While Minnesota golf courses remain closed during this public health crisis, other courses across the country continue to open their doors to golfers. Over the last month, many courses have made many surprising and creative innovations to help golfers stay safe during this pandemic. Courses have asked for pins to remain untouched while either reducing or raising the hole depths to avoid as much physical contact with the hole or flagstick as possible. A few places have even gone and removed the pins altogether.
Either way, courses as a whole are advocating for golfers to avoid touching the pin and leave it in during your putt. Anyways, this whole thing got me thinking! If golfers will be expected to leave the pin in . . . how exactly will this affect their game?
Maybe you are used to putting with the pin in, but realistically this is probably a new phenomenon for most golfers. After all, it was only last year that the USGAchanged its rule on the subject.
Under Rule 13.2a(2) of the USGA rule book, “There will no longer be a penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits a flagstick left in the hole.”
What was once a violation of the basic rules of golf has now been deemed acceptable. This controversial rule change has now given golfers the option of leaving the flag in the hole during a putt. However, this raises a question. Does leaving in the pin help or hurt your putt?
In the PGA, it is still a controversial topic. Some say it is situational, while others would never dare to pull the pin. Then there are players like Bryson DeChambeauwho swear by it!
DeChambeau was a physics major at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He has been known to apply his knowledge of physics to help gain an edge in his golf game, effectively earning him the nickname The Scientist. According to DeChambeau’s mathematical and statistical analysis, you will hole a higher percentage of putts when you leave the flagstick in.
“The pin in is an easy one. It’s statistically proven to be a benefit in 99 percent of situations. Anything outside of ten feet I’m going to leave it in.” – Bryson DeChambeau
According to golf writer, Dave Pelz, the reason behind this philosophy is that a significant amount of energy is lost from a putt’s speed when the ball hits a fiberglass flagstick. The speed-loss allows gravity to pull the slower moving ball straight down into the cup more often than not. The pin is your friend. Even if you don’t hit it dead on, it can still help you.
This summer, we may not get the option to pull the pin. Putting with the flag in may be forced upon us all. However, at least it is nice to know that it could potentially help us drain a few more putts and shave a few more strokes off our score!
We are looking forward to seeing you back out on the course again soon. When we open for play as decided by our state officials, we will have an all new touch-free experience to ensure the safety of our golfers and staff, including new procedures to limit contact and minimize touch points throughout the course.
We hope you all are staying safe and healthy during this time, and we will keep you updated on when we are able to re-open again soon. We appreciate your continued support and understanding.
Your Friends at River Oaks Golf Course and Event Center
Updated Course Procedures
- The golf shop and clubhouse will not be open.
- We will only be taking phone or online reservations for golf with prepayment.
- Please follow social distancing guidelines. Do not congregate in the parking lot.
- Please proceed to the starter tent 5 minutes before your tee time. Water, soda, and beer will be available for purchase at the starter tent.
- Carts will be sanitized after each use. If you have prepaid for a cart, please take one cart per person. Members of the same household can share one cart.
- Credit card only transactions will be allowed – we will not process cash transactions.
- Please do not remove the pins from the holes. We will have it set up so that you will not need to reach into the hole to get your ball.
- Water coolers, bunker rakes, benches, ball washers, or trash cans will be removed from the course. We will have a trash can at the end of your round to properly dispose of your trash.
- If you used a cart, after you are done golfing park the cart in the designated dirty cart area. Please remove all of your personal items and all of your garbage and dispose of your garbage in the trash dumpster located near the cart return.
- Do not linger in the parking lot. Golfing is a privilege right now and we don’t want to lose that by having groups of people in the parking lot.
- Please pay at the starter tent.
- The charge will be $10 per hour per person for as many balls as you would like to hit. Payment can be made via credit card at the starter tent.
- Golf ball pyramids will be set up for golfers to use.
- Range balls will be disinfected after use.
- We will use aiming sticks instead of holes on the practice green.
- Limit of 10 people on the practice green at one time.
We appreciate your support and flexibility during this unique time. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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.
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 morning tee times at 11 AM starting June 16 – August 18.
Tuesday evening tee times between 5-6 PM starting May 5 – August 25.
Tuesday evening tee times between 6-7 PM starting May 5 – August 25.
Tuesday morning tee times between 7-10 AM or Wednesday morning tee times between 6-11 AM starting April 14 – October 14.
Wednesday evening tee times between 5-6 PM starting May 6 – August 26.
Thursday morning tee times between 7-9 AM starting April 30 – September 17.
Saturday morning tee times between 7-10 AM starting April 25 – October 10.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Saturday, May 30, 2020, shotgun start at 2 PM.
Monday, July 13, 2020, shotgun start at 8 AM.
Club Championship Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, August 22nd and 23rd, 2020.
Thursday, September 10, 2020, shotgun start at 8 AM.
Sunday, September 27, 2020, shotgun start at 9 AM.
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.
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!
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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:
- Golf can be a solitary sport, try golfing alone.
- If you are golfing with others, avoid the 18th green handshakes.
- Store a bottle of hand sanitizer in your golf bag.
- Wipe down your club handles and golf bag with alcohol wipes.
- Avoid picking up random golf balls you find on the course.
- Wipe down seat, steering wheels, handles, and cup holders if you take a cart or perhaps consider walking.
- Leave the cellphone in the car.
- 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.
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 TRAILS
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.
3. 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.
Seeing that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, River Oaks would like to give thanks for the wonderful season we’ve had this year. We could not be more grateful for the weather, all the changes that have been made to the course, our marvelous staff, and everyone that had a chance to make it out to the Oaks.
We are pleased with all the improvements that have been made to the course this year. The addition of our new state of the art golf carts with GPS, Blutooth, and USB charging ports have been a real upgrade to the game and the River Oaks experience. Throughout the season, our grounds crew has gone through the process of removing several dozen trees around the course to open up the fairways and speed up the pace of play. The inclusion of our regulation size bocce ball courts has also garnered a lot of attention, so much so that we plan on adding two more next season.
Also, we are beholden with our River Oaks family that has helped make our course and event center what it is. All of our departments have put in so much work this season to make the River Oaks experience fun and easy. We are grateful for all of your diligence, self-motivation, and dedication to our customers and our mission. Thank you for all you do!
Most of all we would like to say thank you to you the customers! Without you, River Oaks would certainly not exist. We just want to say thank you for giving us your time, your feedback, and your patronage. Support from long-time customers like you helps our course grow and evolve and continue to make improvements. We are committed to providing you with great service and want to invite you to celebrate a great year with us. As a token of our appreciation, we will be hosting Customer Appreciation Night on November 7.
If you would like to give thanks, please feel free to join us on November 22nd for Friendsgiving! Grab those you’re thankful for and come to River Oaks for a family-style Thanksgiving dinner. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors closer together this season for some great food and great conversation. Enjoy the Thanksgiving party without all the setup and clean up!