"Here in Kingwood, we've never met a tree we didn't like."
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: River Grove DGC is the land of many trees. By far the most wooded course in the greater Houston area even with the recent drought and hurricane Ike before it doing their part to thin things out a bit. It's gone from insanely wooded, to just mostly wooded with even a few open looks at the basket. Also, if you're a fan of blind dog-leg holes, well then you're in luck - at least half the course plays this shot off the tee.
There is a practice basket located near #1, and there are nice big concrete tees - albeit they have been installed backwards from any other course I've ever played. They start narrow and finish wide, which isn't a pro or con - but just another weird little quirk of the course. The course is short at just over 4800', but the dense woods make up length by keeping everything tight. The pins also have a painted spoke pointing to the next tee box, which is always a nice little touch.
BEST HOLE/S: #11; #13
Take deep breath - here we go… Wooded? More like adventures into lucky shotville. Who designed this place - Bigfoot? Did I mention that every hole looks like this, where's the layout diversity? And what about the huge freaking predator spawned banana spiders
that enjoy making their webs at head level - those are fun! And don't get me started on the fact that this place decided to install Mach 5 baskets to camouflage themselves from view from any given tee box. (Face gets redder) Well that's okay - I don't need to see where I'm throwing anyway - I'll just refer to the half broken stone and wood teebox signs lying on the ground or propped up against the beer laden over-flowing buckets posing as a makeshift trashcan. McDade
copycat! And seriously, backwards boxes - that's worth another mention. And wait for it - did I forget to tell you that this place is "private?" That's right - I dare you to park your car in the parking lot for more than a millisecond without a giant K slapped to your bumper, and that tow truck will make your round experience a lot more expensive! I guess you'll just have to park yourself on the side of non-existent shoulder near #13 basket and you should be just hunky dory…. Ahh, okay, breathe again.
(Silly I know, but I hope it makes my point)
WORST HOLE/S: #7
I wanted to love this course, and since I haven't played it in years - I will admit I enjoyed it a great deal more than my first experience out here - hence why it took me so long to play it again. Ironically, a tight technical course is more my flavor as I experience more courses, but this is simply too much of an average thing. There's no daring or creatively to this place like my beloved Dalaiwood
in Washington that puts these woods to shame, and there's just nothing memorable enough to bring me back again.
Plus, I have to ding it for the pompous ass bag Star-bellied Sneech acting Kingwood community members that devotedly protect their parking lot. I don't know why it bugs me so much more than Oak Meadows
, the only other "private" public park in the greater Houston area - maybe it's the giant K stickers. However, given everything about the course itself, ultimately it's simply an average wooded course that no one really needs to go out of their way to play - but it's that's your thing, don't worry you'll get plenty of it here.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Almost all of the holes are under 300' so it makes a good course for beginners or intermediates. Unfortunately most of the holes have way too many trees in the way to be fun. Its ok to have some narrow fairways but on most of the holes there is no direct path to the hole if you can even see the basket.
The course is well marked and has great tee boxes. The baskets are really high, one standing almost 5.5' tall.
It is fun to play with the nature all around you, saw a few deer and a coral snake while playing.
Cons: Unless you live near or in Kingwood, this course isn't worth the drive out to.
Other Thoughts: You don't need to take your whole bag for this course. All you need is a good mid-range and a putter and you're all set to go. If you have a good hyzer and fore-hand in your arsenal, you could par every hole. However not many holes would you birdie unless you got incredibly lucky.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Trees, spiders, and bees
First of all this review applies to the course as it stands after the Aug 2008 clean-up and trimming that was done by some players and the Kingwood Parks department.
This is a prime example of a technical course. There are zero holes on which you can grip-and-rip. Every hole has you thinking of how you're going to carefully avoid the trees on your way to the basket. The sharp dog-leg holes are balanced with two to the right and two to the left.
The course map posted at the start is adequate for navigating the course when combined with the fact that each basket has one spoke painted yellow to point towards the next tee. The course is essentially two loops, one for first 9 and one for the last 9. Each loop starts and ends near the parking lot.
Large concrete tee pads. Ample parking. No chance of pedestrian interference on the course. For the most part, the course was very clean and there were a couple trash cans available.
Shade! The abundance of trees provide a nice break from the hot Texas sun and a change from most of the other Houston courses.
After the course trimming and clearing that was done there are still a couple holes that could be cleared out further. #5 and #18 come to mind. #18 is a short 201' hole, but has the player teeing off almost directly into a maze of trees. Making it through is more luck than skill.
The course is literally covered with Banana Spiders... big 6-8cm Banana Spiders. While you're walking with your head down to avoid tripping over tree stumps and looking for discs it's very easy to walk right into one of the frequent eye-level webs. There's also a bee hive in the ground off to the right of fairway #17; be careful.
The tee pads were installed backwards (on the map too!). The pads are wider in the front than the back, but overall they're large enough that it shouldn't matter on this short course.
No maps on tee signs, just hole number and distance. Several blind holes require you to scout the fairway the first few times you play.
To balance the course it would benefit from a few longer and more open holes.
Kingwood Parks department has now budgeted for course maintenance and as of Aug 2008 did some major cleaning of the course fairways and tree cutting. I hadn't played the course before it was cleared, but from everything I read from people who had it was a nightmare of a course before with no reasonable fairways. I'd imagine the course now plays muuuuch better. I encourage previous nay-sayers to give this course another chance now.
This is not the best course for first timers as the frustration level will be high after hitting tree after tree.
16 of the 18 holes are between 200-300 feet. At those short distances a well controlled drive by most any player can lead to a birdie opportunity. But with a lot of trees you really need to control your throws.
I would definitely play this course again if I'm on the North side of town.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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