Geoff and Ted Parslow laid out the West course at Rich River Golf Club in 1979 and they returned six years later to add another 18-hole layout, the East. Peter Thomson then did some work on the newer course in the late 1990s, most noticeably installing quite a few pot bunkers.
Ross Perrett returned twenty years later to propose a renovation plan for both layouts, with the lion’s share of the work to be carried out on the championship-standard East course. When completed, new drainage and irrigation system will have been installed and all of the bunkers refurbished.
When contacted in January 2021 to ask about recent work carried out at the club, Ross Perrett told us:
“There have been changes to several holes emanating from the masterplan – two new holes including a spare hole, three new greens, tree removal, several lakes modified and bunkers rebuilt in new locations.”
The East course at Rich River is worth playing. Extensive work is going on now for better irrigation. it is a flat course, easily walked. Recent re-design has seen many fairway bunkers removed which has made some holes very much more bland. While some of the old bunkers were a little too wide and deep and needed some adjustment, I was disappointed that so many were taken away entirely. The long first, long fifth, sixth and 12th have been made less interesting, especially from the tees.
Some holes have enhanced to be fair. The short 16th is now a nice challenge for mid to high handicappers when the pin is placed on the left. The 17th remains a fine par four despite some major changes. the 18th is an excellent finishing hole being long and often into the wind.
when the 19th is in play while renovations are under way on either course, it remains a good par three especially when the pin is other than the front left.
Overall, a good course with lovely fairways and fine greens.
The courses are well patronized but the competition fields move briskly.