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Looking to travel to Alabama with my wife and play some of the Robert Trent Jones Trail courses. Does anyone have any recommendations? We're looking to play 36 each day so we'd like to play the courses with two 18 hole courses are more appealing. We'd like to play 3-4 days in a row and try to play at 2-3 different places if possible.
If you're coming from the North I would start Day 1 at The Shoals outside Florence. Two nice courses, Fighting Joe is more links style, School Master is more traditional, both long, then drive to Residence Inn at Lakeshore Drive in Birmingham (exit 255 on I-65). Day 2 18 holes at Ross Bridge in the morning then drive on down I-65 to Prattville and get 18 in on the Judge or Senator in the afternoon. Stay in Prattville and shop at Bass Pro shop after dark. Then finish it up the last day at Grand National in Opelika. You will skip Hampton Cove in Huntsville and Greenville on the way, but you will not be disappointed.
If you're coming from the South I would just reverse the order.
Grand national in Opelika, AL. They have two 18 hole courses the links and lakes and a 18 hole par 3 course.
Ross Bridge is definitely premier next door to Oxmoor Valley, but that's another 2x18 courses 4 miles from Ross Bridge.
My wife isn't up to really long courses, so we were planning on Magnolia Grove and Lakewood. I otherwise agree with the last assessment. Found traveling after the last round and being near the course in the am worked great. If you use Marriott Rewards, there are plenty near most of the courses. The Renaissance Inn at Ross Bridge is a great place to relax early or to walk out onto the first tee.
Magnolia Grove and the Senator in Prattville are both current LPGA sites.
I would also recommend FarmLinks, its about 30 minutes from Birmingham in Sylacauga. The course is awesome and the price to play is all inclusive including food and drinks (non alcohol, alcohol free golf course). Trust me you will be extremely impressed.
While I cannot say much about any other if the RTJ courses, I would definitely recommend Grand National in Opelika, near Auburn. The course features 36 holes and would be perfect for what you are looking for. As I recall, it also has a par 3 course. Good luck and have fun
I love RTJ design courses. I'm trying to put a buddy's trip together next year. I think this might be the place.
The Ridge course at Oxmoor Valley is one of my favorite courses around Birmingham. I'd recommend you play a round there, if you make it into Birmingham.
The course between Oxford and Gadsden, AL was real nice; wish I had the opportunity to play the other courses as well. I don't think you would have gone wrong with any of the RTJ courses.
Hit em straight!
Went to school at auburn and i absolutely love the two courses at Grand National. I think those and Ross Bridge are the gems of the trail.
Hey Nick, I'm quite a fan of the Trail. Have played half of the courses and really enjoy Magnolia Grove. I know this is an old post, I'm curious as to where you played and if you enjoyed the courses.
I've played Hampton Cove and the Shoals and enjoyed both sites. We used to go in February and you can't beat great weather golf in February being from the Midwest. I've heard great things about all of the stops and would even like to some day make it all the way down to Kiva Dunes which I've heard great things about. Great info on here btw, I'm going to take notes and see if I can rekindle a winter trip to the Trail next winter. Truly a gem!!!
While you're planning to play in Alabama, if I were you, I would take the time to play Purcell Farms ( SE of Birmingham, http://pursellfarms.com ). This hidden gem has 5-star accommodations and a course that is second to none in Alabama. The fairways are like most clubs greens and the greens (bentgrass) are unbelievable! Trust your first read!
I had the pleasure of playing there a couple of weeks ago with my group...first rate all the way around!
This is their signature par 3...
ps...I am not affiliated with Purcell Farms in any way, however, we have already planned another visit for later this year.
I love playing some of the courses in south Alabama. Kiva Dunes, Peninsula and Lost Key in Perdido are great!!