RiverPines Golf (Public)
4775 Old Alabama Rd., Johns Creek
STAFF: Phil Wagoner is the PGA Head 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); Red (4,291).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 71.1/132 (Black); 69.4/127 (Blue); 67.2/119 (White); 69.3/119 (Silver/Women); 64.1/105 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: One of metro Atlanta’s most successful public courses for the last two decades, RiverPines has maintained its status by offering a quality product with consistently excellent conditioning, first rate customer service and an outstanding practice facility headed up by one of the state’s top instructors. Its location in the midst of prime north Fulton country club territory hasn’t hurt, and the enjoyable Denis Griffiths layout keeps area golfers coming back after repeated visits. In recent years, the RiverPines scorecard has changed a bit, with the back tees adding about 90 yards to 6,602, the blues 282 yards longer at 6,284 and a re-positioned set of white tees measuring 5,785. RiverPines still plays to a par of 70, making the modest yardage totals a bit less inviting. Without a great deal of length and mostly gentle greens complexes, RiverPines is among the more player-friendly layouts among Atlanta’s upscale daily fee facilities, but it is by no means an easy target. Water hazards are a serious factor on at least six holes and in play on several others, and accuracy off the tee is a real concern on a majority of the par 4s and 5s. As a group, the par 3s are on the tame side, although the slightly lengthened 5th (209/190) is real test despite an elevated tee. The deceptively difficult uphill 3rd shot on the par-5 8th makes birdies a relatively rare occurrence, with the risk/reward nature of the short but perilous 17th providing a chance for a late moment of glory if you can avoid the water that lurks all the way from tee to green. The heart of RiverPines’ challenge is its par 4s, which includes just one easy mark (the short 9th) as well as one of Atlanta’s strongest two-shotters (the long and narrow 4th). Other than 17, almost all the trouble at RiverPines is found on the par 4s, both off the tee and on the approach. Most have a reasonable amount of length, but both 7 and 10 require precise positioning to take advantage of their absence of length, with the over-water tee shot on the 13th having little margin for error. The first six holes include four very strong par 4s, so be ready to play as soon as you tee it up.