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“Great course”

River Islands Golf Club
Ranked #4 of 13 things to do in Kodak
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Attraction details
Owner description: With many trees, difficult water holes, and unusual layout, this Arthur Hills-designed 18-hole golf course challenges beginners and pros alike.
Reviewed 20 October 2013

This is an outstanding golf course at any price; however, when you get the discount for local residents, its also an outstanding value. As always, the course is challenging but fair and is as well maintained as its ever been.

Thank peatap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 - 40 of 56 reviews

Reviewed 23 September 2013

This is at the fringe of 'easy to reach' for me, requiring about a 50 minute drive. However, it remains one of my absolute favorites in the area, and I'll frequently add the hour each way to go here, rather than some of the other Knoxville-area golf courses. Tip- find discounted rates using GolfNow or similar. I don't mind pre-paying the Hot Deal to get up to 40% off the rack rate. I last played just one day after heavy rains, and while we were limited to cart path only, the course itself remained in fantastic condition. The MiniVerde Bermuda greens are very, very different from what you'll typically find in this area. While most greens are in terrible condition, stressed to the max, and full of ball marks, the turf on these greens is so thick that the putting surface is just fantastic. Thick is *not* slow. They are cut quite short, and roll fast and true. Ball marks, if you can find them, leave small scuff marks, not huge gouges that need a shovel to repair. Putting speeds are quick. Contours on the greens can make for some very interesting up/downs, and woe unto you if you have a long, long putt with twisting down hill break. There are several holes that demand precision off the tee. this is *not* a grab-your-driver 14 times golf course. The par 3's are also tough. High, soft shots with a little cut can reward you with birdies. Mistakes will find you at the drop zone, trying to figure out how to salvage a 4. Pace of play is pretty good. It is definitely crowded on the weekends, but the course moves along pretty well. Pace is enforced. Carts include GPS tracking devices so that you do not stray in to areas that you are not supposed to be in. Chipping, putting greens, and a driving range for warmup. Fast and typical food at the turn (hotdogs, etc). Friendly staff, from the starter (who moved us up a group because the foursome in front of us drifted in to the parking lot on their number) to the guy inside. This is a definite recommend for anyone from Oak Ridge to Maryville to Knoxville to visitors of that miserable tourist trap, Pigeon Forge/Sevierville/Gatlinburg. Low and mid-handicappers will definitely enjoy this course. Some forced carries, bunkered greens, adjacent water/wetlands, and tight driving holes may frustrate some of the high handicappers.

Thank freqtraveler86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2013

Played on June 30th and despite 16+ inches of rain in our area this course was in great shape. While I really think the new greens are fantastic, I want to say the new owner continues to make the right improvements. I was suprised to see new landscaping which includes a new putting green next to Hole #1 tee box. The clubhouse looks great and the addition of another practice green was a good idea.

As always, the clubhouse staff was excellent and my experience continues to be positive. These guys are very amenable and want to be sure you are taken care of, which is a really nice touch. If you are new to the area, or haven't played the course in a while - get out there! You will be glad you did.

1  Thank ScratchGolfer69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I live in nearby in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee and love the layout and course at River Islands. I took my son this morning for his 19th birthday and was welcomed by the most rude and hateful person I have ever encountered working in a golf course club house. His name was Joe and he basically called me a liar saying my golf package I had purchased did not come with range balls and that it was closed. I made a comment that it was false advertising to sell green and cart fees with free range balls and then to close the range and this just further enraged him. Unfortunately, my wife had my cell phone at the time with my receipt clearly showing the range balls were included. Anyway, I will not be going back to this course. It is a beautiful course, and the maintenance people were first class throughout the round, but I will never offer my hard earned money to someone who treated me the way that Joe treated us this morning.

4  Thank Wayne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

I have played River Islands alot over the past few years. The previous owner/staff was not pleasant to deal with and they kept me away from this course for a couple years. Since the new owner/staff has taken over the course is really a pleasure to play. The staff has been nothing but friendly to us all year.

The new greens are great but they can be very fast and dont break as much as they look. The ball rolls true and they are always in good shape. The bunker refinishing is still going on but mostly complete it seems. They also have new carts with tracking devices in them that helps with pace of play. We were out there Saturday and a Ranger came up to us and told us he asked the group ahead to speed up for us, I thought it was odd because we hadnt had to wait on them but they are really trying to focus on pace of play. I always tee off early and usually when we circle back around to 15 or so you can see the first few holes backing up...hopefully they can get this under control but the course is so scenic that it is hard for newbies not to take in the scenery.

Hole 9 does not return to the clubhouse but there is a turn shack where you can pick up some food and drink as well as use the restroom. The cart girl comes around quite often as well but she doesnt have any real food with her so make sure you pick up food at the turn if you need more than crackers. There is an additional restroom and soda machine that can be accessed from both hole 4 and hole 16. The only thing missing are water stations, if I recall they used to have these spread out at various tee boxes but I havent seen any lately. I hope they plan to bring these back considering how hot and humid it can get in the summer.

Either way, this is a great course for locals (they have a local rate) and a good deal for vacationers that are willing to make the trip from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg when they want to mix it up from the other courses in the area.

1  Thank sparksjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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