REVIEW – Riverview Golf Course (Fenwick, ON)

The Set-Up

The Niagara Region is home to a stunning number of golf courses. While some have fallen by the wayside due to a sagging economy in Niagara, others have seemed to stay the course. One of those golf courses staying the course is that of Riverview Golf Club in Fenwick, ON. As a matter of fact, for as long as I can remember the golf course was there. My parents would visit the farm next door to get sweet corn from Hewitt’s. Every day during my high school years, I’d pass by Riverview Golf Course while on the school bus.

Some people will contend that it’s geography is in question. Is this golf course is in the metropolis of Wainfleet, ON (where I grew up)? Others will contend that it sit’s in Pelham, or even Welland. No matter where you want to say Riverview Golf Course is located, here’s what you get here. If you were to drive from the Toronto/Hamilton area you would travel along the QEW Niagara, until you got to the Vineland/Victoria Avenue exit. Upon arriving there you’d take the exit and travel due south, straight down Victoria Avenue, which consequently turns into Regional Road #24. If you cross the Welland River, you’ve gone way too far.

The first tee. The first fairway is tight at Riverview Golf Course and it sets you up for the rest of the day.

The Transition

Riverview Golf Course is a regulation length Par-72 golf course that measures just over 6600 yards from the tips (Blue Tees). I tried to do some research to see who the golf course architect was, while those efforts came up empty, I can tell you that this course was built in 1957. The golf course itself is what I would describe as a parkland-style golf course but the two nine’s that compose the golf course are very contrasting.

Golfers might suggest that the front 9 is boring and mundane. Perhaps pedestrian? As a matter of fact, as you drive in from the direction that I described, you’d look at it and just sort of shrug it off. However, looks can be deceiving. Meanwhile, the back 9 grabs your attention more. Rolling terrain, and holes that run along the Welland River. With some awfully tempting risk/reward holes thrown in for good measure.

My round at Riverview Golf Course earlier this season marked the first time that I had played the golf course. When it comes to amenities, the Pro Shop stands alone from the clubhouse in its own separate building, There is a bar and kitchen, however, I didn’t set foot into the clubhouse. There is no driving range at Riverview Golf Course, so getting there really early for your tee time to warm-up isn’t necessary. Ironically enough, this is convenient considering the COVID-19 protocols that we face in 2020. For warming up, there is a short-game area, and as far as locating the practice green, that’s found around the corner from the Pro Shop. If you haven’t been there before you don’t see it until you approach the first tee. Make sure that you ask for it. I wish that I would have.

Riverview Golf Course is a family-run facility. The golf course operates on what I assume is a relatively small budget and the turf crew is quite small. My understanding from Randy (my playing partner) is that the owner’s father is the superintendent. Not to jump too far ahead, but, they do a great job on the golf course with the budget that they operate on.

The golf course itself, plays very fairly. As mentioned, we’re talking about a golf course that really feels like two separate golf courses. The first hole is a 540 yard Par-5 that has a slight dogleg right. A small pond guards the left side of the green, that I’m certain, regularly catches golf balls on approaches that are left short. The green itself is smallish and elongated. You really want to favour centre-right for your approach shot. In general, the greens are pretty small at Riverview Golf Course with the exception of a few which makes striking the golf ball a premium.

The one thing that I really noticed on the front 9 was how tight the fairways were. The trees are everywhere! On the front nine, I would say that my favourite hole was the Par-4 5th. My eye liked everything about this hole. A slight dogleg left, water just to the left of the green. I just thought that it was a pretty golf hole. The Par-3 holes on the front nine aren’t slouches. The 4th hole has a large landing area in front, a bunker guarding the right side of the green and plays around 160 yards. However, on the date of play, the yardage was around 135 yards. The green here is very accessible. Meanwhile, the 9th hole is a bear that plays into the prevailing south/southwest wind that makes this 185-yard play like significantly longer. Standing on the 9th tee, the hole looks longer, much longer. Water is short and right. Did I mention that there’s no shortage of water hazards to look at during your round at Riverview Golf Course?

As mentioned, the back 9 is located on rolling terrain that runs along the Welland River. Many of the golf holes are located in low-lying areas, so periods in the spring, or periods of heavy rainfall will be effected by the river. On occsion, the back nine will flood and this is something that I recollect going by on a school bus, oh so many years ago. I love the back nine!! As a matter of fact, if you were to survey golfers that have played Riverview Golf Course will almost tell you to a man or a woman that they prefer the back. The Par-3 11th is another bear of a hole that measure 225 yards. The green is elevated and reminds me a little bit of a turtle shell. Miss the green in any direction, and you’ll find yourself down a serious slope and scrambling to make a bogey (best-case scenario) or worse.

My favourite hole on the entire golf course is with no doubt in mind, the 12th hole (pictured above). A risk/reward Par-4 with plenty of options from the elevated tee you can either lay up to one of the multiple patches of fairway (which is the definite safe play) or , you can try to drive the green. There’s trouble just short, right, and long of the green. My tee shot found the little creek that lies just in front of the green. I needed 290 yards to cover, I got 280 yards.

The rest of the golf holes are quite nice, I loved the 13th hole, the green of the Par-3 16th is a pretty immense two-tiered (or did it have three tiers) green. The 17th hole is so pretty looking from the green back towards the tee. While the finishing hole is a short, 300 Par 4 that is uphill the entire way and plays into the prevailing wind. Honestly, the hole plays closer to 400 yards than 300 yards. Try to cut the dogleg along the right side, and you’ll catch the strand of trees.

Looking back from the 17th green at Riverview Golf Course.

The Finish

My round of golf at Riverview Golf Course was quite enjoyable. The pace of play was excellent. I enjoyed the holes and to be frank, Riverview Golf Course is a very fun golf course to play. You have to golf your ball and hit golf shots to score here. My striking was off and I paid the price.

The greens are in very good shape, although they were rolling quite slow. If I were to guess, on the day that I played, I’m not certain that they were rolling at 7′ on the stimpmeter. Downhill putts failed to make it to the hole. But the greens are visually appealing and not overly scarred from poor golf etiquette.

The tee decks are, generally, in good shape as are the fairways. There are however, some rough areas on the fairway that could be considered “ground under repair”. Outlying areas of the fairways are rough and very hard from the clay-based soil that we often see in Niagara. If you don’t want to deal with it, make sure you hit the fairway.

There are downfalls. The bunkers here are in rough shape and are in dire need of work to repair them or do away with them totally. Perhaps the consideration of filling them in and going with grass bunkers instead is an option. I feel obligated to point out that it appeared that they do have plans to address the bunkers. Also, when there’s nowhere to have the option to strike a couple of golf balls (whether into a net or a range) I tend to view it as a shortcoming.

My round cost me $50 CAD + tax for 18 holes w/cart which is the median price point in the area. As long as the greens are in good shape, I’m happy. After all, we pay greens fees and do not pay “fairway fees” or “tees fees”. If you’re in the area, Riverview Golf Course might be a place for you to try.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

Callaway Golf Introduces Player’s Utility – The X Forged UT

Utility Irons are a popular choice on Tour, especially as a “fairway finder” off the tee and a versatile club into the green on Par-5s. And our new X Forged UT Irons are packed with Callaway’s best technologies in a confidence-inspiring, hollow body construction. For the better
players who want a new go-to club in their bag, this is the player’s utility you’re looking for.

Short Description: X Forged UT Irons are packed with our best technologies in a confidence inspiring, hollow body construction. Built for better players who want a new go-to club.

Features & Benefits

High Ball Speeds – Our A.I.-designed Flash Face Cup creates a sophisticated face architecture, for high ball speeds with outstanding spin robustness.

Extremely Soft Feel – Forged 1025 mild carbon steel and hollow body construction combine with our proprietary urethane microspheres for pure feel.

Enhanced Launch and Control – Our external MIM’d tungsten weighting allows us to precisely locate the CG position for optimal trajectory and launch. A longer blade length and a wider sole versus a traditional long iron
provide forgiveness and control.

Premium Components – The Project X U is specifically designed to work with utility clubs for stability and control. The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black HY is a player’s graphite shaft designed with low torque for aggressive swingers. Golf Pride’s Z Grip features a firm feel and exceptional traction.

Pricing and Availability

Product At Retail Date: 10/29/20
Pricing: $250 per stick

THE SWING PLATE LETS YOU PRACTICE WITH PRECISION

Designed to make one of golf’s most effective training aids even more versatile, The Swing Plate is revolutionising the use of alignment rods for practice. The brain child of U.K. PGA Professional Jamie Brittain, the Swing Plate secures alignment rods in a static horizontal attachment for alignment and an adjustable swing plane attachment that provides a corrective guide for several of the most common faults in the golf swing. Combined with tutorial videos available at http://www.theswingplate.com The Swing Plate can
help golfers of all abilities get the best out of their practice.

Photo Credit: David Wheatley (Medi8 Golf)

PGA Professional Jamie Brittain used alignment rods in many of his lessons but felt that they could be deployed to better effect by both coaches and golfers. He explains, “Walk down any golf range, from a local public course to the PGA Tour, and you will see players practicing with alignment rods. Whether laid flat or pushed into the turf at an angle, these visual guides for the swing are incredibly useful. It occurred to me that by adding adjustability and precision, you could use them more effectively and also to practice different parts of the golf swing.”

The Swing Plate is a robust, high quality portable unit that fits in a golf bag. The free-standing unit needs no anchoring, even in windy conditions, and is ideal for use on grass, artificial golf range or indoor studio It features two 8mm attachment points that are compatible with all standard sized alignment rods. The horizontal attachment is fixed, and acts as a guide for alignment in the traditional manner associated with alignment rods. The adjustable attachment moves from vertical through to horizontal and fixes in place at whatever angle the golfer or coach needs for any particular drill. The unit is currently being used on several Pro Tours including by brand ambassadors, European Tour coach Liam James and recent Ladies European Tour winner Amy Boulden.

Photo Credit: David Wheatley (Medi8 Golf)

The use of angled rods is most common as a guide to swing plane for golfers who might have a shallow or steep path. The adjustable attachment on The Swing Plate can be set to the precise path for golfers to follow, promoting the desired plane and a consistent swing, but the applications of the unit do not stop there as Jamie continues, “Because The Swing Plate can be moved around the practice area and be easily set to precise angles, I’ve developed several drills that I show on my website. With a few simple adjustments you can set up the Swing Plate to guide the correct swing plane, promote a positive weight transfer, eliminate a backswing sway, improve body rotation and minimise head movement. These are key features of a great golf swing and The Swing Plate can help with them all.”

The success of The Swing Plate in just a few months since its initial design has been phenomenal, with coaches and golfers all across the world using it to hone their technique. The Swing Plate has even made it on to the Tour. European Tour coach Michael Welch has commented, “I’ve used The Swing Plate for some time now. Very simple aid which can be used in multiple ways. A must have in every golfers bag.” While fellow European Tour coach Liam James said, “The Swing Plate is an invaluable tool for every level of
golfer. It is both portable and versatile”

The Swing Plate can be purchased for $89.99 via http://www.golftrainingaids.com and users can access drills that Jamie has designed at http://www.theswingplate.com

Photo Credit: David Wheatley (Medi8 Golf)

Follow @theswingplate on social media for the latest drills from coaches and golfers around the world

Callaway Golf Introduces Apex MB Irons

Our Apex MB Irons are built for the best players in the game. It’s a beautiful classic blade shape with high performance grooves, remarkable feel, and a new weight design. This is a premium muscleback in every way.

Features & Benefits

Tour Shaping and Design – A classic shape and style, with a traditional, thin topline, refined sole, compact blade length and stunning chrome finish.

High Performance 20V Grooves – Precision grooves are designed to promote the high level of control and consistent spin that muscleback players expect out of any playing conditions. The 20V grooves also stand out for reducing fliers from the rough to deliver even more control.

New CG Weighting – We’ve engineered a new weight in the center of the clubhead. This allows us to precisely dial in swingweights without sacrificing CG location.

Pricing and Availability

Product At Retail Date: 10/29/20
Pricing: $185 per stick – steel, $200 per stick – graphite

Callaway Golf Introduces X Forged CB Irons

With the new X Forged CB irons, the goal was simple: provide consistency, control, amazing feel and a beautiful design for the most discerning of golfers. Typical irons in this category are single piece, but Callaway took a different approach. We enhanced the player’s performance iron with multi-material construction using weighting, face technology, and shaping to create an iron worthy of the X Forged name.

A look of the cavity of the Callaway Golf X Forged CB.

Features & Benefits

Precise Control from Multi-Material Construction. These irons are engineered with custom internal and external MIM’d tungsten weighting. The tungsten in the toe aligns the CG precisely behind the middle of the club, while the external tungsten allows us to precisely dial in swingweight while keeping the CG centered.

Attractive top-line, a look that is preferred by the more discerning player.

Signature Soft Feel – The X Forged CB provides incredibly soft feel from a forged 1025 mild carbon steel body.

Spin and Distance Consistency – Our Tour Tuned Face Plate creates fast ball speed while promoting consistent spin rates across the face for the distance control that better players want to see from their irons.

Player’s Shaping – The blade length, topline and offset are all designed to promote pinpoint shot-making and more workability through the set.

Premium Components – The Project X IO is individually optimized for each iron in the set. The Mitsubishi MMT is a player’s graphite shaft with metal mesh in the tip for stability. Golf Pride’s Z Grip features a firm
feel and exceptional traction.

Pricing and Availability

Product At Retail Date: 10/29/20
Pricing: $200 per stick – steel and graphite