No matter what part of Alabama you visit, there’s a Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course nearby.
Crafted by acclaimed golf course designer Robert Trent Jones and open since the early 1990s, the trail features 26 courses and 468 holes at 11 sites across the state. Each is unique, making playing enjoyable for golfers of any skill level. The Wall Street Journal said the trail “may be the biggest bargain in the country,” and The New York Times said Alabama offers “some of the best public golf on Earth.” All of the courses are convenient to major highways, and many offer stay-and-play experiences. The RTJ Golf Trail’s Resort Collection features some of the Golf Digest Editor’s Choice winners for best golf resorts in the USA. Sample these golf destinations, each in a different region of Alabama.
Enjoy unexpected delights, such as listening to bagpipes at sunset at RTJ Ross Bridge in Hoover and absorbing the beauty of the Shannon Valley landscape. Play one of the world’s longest courses, a Par 72 at 7,399 meters, The Fighting Joe at RTJ The Shoals. Reward your play with a meal at Alabama’s only revolving restaurant at the Marriott Shoals in Florence. The Ross Bridge and Shoals RTJ locations include resorts featuring luxury accommodations, signature pools and European spas. Other sites in the region include RTJ Hampton Cove in Huntsville and RTJ Silver Lakes in Anniston. The Anniston course is just 1.5 hours from the Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in neighboring Georgia.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Ross Bridge location in Hoover
For another great golfing vacation, arrange to play three RTJ locations in Central Alabama. Arriving at the Atlanta airport, drive 90 minutes to Opelika to the first location, RTJ Grand National, where 32 of the 54 holes line a 243-hectare lake. The following day, travel to Prattville, where the Judge course at RTJ Capitol Hill features stunning vistas along the glistening backwaters of the Alabama River. Both the Opelika and Prattville locations feature on-site resort lodging. Find 36 holes of affordable golf surrounded by stunning scenery at the third location, RTJ Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, just south of Montgomery.
The RTJ Grand National, where many of the holes line a large lake
Explore Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico region, which is gaining popularity as a golfing destination. Start in Mobile and play at RTJ Magnolia Grove among creeks, marshes and lakes. Stay at the historic Battle House, a Renaissance Hotel, or the Riverview Plaza Hotel, both in downtown Mobile. Head east across Mobile Bay to the historic Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa near Fairhope to play at the Lakewood Golf Club, lined with 200-year old oaks. You’ll see why U.S. presidents and celebrities have played these links since 1947.
Lakewood Golf Club at the historic Grand Hotel Marriott Resort
More Alabama Golf Experiences
Alabama’s beach is home to three exciting golf resorts. Thirty-six holes of Arnold Palmer signature golf, coastal dining and on-site condos are found at the Craft Farms Golf Resort, while Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club features 27 holes. Kiva Dunes boasts condos along the 18th fairway of the Jerry Pate-designed course and nearly a kilometer-long private, sugar-white beach directly on the Gulf of Mexico.
Just an hour southeast of Birmingham in the town of Sylacauga is the world’s first research and demonstration golf course. Play on courses built to experiment with golf course machinery, irrigation systems and fertilizer. The constant scientific attention to the grounds at Pursell Farms resulted in the FarmLinks course being rated by Golfweek magazine as the top public course in the state each year since 2011. Stay at cottages, a lodge or inn and enjoy an on-site spa, restaurants and a pub. Other activities on the 1,295-hectare site include fly-fishing and taking aim at sporting clays at the Orvis Shooting Grounds. Pursell Farms is a two-hour drive from the Atlanta airport.
Signature golf, dining and accommodations at the Craft Farms Golf Resort
Book an international flight to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth (BHM), Huntsville (HSV) or Atlanta (ATL) airports, then rent a car to drive to your desired golf destination. Connecting flights are available to Mobile (MOB) and Montgomery (MGM).