Today I visited Riverton Golf Club in West Henrietta NY to play 9 holes on what Riverton describes as an “Executive” golf course. I’m not exactly sure that “Executive” means but I can tell you that the 9 hole course is as challenging and as much fun to play as the 18 hole courses I’ve played this year such as Braemar and Chili Country Club.
To play 18 at Riverton, one must “re-play” the original 9 holes just as I have to do to get 18 holes in at my home course Southern Meadows. Unlike Southern Meadows, Riverton deploys a greater number of hazards into the course such as water hazards, bunkers, fairway placements within lanes of trees, and two of the 9 holes are in excess of 500 yards, 575 and 520 yards to be exact. The course was in decent shape, the fairways and greens were well-groomed and in decent condition but the course was not nearly as well maintained from a cleanliness standpoint as Southern Meadows. There seemed to be an excess of paper trash and beer bottles in the tee box area….a strange finding for a 9am tee time. Riverton’s staff were friendly but not very welcoming….I may have some bias here as I am treated extremely well as Southern Meadows (as are all if their golfers/customers) and I tend to judge all contact with golf course employees by the “Southern Meadows Standards” and that’s a tall order to meet let alone exceed.
I played well considering that I’ve never played Riverton before and didn’t shoot anything above triple bogey all afternoon. I know that doesn’t sound like much but the difficulty of the course combined with the “newness” to me of the course didn’t allow me to set my expectations too high. I ended up shooting a 54 for 9 holes and I even managed to par the 435 yard 7th hole with a fantastic putt from the fringe of the green all the while going uphill and breaking left from 30 ft out. The slope index of Southern Meadows is an 87 while according to the GHIN score posting system the slope index for the “Champions Tee Boxes” at Riverton (of which I used throughout my round) is a 132. Quite the jump in difficulty of which I feel I handled reasonably well.
I want to play at least 3 more rounds of golf at Riverton before the season comes to an end. In order to continue improving my game, I need to challenge myself at courses where the difficulty of play is greater than my home club. Make no mistake, Southern Meadows is “home base” for me for the forseeable future but it’s time to “up my game” and expand my capabilities where hazards can be found and hopefully avoided.
Nothing good comes from taking the easy way out….