The golf course at River Oaks Country Club sits on rather flat ground next to the winding waters of Buffalo Bayou. It’s an old Donald Ross design from 1924 that was revamped by Rees Jones in the 1990s and renovated by Fazio Design in 2015.
The following edited extract is taken from Daniel Wexler’s The American Private Golf Club Guide:
“River Oaks may not be Houston’s oldest, but with a (much-altered) Donald Ross course, and both Jack Burke Sr. and Claude Harmon on its list of former professionals, it surely rates among the area’s most venerable.
Few of River Oaks’ holes actually utilize the Bayou (really just a wide creek), though the 191-yard 3rd and 356-yard 5th occupy headlands above it, and the 173-yard 6th plays across some jungle-filled lowlands along its banks.
Most of the stronger holes are among the altered, including 549-yard 4th, the 380-yard lake-guarded 9th, the 378-yard 17th (a dogleg left around water), and the 425-yard 18th, which is also flanked by a Joe Finger-added lake down its left side.”
We received the following course update in early 2022:
"A forest used to screen the north part of the course from the bayou but nearly all of that arboreal layer was eroded away in 2017 by catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Harvey. Today, holes 3, 4, 6, 7, and 13-18 are directly bounded by the bayou. The par three 3rd has been lengthened, with the green now surrounded on three sides by the bayou. The par five 4th was shortened and the hole is played over the bayou instead of away from it. The par four 5th has been lengthened and it now doglegs slightly right instead of sharply left. The 6th is now directly on the bayou and the green is now clear of the dense foliage that used to surround it. The 9th now measures 394 yards and the lake to right of the green has been filled in. Hole 17 is now a par three over water instead of a par four doglegging around water. The closing hole has been lengthened a little and the old Joe Finger-designed lake has been replaced with a smaller Fazio-designed body of water."