The club life tastes great at the TPC River's Bend in Ohio
MAINEVILLE, Ohio – It was just a grilled cheese sandwich.
But to me, the lunch I devoured earlier this week at the TPC River’s Bend symbolized so much more about the club. Grilled cheese sandwiches – like golf courses these days – are served everywhere. This, however, was no garden variety grilled cheese. It featured three different kinds of cheeses and braised short ribs as a meaty, tasty filler.
And the TPC River’s Bend is no cookie-cutter private club, either. Thanks to the power of the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) brand, River’s Bend delivers a higher standard of service when it comes to taking care of its members, whether it be hosting a round of golf on a great course or even something as simple as serving a knock-out grilled cheese for lunch.
The TPC River’s Bend, which opened in 2001, sits somewhat hidden between Dayton and Cincinnati in southwest Ohio. It is one of the premier clubs in the state. Golf Digest ranks the 7,180-yard Arnold Palmer course No. 20 in Ohio. Several upscale subdivisions surround the layout but rarely intrude on its natural setting, which is certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International.
Like other TPCs, River’s Bend was built to host tournaments. The Kroger Classic, a former Champions Tour event held in greater Cincinnati from 1990-2004, called River’s Bend home from 2002-2004, crowning winners Bruce Summerhays, Bob Gilder and Dr. Gil Morgan. It hosted a Nationwide Tour event (now the Web.com Tour) called the Chiquita Classic in 2010 and 2011 before the company moved its headquarters and its tournament to North Carolina. Jack Hunter, the general manager/director of golf at the club, said the PGA TOUR is active in trying to bring some sort of professional golf tournament back to Cincinnati.
For the meantime, though, members get a wonderful test of golf all to themselves. Hunter calls some of the fairways wide enough to “land several jets.” Daring approaches are where scores can add up in a hurry. Water fronts the green at the memorable par-3 seventh hole (pictured above). The approach shots of the final three par-4s – holes 14, 15 and 17 – are all guarded by hazards. Pictured below is the 470-yard 15th hole.
The immaculate greens were some of the fastest I’ve putted all season. Hunter credited superintendent Dave Faucher for the course’s prime conditions. It felt like Faucher had the course ready for a pro tournament the following day.
Hunter is especially proud of the club’s commitment to charitable causes. He said the club, made up of roughly 275 golf members and 60 social members, helps create charitable giving that adds up to $500,000 a year, whether it’s donated foursomes by members or actual money raised through its Birdies for the Brave fundraiser or its annual ladies golf association benefit for breast cancer.
A 12-acre practice facility and a 32,000-square-foot clubhouse – inside are the Valley Grille, the Little Miami Room and the Palmer Room for dinner, meetings, banquets and events – complete an A-list of amenities. Social, golf and corporate memberships (some featuring access to other TPC facilities across the country) are available at various price points. For more, visit the club’s website at www.tpcriversbend.com.
“We are not the only good course around, but we believe we are the best,” Hunter said. “The people we bring in sets us a part from the rest (of the competition). We have the PGA TOUR and the TPC brand. That is something every member can be proud of.”
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