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River Bend Links golf course is a good counterweight to the gaming that dominates Tunica, Mississippi. All the difficulty is put right in front of you. A straightforward test for your iron game.
Located in the shadow of two giant casinos, River Bends Links offers refuge from the sensory overload of the gaming floor. Whether you’re celebrating some big wins or shaking off tough beats, a loop at this course provides plenty of opportunities to make birdies and enjoy camaraderie with your friends.
If you’re looking to find equilibrium after a long night, River Bend Links is a good spot. Their large grass range is located very near the first tee. The putting green is a stone’s throw from the range. Make sure to warm up your driver before you hit the first tee.
Beauty & Scenery
With trees ringing most of the property’s border, River Bend Links is a quiet sanctuary largely hidden from the blinking and clanging of slot machines. Visually the course is very open, but each hole is defined with tall vegetation. The design also makes great use of the limited water on the course: it comes into play on thirteen holes.
River Bend Links is not the course to play if you want to pad your “Fairways Hit” stats. These are some of the slimmest fairways that I can recall. However, the amount of severe trouble that you can find off the tee is limited. A few holes have water in play off the tee, but you can almost always find acres of room on the other side.
There are five sets of tees at River Bend Links with yardages of 6,923, 6,462, 6,102, 5,506, and 4,975. This is a very flat course, so the yardage on the card is exactly what you get. There are plenty of doglegs, so if you’re playing forward a bit, there will be numerous holes where you’ll hit less than driver.
Though there aren’t many stroke hazards off the tee, finding the narrow fairways is a significant advantage when it comes to your second shot. There are only mild undulations in the fairways, and they’re cut to a very comfortable length.
Should you miss the fairway, you bring numerous difficulties into play. The Bermuda rough is not thick, but no lie in it is comfortable: either the ball is teed up by the rough or it’s sitting down, enveloped in grass. Additionally, the mounding in the rough can compromise you view and your stance.
Whether in the fairway or the rough, River Bend Links is a pure test of distance control. There is very little elevation change, so if you can hit your distances, you will be pin high all day.
Greens & Surrounds
Like the fairways, the greens at River Bend Links are smaller than average. While this puts more pressure on your iron play and short game, it should also eliminate three putts. The breaks tend to be gentle, and the greens aren’t so fast that you can’t putt aggressively.
The surrounds have a mixture of grass bunkers, mounds, and sand bunkers. There’s only a thin strip of fringe around the green, so your short game needs to favor high pitches over bump and runs. Many of the contours around the greens are player-friendly, but the bunkers are deep and the mounds can create very tricky stances.
River Bend Links is the antithesis of the casinos that it neighbors: it’s quiet and peaceful, the challenges are straightforward, and you’ll leave with some money in your pockets. Take a break from the tables and fit a round into your next trip.
Learn more about planning a golf trip in northern Mississippi HERE.