Intriguing, well-conditioned and set on a spectacular piece of property, River Ridge Golf Club is an upscale, semi-private facility that offers an exceptional golf experience. The course, which opened in 1997, was designed by architect Chuck Smith, who carved holes into a unique landscape created by the rolling hills and ravines of the nearby Neuse River. To be sure, from the back tees of 6,740 yards, there are some forced carries, and course management is a tool you'll want to use out there. But there are three other sets of tees, giving everyone an appropriate yardage to enjoy this unique layout that includes wetlands, lakes, large rock outcroppings and gentle hills. At times the course can be a little narrow, setting up some good risk-reward opportunities. The no. 1 handicap hole, the third, is a long par 4 with a lake off the tee to the right. Mature hardwoods frame many of the holes, and the finishing stretch is particularly challenging, starting with the 485-yard, par-4 16th, which has a pond short of the green to the right. The 17th is a par-3 that plays nearly 200 yards. And the 18th is a great risk-reward par 5 with a lake and bunker just left of the green that can catch any wayward shots. In addition to the golf course, River Ridge offers excellent practice facilities that include a driving range, putting green, and chipping green. Inside the clubhouse is a well-stocked golf shop with the latest apparel and accessories. And there's also a clubhouse snack shop and bar as well as banquet facilities.