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From Our Editors

As its name implies, the course at River's Bend Golf Club nestles into a curve of the James River, whose waters rush alongside three of the fairways. Its design sprang from the mind of accomplished course architect Steve Smyers, who drew inspiration from the legendary architects of the 1920s and 1930s and their penchant for Herbert Hoover–shaped sand traps. For River’s Bend, Smyers incorporated naturally sloped terrain and woodlands to create fairways that challenge both novices and experts. Players pass rustic wooden bridges and white fences as they play, eventually facing off with a substantial pond tucked among the three final holes of the front nine.

Before teeing off at the first hole, players can warm up their swing at the driving range or take advantage of dedicated chipping and putting practice areas. For more guided practice, clubbers can sign up for lessons with golf pro Brandon Kelley, who covers everything from fundamentals to preshot mental routines, such as visualizing the golf ball as a miniature moon that needs to be returned to orbit.

Course at a Glance:

  • 18-hole, par-71 course

  • Length of 6,671 yards

  • Course rating of 71.9

  • Slope rating of 132

  • Four tee options

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