After years of remodeling and construction, the Vineyard course is in its final configuration. The last change was quite spectacular as it added four new holes “on top of the world.” The new holes play as numbers three through six and offer magnificent ocean panoramic views as they are at the highest elevation in Oxnard. The new layout plays as a par 35 front-nine and a par 37 backnine, and the finishing hole is the signature “Island hole.” (Some hole descriptions)… #1: Par 5, 553 yard dog leg left. Fairly open tee shot with bunkers guarding both the left and right side of the fairway. OB protects left side for the drive and second shot. Hole normally plays into the wind and requires two good woods to set up a short approach shot to a deceptively long green that slopes left to right. Good warm-up hole and birdie opportunity. #3: Par 3, 170 yards. This hole presents some challenge in that you’re playing uphill and generally into the wind. The green is deceptively long, so be sure to check the flag color to gauge your distance.
A huge bunker protects the front of the green while a smaller pot bunker will catch the “bail-outs” to the left. Distance control is the key. #9: Par 3, 187 yards. The redone hole with its deceiving appearance and large contour front to back, right to left. Normally downwind, the tee shot takes a well placed midiron to get close. You want to favor the left side, but must be careful of the large bunker complex left of the green. From the tee, the green appears deceptively narrow, but actually measures over 9,000 square feet with a four foot drop from front right to back left. Take two putts and go to the back side. #11: Par 5, 501 yards. An uphill tee shot into the wind is the key on this dogleg left hole. Watch out for the two huge fairway bunkers that protect the left side of the dogleg. Long hitters have a chance of reaching in two, but try to ensure you’re second shot is on the far right side of the fairway, leaving the easiest approach to an oblique angled green guarded by traps on both sides.
Good birdie opportunity. #12: Par 3, 182 yards. Downhill and downwind tee shot makes this hole play shorter than the yardage. A large, three-section green looks easy but provides a great challenge. Key on this hole is to keep the tee shot to the right of the pin, leaving an uphill put. #14: Par 4, 445 yards. Strong hole! Dogleg right requires both distance and accuracy off the tee with bunkers strategically placed on both sides of the fairway. A good drive leaves a fairway wood or long iron to the second largest green on the course. Par here is a great score any day. #18: Par 3, 191 yards. River Ridge’s signature hole, rated the best in Ventura County. A monster par three that plays into the wind to an island green! Although the green provides a very large target, the hole intimidates! Bring an extra club (and ball) to the tee. (www.riverridge-golfclub.com)