New owners plan to see the River’s Edge Golf Course reborn

BEND, OR, USA, May 3, 2022 / — Landlords surrounding River’s Edge Golf Course became the new owners of the course and its 141 acres in the middle of Bend in March. One of Bend’s finest golf courses, River’s Edge Golf Course was built by the Purcell family and Arnie Swarens in two phases beginning in 1987.

The course was designed by the late Robert Muir Graves. Graves has designed or remodeled over 1,000 golf courses worldwide, some of his most interesting work being in the Pacific Northwest. Graves, a well-respected golf course designer, lived in Bend and was known for seeing the beauty of the land and respecting the natural topography. To its credit, River’s Edge was named by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 public golf courses to play in the United States.

The golf course is governed by a board of directors, the River’s Edge Community Masters Association (RECMA), and their plans begin with making the golf course easier to play. “We hired experts and interviewed local golfers and they told us that there were several holes that were difficult to play and did not reward good golf shots,” said Jeff Kramer, chairman of the board of directors of RECMA, “The golf course will also return to Graves’ design five tees to make play easier for seniors, juniors and women. But the plans go beyond the playability of the golf course.

“We are delighted to own and operate River’s Edge,” said David Childers, owner and vice president of golf operations for RECMA, “the course design is timeless and we plan to restore it to the splendor that 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 design knowledge, and my mentor.

“It’s exciting to see the energy and enthusiasm of the new owner,” said former owner Wayne Purcell. “My family had a vision for a public golf course in the heart of Bend and selling the land to residents secures that in perpetuity,” Purcell continued.

The new owners have already started renovating the cafe’s kitchen and will serve a variety of food options in addition to beer, soft drinks and cocktails. The clubhouse has an impressive terrace and plans for breakfast and evening meals are provided seasonally. Plus, there will be a number of events and just lots of socializing. Renovations to the course include the relining and filling of a number of ponds that have been dry for several years and habitat modification that allows River’s Edge to become an Audubon Registered Golf Course.

New Superintendent Paul Meridith brings a new passion for grass, tees and greens. It has a long list of planned improvements that will not only beautify the course, but also speed up the game. Meridith is also committed to modifying existing grasses to promote better water conservation, provide better disease protection and require fewer chemicals. The course will also improve our carbon footprint by switching to lithium-ion battery-powered golf carts next year, and is looking to phase out old groundskeeping equipment in favor of more efficient groundskeeping models, including electrical.

For more information contact Jeff Kramer at [email protected]

Jeff Kramer
River’s Edge Community Masters Association
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Michael C. Ford