The Bottom Line
The Golf Courses
- Ten great, public championship golf courses
- Easy to find, easy to reach
- All designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
- Birmingham's airport is central to all 10 making them easily available from almost anywhere
- It's a long way from the first in the north to the last in the south
- The 10 RTJ courses represent the largest and most successful golf construction project ever attempted anywhere in the world.
- Each site is located close to an interstate highway. I-65 passes by six and all are easily accessible by road from Atlanta.
- Birmingham's airport is central to all ten sites, thus they are easily reachable from cities throughout the United States.
Guide Review - The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Alabama
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama is the brainchild of Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. In the late 1980’s Bronner had a couple of pressing concerns. One, how to make the best use of the state’s pension fund assets. Two, how to do something to help the State of Alabama. His feeling was that the two went hand-in-hand - anything that would make the state stronger would, in turn, help to make RSA stronger.
And so he came up with the idea of building a trail of championship golf courses throughout the entire state. It was a "Field of Dreams” thing: if you build it, they will come,” and they did. Since its inception thousands of golfers have played the 10 magnificent courses in the Trail.
Bronner decided there was only one man to build his dream: Robert Trent Jones, Sr., arguably the best golf course architect of his time. Jones came out semi-retirement to undertake the huge project.
Initially there were only seven sites in the Trail: Hampton Cove in Huntsville, Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Silver Lakes in Anniston, Grand National in Opelika, Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, Highland Oaks in Dothan, and Magnolia Grove in Mobile. Another, Capitol Hill in Montgomery, was added in 1999 and two more, The Shoals in Florence and Ross Bridge in Birmingham, opened in 2005.
One Director of Golf on the RTJ Trails said, "The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is an incredible golfing experience for everyone. The courses will challenge the best golfers in the world, yet at the same time allow an enjoyable outing for the casual to beginning golfer."
Even the grand resorts are becoming involved: you can enjoy the full treatment at such as the Marriott at Capitol Hill, Marriott at Grand National, Marriott Shoals Resort and Spa, Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and more. Eight of the 10 RTJ courses are now served by resort hotels.