Tony and the Traveling Golfer Team descend on the hallowed grounds of Rivers Edge Golf Course in Shallotte, North Carolina.
Has it ever had a major championship?
Is it mentioned as much as Bay Hill?
But it should be.
Did it host a Ryder Cup like the K-Club in Ireland?
Those courses just mentioned were designed by the same course designer who gave us Rivers Edge.
So, the “hallowed” description makes sense.
“Hallowed” honors the legendary Arnold Palmer.
We all know Arnie as a Hall of Famer. But many of us don’t realize he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 as both a player and a course designer.
Top 100 Courses
His Rivers Edge design has been ranked among the top 100 public courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest, and has won numerous awards for its design and playability.
As you watch this segment of the Traveling Golfer, you will understand.
Tony introduced us to River Edge perfectly.
“The Shallotte River provides the backdrop. Arnold Palmer provided the artistry.”
Along with Rivers Edge Director of Golf Jason Monahan, Tony gives us a tour of this iconic course and why it is so popular.
One of the reasons is its location. When Arnold saw the property along the Shallotte River and its picturesque marsh, he said: “This is the best site for a golf course I’ve ever seen.”
True, but as Tony and Jason note, conceiving and engineering Rivers Edge was not easy. It took time and imagination.
And we highlight two of the iconic holes that show Arnie’s vision of fun and challenging golf.
The first is the 9th hole appropriately called, Arnie’s Revenge. This par-5 runs along the Shallotte River with very little room for error as your shots need precision to stay on slivers of fairway.
Not long after the course opened in 1999, Arnie came out and tried to hit the green in two. Unfortunately, there is no video. But all reports say Arnie spent a full afternoon hitting that shot and he only made the green twice.
In his Real Golf Segment on the show, Show Producer and Host Dustin Gilder plays Arnie’s Revenge for you – offering great advice in playing this nerve-wracking but beautiful hole. Dustin and I contend this is one of the toughest holes in golf — anywhere. A double bogey is a good score. Watch what Dustin does.
The other iconic Rivers Edge hole is traversed– by yours truly.
Rivers Edge Par-5 17th Hole
I play the par-5 17th hole – also bounded by the Shallotte River and its marsh. While Dustin was smart, I was lucky. Wait until you see the path I took. I am sure Arnie was smirking.
It’s hard to believe that Arnie went to that 18-hole course in the sky back in 2016.
But here at Rivers Edge, Arnie lives on.
OK, a confession here from your correspondent who is an avid golfer and sports enthusiast.
I experience Rivers Edge every day. My wife and I have been honored to live in this community, overlooking the course for six years. The course, its layout, the community, the people, the surrounding town of Shallotte, and those who run the course have in them a touch of Arnie.
I know. I read the book, Arnie: The Evolution of a Legend, by Mark McCormack, Arnie’s agent and manager. You will understand what made Arnie, Arnie. You will also see his influence here in Shallotte.
Rivers Edge Has Lots of Arnie’s Spirit
Arnie was charismatic but humble. People related to him.
Arnie’s playing style was exciting and aggressive at a time when golfers were safe and conservative. Arnie was a thrill.
He raised the profile of golf in the late 1950s and 1960s like Tiger did in the 1990s as he won numerous championships including the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open.
His timing was great too. Thanks to the post World War II economic and industrial boom, television sets took hold in the majority of American homes with major sports events being televised live. Fans saw this nice guy with a swashbuckling style of golf – that either drew them to watch or to be like him.
All this ties into Rivers Edge.
The natural beauty of the course is an Arnie trait. He demanded that the course has to be both playable and beautiful. As you will see, he incorporates the marsh and the wetlands perfectly. There are many times you stop and just stare.
Most of the holes require a precision tee shot. But he also teases golfers to take the chance at some Arnie-like drama. Many of the holes can be very exciting. This is why we suggest you play Rivers Edge more than once on a golf trip. Book it twice because it is more forgiving when you know its nuances.
Arnie is careful to make sure the course can play golfers of all skill levels.
And, like Arnie’s stardom that launched golf into America’s households, Rivers Edge is launching Shallotte into one of the boom towns in North Carolina and the nation – with great restaurants and nearby beaches. The number of people moving here is swelling. Just look at the development.
Rivers Edge is in Shallotte, North Carolina which is in Brunswick County – equally spaced about 30 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. All you do is book it on the Myrtle Beach Golf Trail.
Before you do that, watch our episode.
John Daly, along with Susan Anzalone, are the Co-Creators and Co-Hosts of Undercover Jetsetter, a show on travel, food, wine, mixology and, of course, golf. They show you how to jet set the world and at home. They also co-authored the book, The TV Studio In Your Hand: How to Shoot, Edit & Deliver the Easy Way on Your iPhone. Join them for lighthearted fun, easy tips and hacks you can use no matter where you are. The show can be seen on Wingding TV reaching thousands of homes.