Riverside Golf Course opened in 1951 as a 9-hole course. An 18-hole round was achieved by playing the 9 over again. A further nine holes were subsequently developed with 18-hole layout welcoming players in 1953. In the 1950’s, Riverside was ranked as the #1 public golf course in Canada, hosting prestigious tournaments such as the Edmonton Amateur, Edmonton Open and Alta Amateur and Alta Open during this period.
The course was built on the site of the old Dawson Coal Mine. Some of the dips that players currently experience on the fairways are the direct result of the settling of mine tunnels. This settling continues and offers the golfers subtle changes and challenges year after year, especially on the greens.
Riverside Golf Course was such a favorite in the early years that the original golfers, the “Riverside Rats” as they called themselves, would line up at 2 a.m. on a Thursday to get a tee time on the weekend. The dedicated golfers would pitch tents and camp-out in sleeping bags. A little easier to obtain a tee time now! Just click on Move.Learn.Play. No one will know if you’re in a sleeping bag!
Edmontonians have been playing enjoying golf at Riverside Golf Course for over 70-years. The Riverside Coyotes Senior Men’s Golf Club was started in 1987 and is still going strong. One of the original Riverside Golf Course members, Don Leverington, who played regularly and remained a member until his passing in 2010, was well known in his later years for shooting scores below his age. Not only was Don an active golfer but he was an active Senior Men’s Club committee member and a keen organizer of tournaments and social events. We remember Don with our annual Leverington Tournament, where the two players representing the best low and high handicap scores play off the following week to determine the best overall golfer – the lowest net score wins the trophy. The first Champion trophy was awarded in 1987.
Another well know club member was Ken Darlington, who in 2017, aged 100, shot a 100 and a 99, over two consecutive weeks. The percentage of golfers who can shoot their age is .000089%. Between 70 and 99 years of age he played 1615 rounds and shot his age 338 times. The Riverside Coyotes Senior Men’s Golf Club is pleased to honour Ken Darlington with its Club Championship in his name. The tournament is played over two weeks towards the end of the season, with scores from both days totaled. Trophies are awarded for Low Gross and runner-up. Players finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each handicap bracket over the two days also receive prizes.