course, repairing several dangerous delapidated cart Bridges, keeping the Clubhouse Restroom presentable, replacing the 3 unusable/broken ceiling fans on the back patio, maintaining the Cart Fleet and enforcing several common Industry Course Rules would go a long way in upgrading the place! Read The Review
This COURSE has a long (often rocky) history, now called River Oaks it has continued to improve each year under current ownership. Condition wise it can now compete with many of the other Public courses in the area. The primary issue at RO is now not the course conditions as much as it is everything else. For many years this course was a goat track due to bankruptcy and ownership changes. During these down times the only patrons using it were lower income golfers or new golfers just looking to get on a course. Current ownership (approx 10 yrs) has brought the course and the clubhouse back, however the general environment of the place and its clientele has not been elevated to a level resembling a higher-end or nicer golf club. It operates on a skeleton staff… Thus many things suffer.. including dirty carts, dirty or unorganized facilities (ie. bathroom) and little to no monitoring of the course nor cart management on the course. The Maintenance Superintendent is one of the hardest working guys you’ll find, ownership leaves the majority of decisions up to him, however he too is short handed. Many areas of the course struggle due to cart traffic with little to no cart controls. Too many patrons drive on to Tee Boxes and park greenside, ignoring cart paths. These actions are the primary issues for compacted grass & soil in areas that harm your game the most. As for the course layout… it’s an enjoyable course that has been altered several times. IMHO hole#10 needs a bulldozer taken to it (and the extremely rocky hillside cart path leaving the primary Tees is ridiculous). The landing area for drives on this hole is severely steep, given that the cart path dumps all cart into the center of this fairway conditions can be rock hard. Several of my near perfect drives have landed near the 100 yard marker but ended up rolling backwards down the hill some 50 to 75 yards into several rough areas or holes. These compacted areas can be found on numerous holes and approaches. River Oaks can be an enjoyable golf outing, and as mentioned earlier the grasses on the course have reached a level rivaling any Public course. This place could very easily become a Top Course, however it never will until Staff & Ownership understand what’s required to be a Top Course with Quality Facilities, Clean Carts, Respectful/Knowledgeable Patrons, and more restrictive course rules found on Higher-end Courses. River Oaks… Give it a try.. I’ll bet up find it interesting if nothing else. Read The Review
I tend to rotate my golf on 5 to 8 area courses. Have played here around 3 times per month for the past 10 months. There has been a lot of labor put into the course in recent months and years.. and last late summer the fairways were pretty good. The layout of the course is different for sure with several strange holes. Having played here quite a bit this spring the #1 issue with the course is wear & tear. Never played any course in my 55 yrs that is less monitored! Folks park within 3 yards of numerous greens and park on many tee boxes! The place has less cart control than any course I have ever played! Due to this the ground is compacted and any grass in these areas is struggling! The bent grass greens are pretty good.. but many are very slick. Approach shots that land softly on the greens can end-up 10 yrs off the greens due to the above mentioned issues! The course has lots of potential, if only it had more & thicker grass! Read The Review
Played here several times this fall. Pretty nice course with good points & some bad. The Bent grass greens were great especially since bent grass has become harder to find in recent years.. thus making River Oaks even more special. As for the course layout… ‘interesting’ might be the word to describe this place. The holes really don’t have a constant flow or feel given some are tree lined and attractive yet most of the back 9 has no such feel. Didn’t particularly care for holes 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, & 18. One thing I noticed each visit is that nobody seems to rake the sand traps and numerous golfer drive right up to the edge of the greens. The clubhouse is basic no frills however it’s elevated back deck offers a great view of the course. Read The Review
- "Worth playing"
Played here often on 2021. Interesting layout for sure, as it been altered numerous times since first opened. Many of these alterations have ruined the flow of the course. After plating the first 7 holes you’ll think you have found a gem of a course as they are attractive and normal… after that the layout and visuals go downhill fast. Hole #9 has been converted from the original par 3 to a strange par 4. In recent years the new owner has removed thousands of trees (on the holes without houses) and this makes the visuals drastically different than on the holes where he could not. Holes 15 thru 18 now all sorta run together in the low valley near the creek (that floods every couple years). This part of the course in no way resembles the balance of the course. I would have loved to seen the place back when it had the tree lined fairways.
As for conditions… nice bent grass greens that are very slow in the summer and like kitchen floor fast in the winter. Fairway grass has really improved this year and now is about as good as you’ll find in the area.
The practice area is also sorta strange as the Range Tee is highly elevated vs the landing areas. No way to judge your distance. Practice green is nice however cramped so no areas to practice chipping. Read The Review
- "Great course"
Great shape. Fairways, greens and tee boxes are darn near perfect, although the greens are a bit slower than they look. Bent Grass so they may be not pushing them as we head into the hottest part of the year. Noticed the same thing at Glen Oaks last week. They've taken out hundreds of trees, really opening things up. There are still thin and bare areas due to this, but not where it counts. $33 and paid a $17 cart fee for a second round...36 holes in 4.5 hours. Read The Review
- "Great course"
First time out to River Oaks in several years. Course was in fantastic shape. Probably in the top four or five places I've played so far this year as far as conditions go. Tees, fairways, and greens all were great. Bermuda rough was thick in some places, yet more playable in others. Maybe my only knock on the course was the inconsistency of sand in the bunkers. Some had soft, white sand, while others had harder brown sand. The elevation changes and doglegs require accuracy and correct decision making off the tee. Greens are large and receptive, but you have to put your ball in the proper section if you want a chance to score. Fringes and run up areas are mowed tight and require precise chips and pitches. Pace of play was good; there were only a few groups on the course early on a Wednesday morning. Read The Review
- "Great course"
My first time playing all 18 holes here and only my second visit. Man have I been missing out! Just a fantastic layout, front and back, with unique challenges and many memorable holes. This course fits the "Wow" factor of my Top 10 rankings very well and that's why it earned an Honorable Mention in my Charlotte Agenda Top 10. If I had played all 18 before I wrote it, River Oaks would likely be in the Top 10. It's a haul for me (1 hour plus from southeast Charlotte) or I'd play this course every week. And I need to, to get used to some of the more difficult holes. The front nine has 4 really tough ones -- the par 4 3rd hole and the par 4 8th hole require two of the most accurate tee shots you'll face on any course. You can sometimes get a break on #8 if the tee is down on the bottom, making the hole 10x easier as an iron/wedge par 4, but oh man, if the tee is on top! You are barely able to see the narrow fairway, protected on 3 sides by hazards with the view blocked by a steep hill on the left. The closing par 4 on the front 9 is a blind, layup tee shot with an approach to an elevated green perched in front of the clubhouse. The back 9 doesn't let up either, with a back and forth mix of risk/reward and birdie/bogey opportunities throughout. The closing par 5 is the best example -- you can play for birdie/eagle with an aggressive tee shot that better be in the fairway to try for the creek-protected green. Or you can play it as a 3-shotter but that again requires 3 accurate shots with hazards and bunkers challenging each shot. It really is an exhilarating course that you will score better on the more you play it. Conditions were very good - the greens rolled true and quick with no issues at all. The tees and fairways were lush. There are a few areas on the course you want to avoid -- especially the right side of the par 5 #2 hole, which is all dirt and dead trees and not cleared out yet. There is also quite a bit of thick high grass bordering the fairways on some of the back nine holes where errant shots go to die. I did not use the practice facilities but I did notice they have a uniquely elevated driving range. The clubhouse and restaurant are top notch and when the COVID restrictions ease, it's a great spot for your 19th hole gatherings as it overlooks the 9th and 18th greens. And check out their rates -- this course is value-priced with a 5 star layout and great conditions. I can't wait to get back and try this one again! Read The Review
- "Great course"
I have not played this course in forever, back when there wasn't a clubhouse and they had a trailer. And the green on #1 was on the other side of the pond behind the present location of the green. It may have even been last century. I hadn't gone back because it wasn't in the best shape then but reading some reviews on here recently made me try again. And I'm glad I did.
The course was in excellent shape, and it is much more open than I remember it. Lots of trees have been removed which I'm sure has helped improve the condition. This is still a course where you must position yourself well and was just as hilly as I remember. If you can't control your ball well, you will lose a bunch of balls even with all of the tree removal.
But the tees, greens and fairways were in fantastic shape, except for the common area between 15 and 16 as all of the rain this winter and spring may have contributed to it.
The only drawback was pace of play (nearly 5:10) on a very hot day. Read The Review
For the most part the fairways were in good shape. The greens had been top-dressed with a sand that had numerous small pebbles in it. Ball marks all over, not unlike Emerald Lake. The traps looked good. They had put a lot of money into clearing trees and maybe just don't have enough now to keep it in the shape I remembered (last play 11/17). Read The Review
- "Great course"
This is a beautiful, fun course in terrific shape, and needs a current review, since the last one here is two years old. If you like elevation change, this is the course for you. My new favorite, and although it's an hour north of Charlotte, or I'd play it all the time. Nothing at all wrong with the course. Definitely need to play it a couple times to figure out where to hit on some of the holes. Read The Review
- "Great course"
I Live in Huntersville. Normally play Verdict Ridge, Glen Oaks, Fox Den, Birkdale & Skybrook (although am not a fan of CT mgmt's lackadaisical attitude towards conditions),Rock Barn and Warrior, sometimes Red Bridge. River Oaks is now definitely added back into the rotation. Have played here often, back through when it was Buffalo Shoals National, but gave it up a couple of year ago when there was no grass anywhere but on the some tees and greens. Had read that new management was making great improvements and saw a recent good review here so gave it another chance today. Fairways were all in really good shape, greens the same for the most part. Certainly hardpan in a lot of the rough and some on some fairways, but if you'd seen this place a couple of years ago, you'd never believe it now. Traps were in great shape. Where it's thin you can see where they are planting to make it better. Definitely one of the best layouts within an hour of Charlotte (10 minutes from 77 off 40 at Statesville - JUST off
I40 Exit 141)...I'd put the layout itself up against the Jones course at Rock Barn. Read The Review
- "Worth playing"
Good course.It is a little tight in places.A lot of steep elevation changes.The green were in good shape except for a couple around the fringe, but to me seemed a little small.Sand traps appeared to have been fairly well maintained.The surrounding terrain is pretty wooded and if you are off the fairways in the woods you can forget the ball because of thick briars and undergrowth.Stay on the fairways or the short rough and you are ok.The fairways were in descent shape in spite of the dry weather.A little bit of a haul from my house-Concord-but ok.Good online deals at times. Read The Review
- "Worth playing"
I don't remember the score for that day, it is the last time I have had the chance to play here. The new ownership group is working wonders with this course. I had some friends up to play with us it was their first time, so a good time was had by all.
This course is tight, if you miss hit the ball by a small amount you will go OB. That is the part of this course that keeps me away, but if you are a player that hits fairways you will enjoy playing here.
I will play here again because of two things the price is good and it gives you another choice in the Statesville, Hickory area to play. Not a lot of reasonable priced public access courses here, and especially one that has decent conditions. Read The Review