Riverbank Golf Course Review

Riverbank Golf Course Review pictured the first at Riverbank
The first at Riverbank is a 515 yard par 5.

Riverbank Golf Course Review

Riverbank Golf Course
South Lyon, Michigan
Grade: C-
Teachers’ Comments: Relatively short and very treacherous

A popular spot for league and community play, Riverbank is a pleasant looking parklands course that clocks in at just over just over 6,000 yards from the tips.

Easy, right? Don’t let the yardage deceive you. Riverbank is tight and treacherous. Water lurks on fifteen holes, ready to drown the wayward ball. Overhanging branches threaten to snag shots and reject them like Hakeem Olajuwon covering Muggsy Bogues. There isn’t much room for error here.

Riverbank Golf Course Review pictured: the fourth at Riverbank
The fourth at Riverbank is a 329 yard par 4.

Fortunately, Riverbank is short enough to play hybrids and long irons off the tee. You will want to do so. Precision is necessary to avoid ponds, creeks and trees.

In that, Riverbank can offer a change of pace from courses where bomb and gouge is the primary strategy. Miss a fairway at Riverbank and there’s a very good chance you won’t have the opportunity to gouge your ball out of the rough to the green. You’ll be stymied by a tree, or your ball will have died a watery death.

I really wanted to like Riverbank. Instead, I found the course a bit frustrating. I managed a decent score, but felt as though I was always playing defense.

To be fair, the fact that Riverbank is busy means that regulars don’t share my opinion. I is probably true that if I were to play Riverbank a couple more times, I would feel more comfortable knowing what clubs to hit off the tee and along which line to aim.

With so many other courses more to my liking, however, I can’t see making a return trip.

My favorite hole was the tenth. It’s a tight 505 yard par five that begins with the threat of water on the left; is interrupted by a creek halfway down, and then is threatened by another pond that runs down the right side of the final half of the hole.

An aerial view of Riverbank’s tenth

Riverbank’s website describes the course as a “Par-4”:

Our Par 4 course spans over 130 acres of South Lyons countryside.The golf course at Riverbank is challenging enough for semi-professional matches, yet still caters to those still learning the game.

I’m not entirely sure what that means. Riverbank has three par-fives: the opening hole, and ten and eighteen on the back nine. It’s also got four par threes. That’s a fairly standard configuration for a par 71 golf course.

A satellite photo of Riverbank Golf Course in South Lyon

From the longest tees, Riverbank comes in at 6,010 yards. The course is a par 71.

TeesYardageSlopeRating
Black601011768.5
White557411566.6
Red471011166.9

Conditions on the day I played were decent. Fairways and greens were in good shape. A few spots — particularly on the back nine — were really soggy, in spite of there being no fresh rain.

Riverbank could really use a tree trimming, though. Its tight-by-design fairways are made much more so by random overhanging branches. There were a few spots that I found absolutely claustrophobic.

Riverbank was designed by Bud Edwards. It opened in 1978.

Greens fees at Riverbank are reasonable. Their 2021 summer rates were $30 for a round with cart Monday through Thursday and $39 on weekends.

The Riverbank Golf Course Review was published November 18, 2021 from notes and photos taken on a round played in the summer of 2021.

A gallery tour of Riverbank golf course follows

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