Hole #1 – Road Hole
A generous landing area on this opening par 4 eases the golfer into the round.  If you happen to miss the fairway bunker to the left (on purpose or by mistake) you will be rewarded with a good angle for your approach to a long narrow green.  An impressive bunker protects the green on the right, while a collection area receives errant approach shots to the left. The elongated green provides for a multitude of pin locations, so check your approach yardage carefully.

Hole #2 – Birdies Nest
A family of Herons often look down from their nest at this beautiful par 3.  While generous in size, the green offers a mid-iron challenge due to the forced carry over a small pond.  Fear not, because there is room to bail out to the right.  But if that is your chosen route, you will be left with a demanding putt.  The good news is that this hole tends to yield a fair number of birdies.

Hole#3 – Fairway Frenzy
River Strand’s golf courses are blessed with wide corridors and this par 5 is a great example.   With water on the left for the first half of the hole and water on the right for the second half of the hole, the vista between the homes is really quite wide.  From the tee, as long as you avoid the water, there is a wide and generous landing area for your drive.  On the left is a complex of mounds that will offer a variety of lies.  Then the fun begins.  A narrow landing area between the fairway bunker complex and the pond on the right can offer a short wedge to the green.  A grass bench has been created between the green and the pond to prevent decent approach shots from finding the water.  And the green has been rebuilt to offer a greater range of hole locations with a uniquely shaped surface – left hole locations are better attacked from the right and vice versa.

Hole #4 – Devil's Dunes
The name of this hole is a nod to the treacherous bunkers that one must navigate for both the tee shot and the approach shot.  There is room to drive a ball to the left, but the preferred tee shot is to take on the two bunkers on the right.  Now that you are in the fairway, you should have a short iron as your approach.  The greenside bunkers have been split in a way to provide the possibility of running a ball between them and rolling onto the spine of the green.  This green has significant undulations helping protect par on an otherwise attackable hole.

Hole #5 – Hidden Valley
From the tee, the green on this par 3 looks rather massive.  If you are intimidated by the water on the right, the bailout on this hole is long and left.  If you do bail out, your ball will likely find a closely mowed collection area, offering a multitude of chipping options.  The approach has been graded to allow a ball to bounce into the green and provide support along the pond to minimize balls kicking to the right.  This green is a classic Biarritz style with generous putting areas that allow hole locations to prosper on each of the three decks.

Hole #6 – Rip It
One of the longer Par 4’s found at River Strand; this hole almost always begs the driver to come out of the bag.  There are fairway bunkers to contend with, but you have your choice of going right or left.  The approach bunker near the green looks intimidating but is really more bark than bite.  It has been tucked into a mound in a way that offers relatively friendly escape. This large green tends to move balls from right to left, so take that into consideration for your approach.  Easy?  No!  Fun?  Always!

Hole #7 – Target Time
Local knowledge definitely comes into play for this challenging par 4.  Driver isn’t always needed to set up the perfect yardage and lie for the approach shot. After you’ve played the hole a few times you will determine how much club it takes to find the end of the fairway.  The design intent is to allow your ball to have some run out without getting into the wet conservation area. Then, the target area on the green presents another challenge.  If you happen to come up a bit short on your approach shot, the bank in front of the green will sometimes allow for a possible bounce onto the green or worst case, a reasonable lie for a short chip.  A severe drop-off on the rear of the green begs the golfer to adhere to the adage, “don’t be short on a front flag and don’t be long on back flag.”  Being in the middle of this green is never a bad thing!

Hole #8 – On Golden pond
An ideal drive on this par 5 is a bomb to the left of the long fairway bunker.  But if your drive happens to veer right, you will still have moderate playability in and near the bunker.  Your next shot will benefit from a very wide landing area.  The biggest challenge on this hole comes on your third shot.  Fortunately, the green works balls away from the water and the entrance to the green is wide enough to invite balls to be played along the ground.  If you happen to go long, the grades behind the green serve nicely as catchers.  But beware, there is a huge transition slope running diagonally through this green, with the front of the green being much lower than the rear.  A two-putt on this green is far from guaranteed, but once you’ve holed your putt take a minute to look around at one of the most scenic spots in River Strand. 

Hole #9 – Amen Alley
After you take in the overall beauty of this par 4, the next thing that likely catches your eye is the large cross bunker in the fairway.  While shallow enough to escape, the size of this bunker is significant.  Andrew Green, the course architect, is challenging the golfer to take on this bunker with an aggressive tee shot or strategically lay up to a relatively narrow landing area left of the bunker.  For your approach shot, the green has been pulled forward to create a “high” target that is visible from the fairway.  If you go long on your approach shot, there will be a collection area that will require a chip from a lie that is lower than the putting surface.  “Strategy” is a key word in the design of this clever closing hole.