Founded in 1979 by Jim and Carol Phipps, River Oaks has been a staple for great golf in the Central Valley since its inception. Jim and Carol Phipps moved from the bay area to purchase the beautiful property River Oaks sits on in the late 1970's. After being told by nearby Del Rio Country Club that they'd have to wait 3 years to join, they decided to build their own course, and construction began shortly thereafter on what is now the back nine. Two years after building the back nine, floods had stricken the golf course and reclaimed the land for the first time since their purchase. Rebuilding was the only option, although Jim and Carol had another plan. They began construction of the front nine, or "top nine," to produce income to help support the bottom nine and give stability in years where water would rise above the banks of the Toulumne. The floods of 1981 were not the last time the back nine would be flooded as it has happened four times in the 37 year history of the River Oaks.
Once Jim and Carol's four sons were of age, they decided to step back and let their son Rob take over. Rob oversaw the course for years and was responsible for many great achievements including the River Oaks Junior Program. He helped establish the renown River Oaks Junior Golf Program along with the River Oaks head teaching pro Greg Silva. Sadly, he passed at the age of 44 due to a heart attack. His brother, Mike, came to the helm and ran operations for the past eight years until his passing. Dealing with health issues, he and his family didn't have the necessary time or resources to dedicate to the golf course and subsequently sold the course to the Hall & Thornberry families both of Ceres.
A new chapter at River Oaks is being written. The Hall & Thornberry families, both of Ceres, have purchased River Oaks and are determined to re-establish it as the premier public golf facility in the Stanislaus County. For many years, River Oaks has been one of the most well conditioned and most enjoyable places to play golf in the Central Valley. Their passion and unmistakable drive to make River Oaks better than it has ever been will surely result in the greatest version of River Oaks since it was built in 1979. Their vision to provide a beautiful place for individuals and families alike to enjoy golf and events is being realized more and more every day.
Looking forward, they have plans to have a first class golf facility, a place for beautiful weddings, and an event center to cater to weddings, parties, and corporate outings. Check back with us for updates on our progress by either clicking on the news page, going to our Facebook page, or following us on Instagram.