Golf in Alabama- so where to start? On the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, of course. Pick your tee time and resort accommodations anywhere along this famed piece of golf real estate that runs the length of the state. Great golf courses abound, from the North to Central to South sections, the Trail has you covered.
The North Golf Courses feature five layouts between Florence and Huntsville amid the rolling hills and tree-lined terrain of the Shoals and Hampton Cove links in the Trail.
The Shoals section boasts the Fighting Joe Course, named for the Confederate and U.S. Army general Joseph Wheeler, which was the first on the trail to crack 8,000 yards from the back tees. Its counterpart, the Schoolmaster Course, came from the moniker earned by the political touches of Woodrow Wilson, who also was the namesake of the nearby Wilson Dam on the Tennessee River. Hampton Cove's three layouts include The River Course, the Trail's only golf course without a bunker, and thus relying on the natural landscape for its degree of difficulty.
The titles alone tell of the challenges lurking among the Central Golf Courses' 14 layouts. The Heartbreaker, Backbreaker and Mindbreaker are literal descriptions of the 27-hole test in the Silver Lakes section near Anniston/Gadsden. In Prattville, just north of Montgomery, the Capital Hill link in the RTJ takes you on a governmental golf adventure of sorts. Indeed, the Senator, Legislator and Judge are all scenic and stout 18-hole courses.
By contrast, the South Golf Courses bring together a variety of styles, with nine of the 13 layouts being nine-hole loops. Cambrian Ridge's link near Greenville might have the toughest 27-hole trifecta, what with the Loblolly, Sherling and Canyon courses being among the Trail's toughest. The venerable Dogwood and Azalea courses are the showcase of the South's grouping, both 18-hole layouts located at the elegant Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear.
Indeed, from the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa in Florence to the Grand Hotel Marriott on Mobile Bay, the accommodations along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offers a spectacular ride through the best of Alabama golf.