Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa offers 63 golf holes at four different courses, all of which were built by architect Roger Packard. The General, a co-design with Andy North, was the final layout to be unveiled here in 1997, applying the old maxim of saving the best until last.
The facility is literally just across from the Mississippi River and includes several different courses on property. The focus is geared towards those looking for a full-scale resort with various golf options.
The General is blessed with rolling terrain but with few exceptions the totality of the architecture, to be kind, is simply vanilla. The bunkers feature 1960s flair -- often big on show but small on the strategic import side.
The green sites are also rather pedestrian -- with little real character that puts an emphasis on sizing up approach shots before firing away.
What should happen with the General -- and even the other courses on the property -- is getting new marching orders. Selecting an architect to come in and really update the holes thereby transform the course into something far more than what's there now.
The goal is to neither make the course excessively longer nor more difficult per se, but showcasing holes engaging the golfer mentally and physically. Eagle Ridge clearly has more golf -- but not necessarily "better" golf. That's the game plan the facility needs to focus upon. Provide a meaningful differentiation on the golf side.
When you have one architect doing ALL the courses then net result can be similar styles for ALL the courses. One of the very smart ideas to come forward with multiple facilities is Mike Keiser's brainchild with Bandon Dunes. The Oregon facility engaged different architects and therefore maximizes the creativity and differences such various architects bring forward.
The General has the land site to be something far more than what's there now. Whether that ever happens is clearly an issue only the facility can resolve. Clearly, the starting point comes with a self-awareness of the matter and the willingness - and bucks -- to do so.
M. James Ward
Entertaining course in a historic Civil War era town. Wonderful combination of length and The General provides a dramatic setting, with incredible elevation changes and spectacular vistas. Tee boxes located on the sides of hills, rolling fairways defined by natural areas and high grasses, and beautiful water hazards are some of the features that sets this course apart. It is also the most finely conditioned course at the resort.