Fantastic greens highlight a round of golf at River Crossing Club north of San Antonio

By Travel ArticlesMarch 4, 2013, 5:00 am

SPRING BRANCH, Texas -- If you cross the Guadalupe River on Highway 281, you've gone too far when seeking out River Crossing Club, a semi-private course located just north of San Antonio.

Taking on a scenic and serene Hill Country setting about 30 minutes north of the city center, River Crossing offers those who make the drive a private-worthy experience at a price point comparable to many of the area's middle-tier courses closer to the Alamo.

While the setting is no doubt unique, it's the conditions -- highlighted by large, smooth greens -- that will have your group talking afterwards.

Superintendent Paul Lane has manned the post at River Crossing since before the club opened in 2001, and his job appears to be quite safe, thanks to stellar playing conditions highlighted by tremendous greens all year round.

In the winter time, when most area courses over-seed their greens with a cooler-weather grass, Lane treats the course's TifEagle Bermuda greens with a weekly pigment product called 'Foursome' that gives the grass a natural color, and Lane also said it helps keep the grass canopy warmer. The result is a consistent, smooth surface with no fall or spring transition period.

River Crossing Club: The golf course

Designed by Larry Hawkins, River Crossing Club rolls gently up and down through wooded, quiet terrain. While this course is part of a 900-unit development, you wouldn't really think it while on the course; playing corridors are wide and framed with trees, with just the occasional house peeking out.

The course is highlighted by a collection of four unique par 3s, which begin with an island green second hole (rest assured, it's a large putting surface to accommodate early-round swings). It's the next par 3 that is toughest: The eighth is a long shot up to 200 yards to an elevated green guarded on the left by a series of bunkers. The prettiest, however, is the 15th, complete with a bridge, fountain and small pond in front of the green.

Back-to-back short par 4s -- No. 4 and No. 5 -- make for ample birdie opportunities early on. You can't accuse Hawkins of playing favorites, either: The fourth is a slight dogleg left, while the fifth curls a little right. The rest of the standout holes at River Crossing are those that come on the property's higher ground and afford natural, long views of the surrounding Hill Country.

Both the eighth and 17th holes are similar-looking par 5s off the tee that start from an elevated perch and slope downhill and dogleg to the right. The penultimate, however, has a view of the Twin Sisters mountains in the distance, plus a green a little better protected to make well-played approaches that more rewarding.

River Crossing Club: The verdict

Fantastic greens at River Crossing Club highlight what makes for a pleasant round of golf in the scenic Texas Hill Country.

With a fantastic practice area and range balls included with your round, a day spent here is a very good private club-worthy experience, especially considering rates here are between $45-$70.

Minutes north of the TPC San Antonio on Highway 281, River Crossing is a much more affordable and player-friendly facility, while still offering enough member-worthy touches to make anyone making the loop feel like a high-roller. The experience here is also a touch more upscale compared to its neighbor just north, Vaaler Creek Golf Club.

As of February 2013, GolfNow.com user ratings put River Crossing Club in the Top 10 of golf courses on GolfNow between San Antonio and Austin.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: