As soon as you arrive at the modern clubhouse and stand on the terrace, you will be able to marvel at the 18 holes created by designers Jonathan Morrow and Al Tikkanen. Riverdale Golf Club opened in 2010 and immediately became a firm favorite with all golfers. Morrow also built Red Mountain in Phuket (MBK the owners here also own Loch Palm and Red Mountain in Phuket).
Quoted by Golf Digest USA’s Editor as one of his top new layouts in Asia, Riverdale’s 18 holes have been created out of a fairly flat Bangkok landscape. Where Morrow has been very clever and has weaved his magic here is he has built down 30 ft and up 30 ft making what was a fairly boring flat area into a very interesting and fun 18 holes running at 7,006yards.
Around 30 minutes from the centre and next door to the Bangkok Golf Club, Riverdale at first glance may lull you into complacency, like the first time you played in Scotland. But don’t be mislead, as on every hole you face a different challenge from raised tees, sloping fairways, five lakes, mega bunkers and island greens.
Adding to the links style atmosphere is the absence of mature trees, although shrubs and reeds do come into play on many holes. Right away, any complacency about this under promising, over delivering Bangkok golf course begins to melt away as you engage the gradual downhill opening hole and get up close to the immaculate grooming and turf quality.
A sea of green swells and ebbs before you with views uninterrupted by trees or other distractions. Reeds demarcate where fairways end and lakes begin. Raised greens receive the balls well under normal conditions but can dry out and alter you approach strategies. The bunkering is well thought out and the quality of the sand is very good. But mostly you will see openness across a green sea of hillocks.
Putting is rather straightforward on these gently breaking greens, a number of which have pin placement areas that are narrow in width or shallow in depth. A good example is the par three 8th hole that gives you a choice of two greens. To the right rises an elevated narrow but deep island green that slopes away toward the back and can play two clubs different depending on pin placement. To the left and below in a bowl shaped swale rests a green of identical size and shape that sits 15 feet lower than the tee box and plays 30% longer from the back tees than the island green.
The modern architecture of the large clubhouse dominates the skyline and provides first class changing rooms, a full equipped pro shop and an excellent restaurant which serves international cusine and cool drinks overlooking this magnificent course.
Riverdale is definitely up there in the top ten courses to enjoy while you are in Thailand and is not to be missed on your Golf Orient golf holiday.
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|Jonathan Morrow & Al Tikkanen
|North Bangkok, next to Bangkok Golf Club
|30 minutes from downtown Bangkok
Max. golfers per group:
|THB 800 compulsory
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