Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech
|White (W)||72||6495 yards||77.5||140|
|Orange (W)||72||5903 yards||74.1||133|
|Red (W)||72||5142 yards||70.0||124|
|Black M: 77.5/147||401||475||588||497||235||399||159||426||579||3759||424||488||583||404||182||497||590||243||495||3906||7665|
|Maroon M: 74.7/141||393||452||556||450||198||381||149||410||561||3550||355||451||548||377||166||453||539||219||430||3538||7088|
|White M: 72.1/135 W: 77.5/140||361||404||531||435||166||376||128||349||505||3255||329||386||536||347||139||401||529||192||381||3240||6495|
|Orange M: 69.5/128 W: 74.1/133||325||376||485||359||154||330||118||340||437||2924||305||368||477||332||126||368||472||180||351||2979||5903|
|Red W: 70.0/124||266||333||428||310||133||284||97||308||430||2589||264||301||419||270||106||317||427||145||304||2553||5142|
Best of Lists
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Virginia
Southwest Virginia’s Best Public Course
*This is an update to my original review from 10/17/2017*
Having played two famous Pete Dye courses for the first time this year (Stadium at TPC Sawgrass and Wolf at Las Vegas Paiute Resort) I came back to the River Course for comparison and boy does it hold up.
Sure, in terms of conditioning, it’s tough to compete with a $500+ round at a course the pros play on or even Paiute where green fees exceed $150, but The River Course holds its own with lush grass everywhere you look, smooth greens, raked bunkers, and well-kept tee boxes. There were signs of fairway aeration throughout but it never affected my play and was only noticeable up close.
I really love the links-style layout here, with hardly a tree to be found in play and (under drier conditions) plenty of opportunities to play a ground game on approach. Chipping can be a challenge around the tightly-mowed green surrounds and often times a putter or hybrid is the best club to use. Avoiding the many (and in many cases, tiny) bunkers on the course is the main focus here as the deep faces will genuinely penalize you for poor positioning. Like many Dye courses, there’s a short side and a correct side to miss on each approach shot.
The staff is great here too and will take care of your clubs right from the bag drop. The facilities are as good as you’d expect from a course that’s home to one of the better collegiate programs in the country with a grass range and separate putting and chipping greens.
A few things to note if you plan on walking this course: first, they don’t advertise a walking rate online, but it’s $15 cheaper than riding. Secondly, this course is super easy to walk with the only real distances to be covered are getting to the first and tenth tees. Thirdly, the practice areas are way up on top of a hill as you drive in so I recommend parking up there to do your warm ups and then driving back down to the lower parking lot by the clubhouse to drop off your bag. Lastly, don’t worry about the walk up from the 18th to the clubhouse, the staff is nice enough to give you a ride in a cart.
Even with a walking rate, this course is far from cheap, especially given the location but it’s worth it for the unique layout, great conditions, and a fantastic riverfront setting. I highly recommend even for those wary of Pete Dye. This one is a true gem.
Can't miss this place. Gotta play
Wow. That's the best way to describe this place. I don't like links style courses but this place is amazing. Water view on every hole. The two nines run alongside the river both ways. Every hole you get the large river view. Mountainside on the other view. Even if you don't like river view or mountainside view, the course is the best conditioned I've played all year. Like hitting off carpet.
Pete Dye did amazing with not only bunker placement but size and height.
Greens were no less amazing.
This place is pricey but well worth it once.
Nice Dye Layout
Nice Layout. Course in fair shape, grass is not too thick, actually thin in many areas. Biggest issue is the price, just not worth the $90, especially for a course that is "rough", not manicured. Sand in trap is sparce in areas, mud, etc. Nice Dye layout.
Tough, but fun course
My son and I played this Pete Dye course today for the first time. Very nice course, but very challenging. It is a course that having knowledge of it helps immensely. Definitely glad I bought the yardage book, as it was a big benefit. Very tough, but fair course that I would recommend, especially at the Golf Now rate!
This is a great course and layout Fairways were a little thin so you had to hit it straight. Greens were a little slow, but that is due to time of year so they do not burn out. Will definitely be back!!
Amazing river view
Beautiful course. Challenging distances and green layouts. If only the staff was as friendly as the course was scenic. Some of the staff seemed unfriendly and snobbish. A couple of the staff were very friendly...starter and restaurant staff.
What a freaking course! Absolutely awesome! A real mother from the tips; especially since it was a little wet. Probably my third favorite course of those I’ve played. Ocean Course #1. Trump Los Angeles #2. Extremely fast, smooth greens. Plush fairways and tees. Gorgeous views. Military jets flying very low over the course. Try it. You will be pleased.
Absolutely beautiful course!
Pete Dye has built a beautiful course along the New River. Course conditions are pristine, the only missing today was my short game!
Beautiful venue and a challenging layout
A bit different Pete Dye design with smaller greens than expected and no penalizing bunkers around the green or along the fairways. The greens rolled about a 9.5 and not much break. Don’t overread them. The White Tees play 6500 and with a North wind the incoming 4 holes play long. Slope at 134 is a good test for the 11 to 15 handicap.
The views of the New River are very relaxing.
Great First Time Visit
Played this course with my son for the first time although I live in the area. Scenic views and great course conditions made for a very enjoyable day. Look forward to returning soon
Pete Dye River Course
WOW! From the pro shop to the golf course, a first class operation. The tips from Eddie where truly helpful. Looking forward to my next round.
Pete dye is pete dye
What a challenging course to play. The conditions for April were great, the greens were hard and fast and didn’t hold, therefore chipping up the hill was a challenge. Play was slower than I would have expected but not horrible. I would like to play this course again when it is in full bloom.
Nice but bland
Welcomed by congenial staff. Upscale clubhouse with fine restaurant/bar and outdoor seating overlooking the river.
Course is wide open and links style with plenty of mounds flanking the fairways. Hardly a tree in play. Fairly straightforward. Layout is bland and hardly memorable. Par 3’s are strong and penal if you miss the green. Greens are perched with plenty of drop off from the edges. Unfortunately, greens have little undulation and does not present much of a challenge once you’re on.
Course condition is good but I expected better.
Overall pleasant experience but did not excite me to play it again.
Below "Dye" expectations, but still a nice layout
Overall, this course is a nice layout. Definitely above average and very playable.
Not a lot of trouble, not a lot of trees. Doesn't have the same Pete Dye feel that many of his other courses have, no forced carries, no elevation changes, etc. But it's an enjoyable layout on a nice piece of flat property by the river. Views are beautiful
I'm used to playing well manicured Dye courses, this is not one of them. Conditions are OK, but this course would not be considered "manicured." Not to say that it's in poor condition, it's not, but it's not kept at the higher level that one would expect at a course that charges $80 green fees in late October.
Overall, I will go back. I'll complain about the price, it's not an $80 course, but the views are beautiful, and it's a nice layout. I can't think of a bad hole on the course.
It Really Is That Good
Sometimes hype can be a curse to a good golfing experience. But Pete Dye’s River Course lives up to the acclaim and praise, providing a first-class course and atmosphere.
I was surprised to see this course (Virginia Tech’s home course) ranked well above its in-state rival Birdwood (UVA) in a major golf publication. After all, Birdwood garnered a five-star rating in my recent review for its wonderfully diverse layout and top-notch playing conditions.
But the River Course tops even that course with a superb riverfront setting and classic Pete Dye course features that challenge you without frustrating you unnecessarily. The most surprising thing to me upon arrival was the openness of the course’s layout. There’s hardly a tree on the property that comes into play unless to hit towards the river. This combined with no forced carries translates to a surprisingly inviting Dye design (and by design, apparently) that even brand-new golfers can enjoy (as my golfing partner did during our round). But don’t be fooled by the lack of trees, carries, or even elevation changes; this course will test you. From many of the tees, you either can’t see the flag or the distance to it is highly deceptive. Trust your yardages, and don’t hit it long. This is a fairly compact layout, great for walking, but perhaps lacking a sense of variety that you get at places like Birdwood.
The view of the course from the snazzy clubhouse is unlike any other, perched on on the side of steep hill a hundred feet above the the first, ninth, tenth, and eighteenth holes. The river is an all-consuming feature of the course. It may seem a bit imposing at first but you learn to just aim further away from it as the round goes.
Pace of play was great here too and the conditions were fantastic. Just a week removed from aeration, the greens were mostly smooth and showed little signs of wear. The fairways and rough were equally immaculate and the signature Dye green surrounds were cut tightly like you’d want. That said, if you resort to putting off the green, remember to give it plenty of oomph!
I live a little too far away to make this course a regular stop but I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in town. VT students should be honored to have such a nice course!
Not Much For Dye to Work With I Guess
Stopped here on a drive from DC to Memphis. Always on the lookout to play a Pete Dye course. But I have to say there isn't a whole lot of what I think of as Pete Dye to be found here. I think that might mostly be due to the location and terrain.
The course occupies a narrow tract of land along the banks of the New River. Front nine goes out and back downstream (north) from the clubhouse, back nine goes out and back upstream (south). Almost no elevation changes (#6 tee box is up on a small hill) and the water really doesn't come into play much (just guard against a bad push or hook on the riverfront holes).
Dye is known for his creative green complexes, and while these were not mundane, I wouldn't call them vintage Dye. I missed a lot of greens and had some tricky chip shots, but nothing too severe. No railroad ties or deep bunkers here.
Conditions were good, greens fairly soft but rolled true. Fairways in good shape . Rough was pretty benign. Sand in some bunkers was a little compacted.
All in all it's a good course, but just didn't provide that "wow" kind of experience.