Kite and Bechtol advise on renovations to River Place Country Club course


Kite and Bechtol advise on renovations to River Place Country Club course
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A US$750,000 renovation of the course at River Place Country Club in Austin, Texas has been completed, with original architect Tom Kite and Austin-based architect Roy Bechtol returning to the course to advise on the project.

Kite designed the original 18-hole layout at River Place, which opened in 1984, and worked alongside Bechtol on a renovation of the course’s routing in the early 1990s.

Recent work has seen the course’s 20 putting surfaces, including its two practice greens, to their original shape and contours. The turf of the greens has been replaced with ultra dwarf hybrid TifEagle.

Bunkers across the course have been rebuilt and include necessary drainage work and state-of-the-art liners to help prevent the future contamination of sand.

Kite and Bechtol both provided key insight for the work, and Bechtol spent several days on site working with Tony Miller of Dominion Golf Group, the company that owns and operates River Place Country Club.

“The dialogue with Tony and the rest of the crew that has been working so hard on River Place’s renovation has been productive and insightful from day one,” Bechtol said. “The Dominion Golf Group understands the importance of the points of view we have been able to provide the team and is committed to making River Place an even better course than it was in the past.”

Further work has seen the conversion of some bunkers from sand to grass to help enhance the course’s playability and maintenance demands.

“Having new putting surfaces and bunkers to complement the great conditions of our fairways, and our fun, scenic layout will help make River Place the club that Tom Kite and Roy Bechtol always envisioned,” said Steven Held, the Dominion Golf Group’s president and chief executive officer. “By increasing overall green size, we will be able to keep the integrity of the course while making it even more enjoyable for golfers of all levels.”

“River Place has always been fun and challenging, and now I think it will be even more so,” added Bechtol. “By returning the greens to how they were originally designed and softening some of the bunkers, the growing membership of the club will get to play a course that is a bit more forgiving. That’s what we are trying to do with golf – give our players a chance to enjoy the game a little more.”