Golf ball on green grass of golf course - River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove

2020 RIVER OAKS EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

As soon as River Oaks is granted permission to open up for the golf season, our course will be hosting and providing several events and activities to keep you and your friends and family occupied this summer. This year we are offering plenty of league options, lesson opportunities, and public events for our guests. Explore below to learn more about our league options, available lessons, scheduled tournaments and exciting events planned for the 2020 season. 

LEAGUES

River Oaks is offering several different leagues four days out of the week this year for every type of golfer, so finding one that fits you shouldn’t be hard. Below are the leagues we offer and the days and times each league meets throughout the summer, click on each league to learn more. Sign up for a league and spend your summer golfing!

Tuesday Afternoon Junior’s

Tuesday morning tee times at 11 AM starting June 16 – August 18.Couples League - River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove

Tuesday Evening Couple’s

Tuesday evening tee times between 5-6 PM starting May 5 – August 25.

NEW! Tuesday Evening Millenial’s

Tuesday evening tee times between 6-7 PM starting May 5 – August 25.

Tuesday & Wednesday Morning Senior Men’s League

Tuesday morning tee times between 7-10 AM or Wednesday morning tee times between 6-11 AM starting April 14 – October 14.

Wednesday Evening Women and Wine League

Wednesday evening tee times between 5-6 PM starting May 6 – August 26.Women's League - River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove

Thursday Morning Ladies League

Thursday morning tee times between 7-9 AM starting April 30 – September 17.

Saturday Morning Men’s Club

Saturday morning tee times between 7-10 AM starting April 25 – October 10.

LESSONS

River Oaks is offering lessons and clinics for adults, women, and juniors throughout the summer to help individuals improve their game in a fun and friendly environment. Below are the lessons we offer, click on each lesson to find the days and times and find one that fits your schedule. Sign up for a lesson and spend your summer learning a new talent!

Adult Beginner Golf Clinics

These lessons are geared towards anybody that wants to learn golf or get back into playing golf in a non-competitive, friendly, no-pressure environment. Instructors will go through the basics of the highlighted aspect of the game each lesson.

Women’s Beginner Golf Clinics

These lessons are geared toward women that have little to no golfing experience but want to get into the great game of golf in a non-competitive, friendly, no-pressure environment. Instructors will go through the basics of the highlighted aspect of the game each lesson.

Adult Intermediate Weekly Golf Camps

The next step after our Beginner Clinics are our month-long adult group lessons are geared toward intermediate players who have a grasp on the basics but need to brush up on some fundamentals to get to the next level. 

Junior Try-It Lessons

These lessons are for kids ages 6-11 years old and a beginner at golf. Kids will get a chicken tender basket with fries before instructors go through key points of the weekly skill and the kids get to swing their clubs. 

Junior Weeklong Golf Camps

These camps are geared toward beginner golfers that have little to no golfing experience and are interested in picking up the game. Instructors will teach the basics of the game starting with putting and chipping and then go through the fundamentals of the full swing with irons and woods. 

TOURNAMENTS

River Oaks is hosting a handful of tournaments this summer for those wishing to play in a competitive setting. Below are the tournament events we have already scheduled out, click on each tournament to learn more. Sign up for a tournament to compete for glory!

1st Annual Member-Guest Tournament

Saturday, May 30, 2020, shotgun start at 2 PM.

2020 Senior Men’s Invitational

Monday, July 13, 2020, shotgun start at 8 AM.

Club Championship Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, August 22nd and 23rd, 2020.

Ladies Invitational

Thursday, September 10, 2020, shotgun start at 8 AM.

Big Cup Scramble

Sunday, September 27, 2020, shotgun start at 9 AM.

BOCCE AND BAGS

River Oaks now has regulation bocce ball courts and bags boards! With our two newly built bocce courts and regulation bags boards, you can expect some tournament events scheduled for this summer. Our bocce courts are open to the public for free when there are no events scheduled. Grab some friends and meet at our patio bar overlooking the 18th hole and the Mississippi River for a fun summer evening. Follow our Facebook page and stay tuned for our upcoming bocce and bags events.

EVENTS

River Oaks is in the process of planning the dates and times for some awesome summer events! Just like last season, River Oaks will host many fun and exciting outings. Expect to see some of our delicious four-course dinners usually featuring a local brewery, winery, or distillery. There will be plenty of golf outings to attend as well, including Glow Golf, Greens and Brews, Green Keepers Revenge Day, and Employee-Member Tournament. Of course, we are hoping to squeeze in some live music events again this season as we did with Dueling Pianos. 

Please follow our Facebook page to stay updated with the dates and times of all our upcoming events!

Titleist Loyalty Program

We’ve partnered with Titleist to bring you the best golf gear. Now through 4/22 when you buy 3 dozen of Titleist’s V1, V1x, or AVX golf balls, you’ll get 1 dozen FREE. Skip work. Play golf. Save money.

Fill out our online order form below to order yours today!


Qualifying Details
  1. All 4 dozen must be for the same ball model, play number, personalization text and text color.
  2. All golf balls must contain Single Personalization only
  3. No logos available
  4. 4th dozen must be added to Cart to qualify
Shipping Details
  1. If your custom golf ball order qualifies for Loyalty Rewarded, our current lead time is 25 business days or less.

CORONA & THE GOLFING SEASON: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

The City of Cottage Grove is doing its part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and unfortunately, that means closing River Oaks until March 29th. It is such a shame that right when it seems that the Twin Cities is at the cusp of what seems like an early golf season we find our selves amid a national health emergency. Most public places are being avoided at all costs, events are being canceled, kids are out of school and people are working from home. It is a rather strange time . . . but what will all this mean for the golf season?

Well, the PGA has closed down in response to the coronavirus and some golf clubs around the nation are following suit. It is even questionable if there will be a Masters this year. 

Who knows what this national emergency will look like in two weeks? It could get better or worse, but either way, it doesn’t look like the virus is going away anytime soon. Even when we can all come out of quarantine (whenever that may be) we will still have to practice our social distancing. 

The truth is golf is a very low-risk scenario when it comes to spreading the virus, but that doesn’t mean that golf goes without any risk. When River Oaks does officially open up it’s the course for the season it will be good to implement these social distancing practices on the golf course.

Tips for golfing with the coronavirus:

  1. Golf can be a solitary sport, try golfing alone.
  2. If you are golfing with others, avoid the 18th green handshakes.
  3. Store a bottle of hand sanitizer in your golf bag.
  4. Wipe down your club handles and golf bag with alcohol wipes.
  5. Avoid picking up random golf balls you find on the course.
  6. Wipe down seat, steering wheels, handles, and cup holders if you take a cart or perhaps consider walking.
  7. Leave the cellphone in the car.
  8. Consider washing or sanitizing your golf glove before and after your round.

Following these simple tips will further help prevent the spread of COVID-19 once our golf season starts. The golf season will come. Everyone at River Oaks is anticipating and preparing for the day that we can finally open the course, but the health and safety of our customers mean a lot to us and we will work to continue to provide a safe environment and serve the needs of our customers as best as we can.

FIVE THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT RIVER OAKS!

At River Oaks, we are so much more than just your average municipal golf course. Golf is just one of the many different things we offer. Over the past few years, we have made numerous improvements and changes to offer our guests a much different and unique experience. Here is a list of five things you may not have known about our golf club.

1. SKIING AND SNOWSHOE TRAILSSki Trail Open - River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove

Believe it or not, we offer winter recreation! During our off-season, when the snow has hidden the fairways of the golf course, the city of Cottage Grove grooms miles of snow trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers. These trails are open every year and are free to use. We do not offer ski or snowshoe rentals, so athletes must bring their equipment. 

2. OPEN YEAR ROUND

If you only come to River Oaks to golf, then you may not be aware that we are open year-round. The Eagles Bar and Grill is open every Friday and Saturday from 3 pm to 9 pm. At the Eagles, we honor neighborhood and community by offering a place for family, friends, and neighbors to come together for wonderful cocktails and delicious food all year. 

Also, our event center hosts numerous public events throughout the fall and winter months to get you and your friends and family out of the house. We host annual events such as our Friendsgiving, Santa Bruch, Annual Beer Tasting, and Lenten Fish Fry. We also run musical events and dinner parties throughout the season. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all of our events.

River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove3. BOCCE BALL COURTS

River Oaks now has bocce ball! This year we will be including two newly built and regulation-sized bocce courts. Our courts feature an amazing patio bar overlooking the Mississippi River on the 18th hole. The courts are open to the public for free when there are no private events scheduled. The new bocce courts and outside bar can be rented out for private events such as your next birthday party, retirement party, family reunion, team building, wedding party or anything you can think of! Stay tuned this summer as we are putting together event and tournament packages for our guests.

4. REGULATION CORNHOLE

River Oaks has its very own custom made and regulation size cornhole boards. Like our bocce courts, our bags boards are free for the public to use when there are no private events scheduled. Also like our bocce courts, our bags can be rented out for private events! Stay tuned this summer as we are putting together event and tournament packages for our guests and are even considering league options.

5. STATE OF THE ART GOLF CARTS

Last year we ditched the old dinosaurs our golfers were driving around in and invested in updated and more contemporary golf carts. Our state of the art golf carts are equipped with course maps and GPS tracking allowing you to look up yardage. These carts also include Bluetooth speakers, so you can listen to your favorite music and USB charging ports for charging your devices. They have direct communication with the clubhouse, so you can order food right from your cart making for an easy and comfortable ride. 

DON HERFORT: THE MAN WHO BUILT GOLF IN MINNESOTA

An aerial view of the 8th hole green at River Oaks.

Whenever you play River Oaks, how often (if ever) do you consider the process that went into developing and designing each hole? You may have questioned the positioning of a specific bunker or the location of a water hazard and noticed it was placed there with intention, but you probably rarely stop to give it a second thought. If you are like me, you may find many aspects of a golf course’s layout to be as unsystematic and random as the trees and brush that grow around them. However, every detail of the course’s design, from the positioning of a tee box to the undulations of the greens and everything in between, were the intention of one man’s vision and dream — Don Herfort.

Who was Don Herfort?

Don Herfort in his signature plaid ASCGA member jacket. Photo was taken from Golf Digest website.

According to the Star Tribune, Don Herfort was born in Green Bay, WI on February 6th, 1925. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1951, earning a degree in Business Administration. After graduation, Herfort accepted a position as an accountant at a large corporation in Saint Paul, MN known as 3M. He would later go on to become the most prolific and creative golf course architect in the history of Minnesota golf.

It was while working for 3M that the Tartan Park Golf Course (a 3M employee course) was in the process of being designed. Herfort watched the process closely and began to develop some strong opinions about the vision of its original designer. 

“Right from the start, I didn’t think the guy they had hired to build the course knew what he was doing,” Herfort said in an October 2008 interview with Minnesota Golfer magazine. “The holes weren’t laid out very well. The drainage was going to be a problem with the layout. It was like the whole thing was wrong.” 

American Society of Golf Course Architects official logo.

Herfort would go on to voice his concerns about the course to 3M’s top executives. Despite having no experience or education in golf course architecture, Herfort was asked by 3M to design and develop its employee golf course. Confidently, Herfort took on the massive undertaking. Tartan Park was a success! It launched his career as an architect, leading Herfort to resign from 3M to establish his architect firm, Don Herfort Inc.

In 1970, Herfort would be elected into the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), becoming the first Minnesota-based professional to pass the rigorous membership process. He would go on to have a successful career spanning for more than four decades!

During his 41-year career (1970-2011), Herfort designed more than 140 courses throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, with projects in the states of Iowa, Michigan, and South Dakota. You may even recognize his work since most of his courses can be found all over Minnesota. Some of Herfort’s notable works include Dellwood Hills, Indian Hills, Como Park, Oak Glen, Pebble Creek, Superior National, and of course River Oaks.

“His large flashed-sand bunkers and undulating greens are still a trademark of his work,” once said Kevin Norby, prodigy and partner of Herfort. 

A view of the green on hole 12 at River Oaks.

According to the ASGCA, the main job of the architect is, “developing programs and facilities that attract and retain new players.” Don Herfort was prolific at this! He appealed to the masses. He wanted golf to be a game for everyone. He wanted it to be fun.

Don Herfort would continue to design courses up until his death on June 27th, 2011. He passed away in his Lakeville home from a heart condition at the age of 86.

By transforming thousands of acres in the upper Midwest Herfort became an artist and left a legacy that stretched across an entire state. Every summer, thousands of people play his courses and yet most are unaware of his achievements. He left his mark on the history of golf in our wonderful state and became the man who built the game for much of Minnesota.

 

Snow at River Oaks Golf Course - Cottage Grove

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR GOLF GAME THIS WINTER

It can be difficult working on your golf game when you live in a northern state like Minnesota! If you live in the Twin Cities metro area, you are lucky to get six months of solid golf play before the long Minnesota winter shuts down like the white lid of a box. Even though most Minnesotians are acclimated to the cold weather, nobody wants to golf in a foot of snow with a windchill of – 20 degrees. Whatever the reason, it’s during the winter months that we need to find creative ways to keep improving our game. I mean, we’re not gonna stop golfing just because of a little cold weather, are we?

Here are 5 ways for you to improve your golf game this winter. 

1. Chip and Putt at Home

Chipping and putting is an easy thing that everyone can do to work on their golf game from home (provided that you have space and carpet). You can keep it as simple as putting into a coffee mug at the end of your hallway or you can invest a little money into some indoor equipment.

They make indoor putting mats and cups with automatic ball-return that are relatively inexpensive. If you are looking to improve your short game from home, consider purchasing a chipping net. If you plan on chipping inside, I would suggest using practice balls! These practice balls feel, spin, and react like a real golf ball but are much softer and have less distance. They can be used indoors and won’t damage drywall, furniture or other property. 

2. Find an Indoor Driving Range

Practicing your drives at home proves to be a little more challenging than chipping and putting. Of course, hitting into a net from short distances allows you to get a feel for your swing, but finding the indoor space to swing a driver (the longest club in your bag) can be difficult. 

However, there are heated indoor driving ranges you can go to that will allow you to take a full swing at a real ball and watch it fly off the tee! The Midwest Golf Dome is a local favorite for the Twin Cities area with 33 stalls and indoor chipping and putting green.

Topgolf in Brooklyn Center is also a place you can go in the winter months to practice your swing. Even though it technically isn’t an indoor range, Topgolf has over 100 climate-controlled hitting bays that will allow you to comfortably work on your swing in a T-Shirt, even in the dead of winter. 

3. Play Golf on a Simulator

Golf simulating technology has really come a long way over the last decade! Early golf simulators felt more like playing an archaic video game with many bugs and glitches that didn’t really allow you to gauge your actual state of play, but now there are simulators that make it feel like you are playing an actual round of golf. Simulators give you the chance to play at famous courses like Pebble Beach or TPC Sawgrass, giving you a pretty realistic score in the process.

If you are looking to try out one of these state-of-the-art simulators, indoor golf and entertainment facilities have begun to pop up in recent years. X-Golf and Birdi Golf are two new businesses that have opened up the city of Woodbury that are as realistic and accurate as simulated golf can be. Both offer golf events, leagues, and lessons that will allow you to play golf all year round! 

4. Watch Golf Tips and Tricks on TV or Youtube

This is a rather simple suggestion, but taking some time to listen to professionals can be very beneficial. Watching the Golf Channel can often reveal some informative tips. There are also hundreds of Youtube channels dedicated to teaching you tips, tricks, and techniques that you can watch from the comfort of your own home!

Content can range from how to fix your slice to different grips for holding your putter. Some of the more popular Youtube channels include Me and My GolfAskGolfGuru, and Buzza Golf. Whether you decide to take their advice or not, just listening to others’ opinions and techniques can further your knowledge of the game. 

5. Take a Trip Down South for a Golf Weekend

This option might be a little out of your price range because traveling and golf aren’t cheap, but southern states like Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are popular destinations for year-round golf. Depending on what destination you pick and what weekend you decide to go, one can find some deals on airfare.

However, lugging your clubs through the airport can be a major hassle. Sure you can rent clubs at the golf course, but you don’t often get the choice of what kind of clubs you get to use. Yet thanks to new technology and business ventures there are ways to get around this. Websites like Ship Sticks will allow you to easily ship your own golf clubs to your destination for a reasonable price. Or the website Club Hub will let you rent the clubs of your choice and have them waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive. Traveling for golf has never been easier!

Don’t let the cold weather and snow deter you from working on your game.