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River Islands has new owner

The first of the island holes, Signature Hole 3, is a 180-yard par 3 that requires a long carry over water to a green that rests along the edge of one of the river branches. Quite a beautiful and demanding hole where club selection is extremely impor- Photo Submitted
River Islands Golf Club has offered a unique golfing experience since 1991, but new owner, Dan Feehan, hopes to renew interest by making a few changes.

“We have looked at a lot of feedback about this course. A lot of people said they had forgotten about it. The other thing was that the customer service was lacking. The course wasn’t always kept up,” said Feehan, who purchased the course in May with his wife, Kristin.

“We have hit all three of those in such a short period of time, and it’s going really well for us. ... It’s made people feel like they want to be back out there, and that’s exciting.”

Feehan hopes to duplicate a private course experience for River Islands guests.

“That’s the whole feel we’re trying to create, and it’s been so well received.”

Feehan said he also is remodeling the clubhouse.

“It is a more open and friendly atmosphere when you walk in,” he added.

The clubhouse is an ongoing project, but already he has opened a lounge downstairs.

“You can come in, sit down, enjoy a sandwich, barbecue, a burger, a beer, soda, whatever. You can go downstairs, watch TV and enjoy yourself. None of these things ever existed prior to us taking over.”

Feehan, a “hands-on” operator, has hired Paul Moody, a PGA professional for more than 10 years, as director of golf and has added a learning center that offers one- and two-day golf schools, junior clinics and private instruction.

“Paul brings a lot of great ideas. He had always wanted to have a learning center ... It’s gone really well,” he said.

River Islands, located along the French Broad River in Kodak, was named as one of “Golf Digest’s” Top 10 Tennessee Courses in 2005-2006 and is an Arthur Hills design. Nine holes feature water and three islands are located in the river.

“It’s just a 30-minute drive [from Knoxville]. It’s off exit 402, but a lot of people think it’s off exit 407,” Feehan said.

For more information about River Islands, visit or call 865-933-0100.


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