I just realized that I never followed-up with a report on River Oaks from our trip last August. A.J. and I had early tee times (8:00 am), and were the first to arrive at the course. We made our annual pilgrimage to Krispy Kreme for hot, fresh doughnuts as the sun came up. We didn't meet any traffic, so we got to River Oaks early. We were paired with a retired Coca Cola plant manager from Atlanta named Ken. Ken was a pleasure to play golf with, and was a much better golfer than me or A.J.
As noted, there are three 9 hole courses. Our front nine was played on the Otter Course, which was my favorite layout. Plenty of water and sand, which is typical of beach courses. Beautiful fairways and greens, too. Being the first group out, we played very quickly and were done in about 1 hour. Our back 9 was played on the Fox Course. I did not like that layout as much as the Otter. Several other groups were on that course and we were delayed on every hole. It took about 2 1/2 hours to play the back 9, and it started to rain on the last 4 holes, so those negatives may cloud my opinion of the Fox. It was nice, but I liked the Otter better.
I really enjoyed playing this course, and felt that $33 each was a very reasonable rate. The pro shop was nice, and the clubhouse has a very nice back porch with rocking chairs that is shaded by trees. If it wasn't raining when we finished, I would have liked to have had lunch and a drink on that back porch.
The only thing I didn't like about the course was crossing the highway. The clubhouse and Otter course are on one side of the road and the Fox and Bear courses are on the other side of the road. They have a couple of VERY steep bridges over the road, and honestly it scared me to drive down off of the bridges, especially coming back to the clubhouse because there was also a sharp turn at the bottom of the ramp. If you've played there, I'm sure you'll agree with me about the epic travel over the bridges! If you haven't played there, please don't let the bridges be a deterrent, but be cautious driving up and down them.
Looking forward to August 2013, where we'll try another course that we haven't yet played.