The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is one of the best recreation areas in this beautiful state, especially if you love golf.
This amazing set of golf trails has been praised by both critics as well as players, for two very distinct reasons.
The affordability to the general public, as well as the excellent quality of play.
It is a series of 11 championship courses located across the state, and were designed by the legendary golf architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
These unique courses have been cited numerous times in media, as one of the world’s top-ten trips to play golf in.
Think about that---right here in the state of Alabama.
The history of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail was conceived by Mr. David Bronner, who had a Law and Doctoral degree from the University of Alabama.
He first focused on traditional investments to build his vision, but this did not work out as planned.
Instead, inspired by the legendary film “Field of Dreams”, he decided to try to finance his plan to attract tourism.
By doing this, he knew he would attract not only the most avid of golfers in the south, but also the numerous retired businessmen and women.
Mr. Bronner brought in Robert “Bobby” Vaughan first to help, who was the former director of golf at the Tanglewood Golf Club in North Carolina, to help design this massive project.
They quickly formed the Sun Belt Golf Corporation, as then also reached out to municipalities, corporations, as well as private developers in the state to help secure prime land.
There main goal was to build these courses near the state’s interstate highway system, where they would be a lot more visible and easier to access.
The growth of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail started once the property was secured, and the Sun Belt alliance started to hire experts across the industry to develop, construct, and then operate this vision.
It by now was being referred to as the largest single golf-course construction that had ever been done, not only in this country, but anywhere in the world.
Very early in this process, Mr. Jones visited Alabama, and inspected numerous different sites.
This was very important to Mr. Jones, as they all had to live up to his extremely high standards.
He wanted to make them friendly for the general public, but also difficult enough for the numerous players with much higher skills.
One of the other major goals was to attract golfers from not just the southern states, but from across the country.
And it was not to just play golf on any golf course, but courses that were designed to play and were associated with championship golf.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail officially opened in the year 1992, with these first four courses.
Grand National in Opelika
The Grand National is the first of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Courses and is built along the 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee.
32 of the 54 holes drape filigrees shores, and there are three different courses there.
The Lake, the Links, as well as the Short Course.
Hampton Cove in Huntsville
Hampton Cove is next, and it is considered to be the northern gateway in the state.
It is a 54-hole facility, with dramatic terrain changes, and because of this, it is considered to be one of the most picturesque and playable of all the courses.
The courses there include the Highlands, the River, as well as the Short Course.
Magnolia Grove in Mobile
Magnolia Grove in Mobile is the next on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and it is in the southern part of the state.
Its unique topography features swamps, marshland, as well as lakes, and it has been named several times as one of the “Top 50 Golf Public Courses.
The courses there include the Crossings, the Falls, as well as the Short Course.
Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham
Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham is up next, and this is a 54-hole course in Birmingham, that is sculptured from the peaks and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains.
The main courses there are the Ridge and the Valley.
In the years that followed there were 7 additional beautiful additions to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
The Lakewood Cub in Fairhope, across from the Grand Hotel and Golf Resort and Spa, is also part of the amazing network.
These amazing golf courses have a wide variety of teeing locations, and they are all pegged at ability.
The entire design of these trails was all intended to make for the ultimate in experiences for the guests, for both advanced as well as beginning golfers.
All of this has paid off, as in the year 2000, the Grand National in Opelika was the host to the NCAA Men’s Division I National Championship.
However, just was the just the beginning.
In the years that have followed, the Ladies Professional Golf Association has had numerous events, as well as the Nationwide Tour.
The Nationwide Tour was at the Capital Hills course in Prattville.
If you are a true lover of Golf and what to have the “true” experience, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is the place for you.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, the first reference listed below is the answer.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (rtjgolf.com)
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail | Encyclopedia of Alabama
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