River Pines (Public)
4775 Old Alabama Rd., Alpharetta
STAFF: Phil Wagoner is the Golf Professional; Mike Perpich is the Director of Instruction.
PAR/YARDAGE: River Pines is a par 70 with four sets of tees: Blue (6,511 yards); White (6,002); Silver (5,185) and Red (4,279).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 70.2/129 (Blue); 67.2/119 (White); 64.3/111 (Silver); 64.1/105 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: Among the Atlanta’s area most popular daily fee facilities since it opened in 1990, River Pines offers a comfortable (but not too comfortable) and walk-able layout, quality course conditions, reasonable rates and a prime location, along with one of the best practice facilities in the state headed by a nationally-recognized instructor (Perpich). At just over 6,500 yards from the tips, River Pines is on the short side, but with just two par 5s, plays to a par of 70 and features a formidable group of par 4s. The three shorter sets of tees are very friendly for its female, senior and junior clientele, one of the reasons for the facility’s widespread acceptance. The excellent Denis Griffiths design provides a variety of challenges, with a nice mix of narrow and generous fairways, long and short holes, differing greens complexes and a healthy number of hazards in play. River Pines is the rare course that players who hit the ball modest distances can play from the back tees and not be overwhelmed, although the frequent presence of hazards creates danger both off the tee and on approach shots.
The mid-length par 3s, two of which run parallel to the Chattahoochee River, are fairly tame, as is one of the two par 5s – the uphill eighth. The 17th, however, is among the testier holes on the course, with water in play on every shot, including a risk/reward second for longer hitters and a perilous layup for the distance challenged. The heart of River Pines’ challenge is its par 4s. Other than the short but tight ninth, each of the dozen two-shotters offers a test to one degree or another, with hazards in play on eight of the other 11. Length is a factor on only a hole or two, with accuracy, some sound strategic thinking and a sound short game more of a concern. The greens have some size but not a great deal of undulation, although several have subtle slopes that can make for some very touchy pin positions at the edges. All in all, one of the best all-around daily fee facilities in the state, with an adjoining par-3 nine adding to its appeal.