The course was designed by the late Robert Muir Graves. Graves designed or remodeled more than 1,000 golf courses worldwide, some of his most interesting work is located in the Pacific Northwest. Graves, a highly respected golf course designer lived in Bend and was known for seeing the beauty in the land and respecting the natural topography. To his credit, River’s Edge was named by Golf Digest as one of the 100 best public golf courses to play in the United States.
The golf course is governed by a board of directors, the River’s Edge Community Master Association (RECMA), and their plans begin with making the golf course easier to play. “We hired experts and surveyed local golfers and they told us there were several holes that were hard to play and didn’t reward good golf shots,” said Jeff Kramer, RECMA board president, “the golf course will also return to the five tees from Graves’ design making play easier for seniors, juniors, and women. But the plans go beyond the playability of the golf course.”
“We are excited to own and operate River’s Edge” said David Childers, a homeowner and RECMA Vice President of Golf Operations, “the design of the course is timeless, and we plan to return it to the splendor Graves envisioned thirty-five years ago.” Childers’ continued, “I have worked closely with Wayne [Purcell] during the transition and he has been an incredible source of knowledge of the design, and my mentor.”
“It is exciting to see the energy and enthusiasm of the new ownership” said Wayne Purcell, the former owner. “My family had a vision for a public golf course in the heart of Bend and the sale of the course to the residents guarantees this in perpetuity,” Purcell continued.
The new owners have already started renovation of the café kitchen and will be serving a variety of food options in addition to beer, soft drinks, and cocktails. The clubhouse has an impressive deck, and there are plans for breakfast items and evening meals in season. Plus there will be a number of events and just lots of socialization. The course renovations includes relining and filling a number of the ponds that have been dry for a number of years and making habitat changes that support River’s Edge becoming an Audubon Registered golf course.
The new Superintendent, Paul Meridith, brings a fresh passion for the turf, tee boxes and greens. He has a long list of planned improvements that not only will beautify the course, but also speed play. Meridith is also committed to the amendment of existing grasses to promote improved water conservation, provide improved disease protection and require fewer chemicals. The course will also improve our carbon footprint by moving to Lithium Ion battery powered golf carts next year, and is looking to phase out older grounds keeping equipment in favor of more efficient grounds keeping models including electric powered.
For more information contact Jeff Kramer at [email protected]
River’s Edge Community Master Association
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