Riverside Municipal Golf Course in Pocatello, ID is the quintessential I-play-here-because-its-close-to-home kind of course. Its got all the necessary parts: wrinkled-tanned members sporting colorful shirts, a bustling but slightly shabby pro shop, burgers to order, sunshine.
The tree-lined fairways are wide, but not overly forgiving. The grass is well kept without being too rough, too firm, or too fancy. The overall length is respectable (>6000 yards), but carrying a bag is not a withering experience. People are dressed right, but you might hear an F-bomb on the back nine.
There's about three tough spots here. The 12th hole par 3 demands a precise tee shot drawn to a sloping green overhung by an ancient, drooping tree. The ditch in front takes the bump-and-run option off the table. The narrow green falls to hazard on the sides and back.
The two other difficulties will be of your own making, as the course has just enough dips and dales to swallow that long iron shot that started-so-perfectly-but-now-its-gone (insert F-bomb here).
I've played Riverside twice. The first time I followed a group of 8 older gentlemen in 4 carts. Members and guests; they each shot 100. It was slow going. Behind me were their wives, who were actually quite skilled golfers. The second time, I played pretty much alone and at my typically quick pace. Just a few over par for the round.
Eighteen at Riverside makes for an affordable, predictable, and enjoyable outing. Overall, I score it somewhere between average and above average. But not too far above. It is Pocatello, after all.