Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail/The Judge at Capitol Hill
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail/The Judge at Capitol Hill

When you start thinking about your next golf get-away, give serious consideration to one of the many great golf trails that have sprung up throughout the U.S. Golf trails offer the opportunity to play a wide variety of courses, while at the same time enjoying the diverse scenery and local cuisine in various regions of the country. Trail packages offer group discounts on greens fees, accommodations and dining—or you can plan your own journey along the trail. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama offers many of finest courses you will find anywhere in the country, and wonderful weather is pretty much guaranteed throughout the year.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The RTJ Golf Trail includes eleven locations and twenty-six courses, from the southern-most point of the Appalachian mountain chain in northern Alabama to the tranquil waters of the gulf coast, each offering first-rate golf and gorgeous scenery. In addition to the great courses, eight of the locations offer wonderful accommodations including the Marriott Grand Hotel at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear on the gulf, and the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham. All of the courses on the trail are either Robert Trent Jones, Sr. original designs (in collaboration with Roger Rulewich), or courses that were remodeled and updated by RTJ, with the exception of Ross Bridge that was designed by Roger Rulewich and Bobby Vaughn after Jones passed away in 2000.

The Courses

  • Cambrian Ridge/Greenville, AL 36037
    • Holes 36
    • 3 nine-hole courses (Loblolly/Sherling/Canyon) and 9-hole par 3
    • USGA Course/Slope Rating
    • Loblolly:         37.0/142
    • Sherling:         37.5/147
    • Canyon:           37.3/152
    • Rankings: Golfweek Top 10 public courses-Alabama.
    • Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express & Suites
    • GolfDay Rating: 99.1
  • Capitol Hill/Prattville, AL 36066
    • Holes 54
    • 3 eighteen-hole courses (Judge/Legislator/Senator)
    • USGA Course/Slope Rating
    • Judge:              78.5/147
    • Legislator:       76.9/149
    • Senator:           77.4/132
    • Rankings:        Golf Digest Top 10 courses-Alabama, Golfweek Top 10 public courses-Alabama
  • Hampton Cove/Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763
    • Holes 54
    • 2 eighteen-hole courses(Highlands/River) and eighteen-hole executive course
    • USGA Course/Slope Rating
    • Highlands:      76.2/143
    • River:                76.6/143
  • Silver Lakes/Glencoe, AL 35905
    • Holes 36
    • 3 nine-hole courses (Backbreaker/Heartbreaker/Mindbreaker) and eighteen-hole par 3
    • USGA Course/Slope Rating
    • Backbreaker:     38.5/143
    • Heartbreaker:    38.2/140
    • Mindbreaker:     37.7/151
  • The Shoals/Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
    • Holes 36
    • 2 Eighteen Hole Courses: (Fighting Joe/Schoolmaster)
    • USGA Course/Slope Rating
    • Fighting Joe:         78.6/146
    • Schoolmaster:      77.6/148
    • Rankings:        Golf Digest Top 10 courses-Alabama

Trail History

Established in 1992, The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is the largest golf course project in history, with eleven locations, 26 courses, and 468 holes of golf. Stretching almost 400 miles from the gulf coast to Muscle Shoals in the northwest corner of Alabama. The concept for the RTJ Golf Trail sprung from the vision of David G. Bronner, head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages the pension funds for Alabama state employees. Bronner’s goal was to provide the residents of Alabama with world class golf facilities, strengthen the economy of the state and diversify the assets of the pension fund. The RTJ Golf Trail has achieved all of these, and provided every golfer in the country an unforgettable opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Alabama and the genius of Robert Trent Jones. To date, more than 13 million golfers have visited the trail—an experience you definitely should include in your bucket list.

The Architects

Robert Trent Jones is one of the most celebrated golf course architects in history. His original designs include Spyglass Hill, Bellerive Country Club, Firestone Country Club and Hazeltine National Golf Club. He has also updated and remodeled many of the great courses in the country, including Congressional, Oak Hill, The Olympic Club, and Baltusrol Golf Club. RTJ also collaborated with Bobby Jones to design both the 11th and 16th holes at Augusta National, and President Eisenhower asked him to design a putting green for the White House. Roger Rulewich received a degree in civil engineering from Yale University in 1958, and began working for Robert Trent Jones in 1961. Together they designed hundreds of great courses, including the Apple Rock course at Horseshoe Bay Resort in Texas, which was awarded best new resort course by Golf Digest in 1986. Since the passing of RTJ in 2000, Roger Rulewich has established himself as one of the finest course architects of his generation, with notable designs that include Ballyowen Golf Club in Hamburg, NJ and Grande Dunes Golf Course in South Carolina.

Trail Guide

Trail Map

Share this Article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *