A Byron Nelson Favorite

We’ll all hear a lot about Byron Nelson this week, so here’s a bit of trivia that isn’t widely known.

The course at Riverhill Country Club in Kerrville, Texas was co-designed by Byron Nelson and Joe Finger. For those that don’t know, Kerrville is a small city in the Texas Hill Country, about an hour NW of San Antonio on I-10. It reminds me of Asheville, NC where I lived for 9 years in the 70s and 80s. The hills are smaller than the NC mountains, but both cities follow the river and valleys, have nice views, and have an artsy feel.

Texas Hill Country, west of San Antonio

Texas Hill Country, Image via Wikipedia

When asked to pick his favorite course to play, Byron Nelson said it was Riverhill. There’s a small statue of Nelson near the first tee and putting green.

I got the chance to play Riverhill a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. It’s an old-style course, requiring you to think your way around the course rather than overpower it (6958 yards from the back tees). The greens are smooth-rolling and undulating, there’s a lot of elevation change on several holes, and the greens complexes require a thoughtful approach. I spent a lot of time escaping from the traps around the greens. This link takes you to a course map.

The course winds through houses and condos, but I never felt hemmed in like I do on many other such courses. There was only one hole where I noticed the houses enough to wonder about the cost of a picture window, and (of course) that was the one where I hit my only poor bunker shot and bladed my wedge. If a live oak hadn’t been behind the green I might have found out the current price of glass.

Anyway, I think it’s a very good course in a very nice location. I can see why Lord Byron loved it. And if you’re wondering, I don’t get anything from or have any association with Riverhill. I just liked the course and thought it was appropriate for the week of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

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