4775 Old Alabama Rd., Johns Creek; 770-442-5960; www.riverpinesgolf.com
STAFF: Phil Wagoner is the PGA Golf Professional; Mike Perpich is the PGA Director of Instruction
PAR/YARDAGE: RiverPines is a par 70 with five sets of tees: Black (6,602 yards); Blue (6,284); White (5,785); Silver (5,193) and Red (4,291).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 71.1/132 (Black); 69.4/127 (Blue); 67.2/119 (White): 69.3/119 (Silver/Ladies); 64/1/105 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: One of the most popular and well-respected daily fee courses in Atlanta for the past two decades, RiverPines offers a consistently enjoyable overall golf experience, beginning with an excellent, well-conditioned Denis Griffiths design. RiverPines also has a fun, 9-hole par 3 that is great for juniors and novice golfers and one of Atlanta’s finest practice facilities, headed up by the highly-regarded Perpich. The staff is friendly and efficient and the fees are affordable, with the course one of the easiest to walk thanks to its compact, non-developed setting. With five sets of tees, there are multiple options for almost every level of player, with the yardages a bit deceptive in both directions. As a par 70 with only two par 5s, the yardages on the scorecard make the course seem more inviting than it is, thanks to several stout par 4s. However, with multiple tee boxes on each hole, some of the holes can play shorter than indicated. Apart from the handful of hefty par 4s, length is not what River Pines is about, with Griffiths’ layout presenting the opportunity to post a score you’ll be happy with as long as you don’t bite off a little more than you can chew. With a mostly tame group of par 3s and only one of the two par 5s much of a threat, the challenge comes from the par 4s, many of which require accuracy off the tee with several testy approach shots. There are quite a few hazards in play, starting with the par 4s that begin each nine, with small wetlands areas protecting both greens. The 10th is one of several short-ish par 4s where club selection and precision are vital from the tee, with errant tee shots on the tighter holes exacting penalties. There are also several challenging approaches to greens protected by hazards, but none on holes of serious length, with the par-5 17th an interesting but perplexing risk/reward short par 5. The greens complexes are gentle and there are plenty of scoring opportunities, but the tougher par 4s will keep you from going too low.