How long can a secret remain a secret, especially when more and more people discover that secret?
River Bend Golf Course and Country Club was once the best kept secret golf course in the Rio Grande a Valley.
Since then, however, ownership has not only marketed the course to Winter Texans inside and out of the country club, but they’ve also added a touch to make the challenging, but fun course, a more memorable event.
In the past two year, the course has removed trees and cleaned out the holes that run along the Rio Grande, providing golfers with a view that is enough to bring them back to the course.
“It’s a much prettier picture now,” said assistant golf pro Adrian Garcia. “We pulled a lot of trees and mowed all the stuff down along those holes 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 13. It’s a very nice visual on a very challenging golf course.”
Ted Trap, the developer of Rancho Viejo, originally owned River Bend and his idea was to link Rancho to a raw water source from the Rio Grande, thus the beginning of the development in 1983.
River Bend opened as a nine-hole course in 1983 and quickly expanded to 18 holes just two years later, in 1985. Thirty years later, in 2015, the Barnard family, owners of Coastal Realty and long-time Brownsville residents, bought River Bend and the new strategic marketing plan was put in place. That strategy included improvements for residents and letting golfers know that River Bend golf course was no longer a secret place.
“The Winter Texans are very important to our course, both our wonderful residents and those from other parks,” Garcia said. “We have several groups that come play weekly, both men and ladies, and some days we will have 25-35 in a group.”
The course has also made a couple holes a tad bit less challenging (never does a hole become easier) by moving a set of par-3 to cut the distance to the green. No. 2 went from 205 yards to 150 while No. 13 went from about 210 to 140. While that is definitely a plus, the South Texas wind will certainly find a way to make up for it.
“Number 5 is one of my favorite holes to walk up to and play,” Garcia said. “And now you can see the whole river. The course is in great shape, the view is magnificent and it’s just a great place to come out, enjoy a round of golf and the scenery. It’s just a pretty picture out here.”