Playing River Vale CC was an interesting milestone for me because, while I spent my formative years and most of my life in Bergen County, this was the first time I had played a regulation golf course in Bergen County. The ride up to the course was almost entirely Garden State Parkway, and it brought back many memories of being in the area years ago.
Pulling up to the course was quintessential Bergen County to me. It’s difficult to describe, but there’s something about the parking lot and the sign for the course that seem to be reminiscent of all sorts of different establishments you might see in most areas of the county.
On the course, the greens rolled very nicely and the day was gorgeous. I hit 9/14 fairways, which is unusually high for me. I only hit four GIR, but I was able to chip in for birdie on the 13th. Apart from two 3-putts, I had a decent putting round, sinking 67.5 feet in 31 putts (though, 22 feet of that was a long par save on 15). All of that allowed me to finished at +11, which was by far the lowest I’ve scored in a first-time round at a new course.
The course is relatively costly, but well worth it. There are beautiful elevation changes to contend with, a few blind tee shots, and some interesting approaches to fair greens.