Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 12
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 12
The par-5 12th hole on Blue Top Ridge at the Riverside resort climbs high above the hotel. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 6
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 6
Water lurks behind the sixth green on the Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 3
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - hole 3
The 333-yard third hole is the shortest par 4 on Blue Top Ridge at Riverside. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 4th
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 4th
The green on the par-5 fourth hole on the Blue Top Ridge golf course at Riverside is reachable in two for big hitters. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 5th
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 5th
At 476 yards, the fifth hole on Blue Top Ridge at Riverside is a brute. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Riverside Performance Studio
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Riverside Performance Studio
The Riverside Performance Studio is one of the best indoor teaching/club-fitting facilities in the Midwest. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 13th
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 13th
The 13th fairway on the Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside bends then drops to the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 14th
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 14th
Blue Top Ridge is named for the blue rooftops on the old farm buildings. The only one left standing is on the 14th hole, a 176-yard par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 17th
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Blue Top Ridge G.C. at Riverside resort - 17th
The short par-4 17th hole on the Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside can provide major swings on the scorecard in tournaments. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
9 Images

Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside resort in Iowa is ready to host top golf tournaments

RIVERSIDE, Iowa -- When the floods of 2009 ravaged Iowa, the front nine of Blue Top Ridge looked more like another outdoor swimming pool at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, located 20 minutes south of Iowa City. Original architect Rees Jones returned to reroute holes 2-6 away from the nearby Iowa River, allowing the 7,400-yard course to eventually reopen in 2011.

The millions of dollars spent during the original construction and redesign proves just how important a tournament-caliber golf experience is to the resort. Everything about Blue Top Ridge, ranked third among the best public golf courses in Iowa by Golfweek, was created with hosting top players and events in mind.

The big greens, severely undulating, have multiple pin locations. Most holes have some sort of design element that requires risk to take on a bunker or a dogleg. The back nine climbs high above the hotel, providing great scenery and even more dramatic holes. The longest hole in the state, the 665-yard, par-5 16th, drops to a valley before climbing over a creek to an elevated green. There's even ample space for galleries and hospitality tents and bleachers around the 18th green.

For those of us not ready for tournament golf, the Riverside Performance Studio, home to three indoor hitting bays, is one of the best on-course teaching/club-fitting facilities in the country.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Blue Top Ridge course at Riverside resort in Iowa is ready to host top golf tournaments