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Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Review


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#1 rhynercb

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:27 PM

Hey,
Has anyone played the RTJ Trail and if so which courses are worth playing and which ones should I avoid.

Thanks
CR


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#2 RagingAardvark

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:49 PM

I played the Highlands Course outside of Huntsville.  The greens were in not so good shape (this was back in May).  We couldn't make it from the airport fast enough to get onto the Rivers course before their league went off.  Even with the greens being ugly, it was still a good, challenging course.

#3 webmstrk9

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:59 PM

In no particular order:

Capitol Hill(Judge definately)
Ross Bridge
Oxmoor Valley(Since theyre down the road from each other)(Not the best compared to the others)
Cambrian Ridge(Didnt get to play, but my friends highly recommend)
Grand National

Ross bridge only has 18, the rest usually has 36 + a short course.

My brother and a couple of his friends played the RTJ about a month and a half ago.  2-3  weeks before the Champions tournament at Ross Bridge.  The northern courses have more dramatic elevation changes compared to the courses towards the south.  The driving range and clubhouses are similar to almost similar in design with the exception of Ross Bridge.  Oxmoor Valley when we played wasnt the best of the courses we played, since we stayed in the Birmingham area for 2 days, it was convenient.  The greens were not in the best shape a bit shaggy when we were there.

The course outside of Ross Bridge which I would love to play again would be the Judge at Capitol Hill.  Holes were long and fairways were not wide open, 13 of 18 holes have water if I remember correctly.  The first hole is a 200ft drop from the white tee box, 250-260 to the 150y mark from the blue tees, 230 from the whites with water on the right and OB on the left.

Edited by webmstrk9, 28 June 2007 - 04:05 PM.


#4 HBX

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:07 AM

We were in Alabama in the middle of May and played three RTJ courses, the two at Grand National and
the Judge. We all thought the GN courses were the best of the three. They´re really good while the Judge is somewhat sterile. We also played Limestone Springs in Oneonta, about 40 min north of B´ham, and Ol´Colony and Capstone Club in Tuscaloosa. They are all better or as good as the GN courses.
Hans Berntson, Sweden

#5 DeoreDX

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:10 PM

I haven't played all of them but my favorite two of the ones I have are Grand National (Not just because I live in Opelika) and the stop in Greeneville... can't remember the name of that one.  If you have a chance the Par 3 courses on the trail are usually really darned good.


#6 rhynercb

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:51 PM

Thanks Everyone!  I really appreciate the insight. :beruo:

CR

#7 BEND OF THE RIVER GC

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 11:04 AM

My goal is to hit up the RTJ trail next December and do a marathon where we squeeze in 6-8 courses in about 3-4 days....

#8 JessN16

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:55 AM

Here are my takes (this is an old thread, I know)...

1) Cambrian Ridge, Greenville: This is the smallest town with a course (pop: about 10,000). It's three nine-hole courses that you put together to play 18 (Canyon, Sherling and Loblolly) plus a short course. This is the course featured on one of the Microsoft Links games (they used the Sherling and Canyon courses on that disc). This is my favorite public golf course I've ever played in my life. The Canyon nine-hole course is flat-out perfection from start to finish. The Sherling course is the one they promote as being the top course at this property but I think the Canyon beats it. The Loblolly course was patterned after Augusta National but it trails the other two. The short course is very nice.

2) Magnolia Grove, Mobile: Two full-length 18s that host a LPGA event every year. The two courses are the Falls and the Crossings. The Crossings is used for the tournament. Again, though, I prefer the other one. The only drawback of the Falls course is that you don't go back to the clubhouse after the ninth hole, so plan accordingly. Extremely tight in spots, lots of elevated greens and if you don't like to putt on undulating Bermuda grass you'll go nuts in short order.

3) Capitol Hill, Prattville: Three full-length 18s (Judge, Senator, Legislator) and no short course. The Senator is used every year for the LPGA Navistar Classic and has hosted the Nationwide Tour before. The Judge isn't used for TV because, and I'm not kidding, it's too tough. Some state officials want to make a run at a U.S. Open with this course. The Judge is penalty-length long. There's a 700-plus-yard par five on the thing and water everywhere. The first hole is one of the finest golf holes you can play, but I found it to get a little redundant over the course of the round. It never lets up on you. The Senator is a true Scottish links course with virtually no trees. The Legislator is very underrated. The back nine on that course is one of the best thinking man's courses you can find. This is the last course on the Trail that had RTJ Sr.'s involvement before his death.

4) Ross Bridge, Birmingham: One 18-hole course. Big, long, wide, lots of hills. What makes it what it is, is that the Trail bosses consider this their centerpiece and price it and maintain it accordingly. Hosts a Senior Tour event. This course was not designed by RTJ Sr.

5) Hampton Cove, Huntsville: Two 18-hole courses, the Highlands and the Lakes. The Highlands is one of the Trail's most solid continuous set of holes. There isn't a lot of tricked-up stuff on that course. They make up for it on the River course: It has no sand. It's very long, excruciatingly hot/humid and it's a mosquito trap in the summer. Very long. I played both courses in one day in July a few years ago and wanted someone to shoot me in the head afterwards.

6) Grand National, Opelika: Two full-length 18s, the Links and the Lakes. The Lakes is overrated, IMO. The Links is devilishly hard. This was the hardest course on the trail by far before Capitol Hill was built. Lots of water on this one, and wildlife. You'll see deer on the course more often than not.

7) The Shoals, Florence: Two full-length 18s. The Schoolmaster and Fighting Joe (named after President Woodrow Wilson and Gen. Joe Wheeler). Both tough, scenic courses. Not designed by RTJ Sr., however. Probably the most underrated property on the trail.

8) Silver Lakes, Anniston: Three 9s and a short course. The 9s are the Mindbreaker, Heartbreaker and Backbreaker. I played them in a straight stretch and liked them all. Mindbreaker is probably the best followed by the Heartbreaker. They're named accordingly.

9) Oxmoor Valley, Birmingham: Two 18s, the Valley and the Ridge. The Valley is one of the easier and prettier courses on the Trail. Can't be played in the rain, though. It doesn't drain well. The Ridge is sunken into an old USX iron ore mine. It's the single hardest golf course I've ever played in my life. Some really neat design features, including "island" greens surrounded by iron ore rock. But when people talk about RTJ Sr.'s penchant for "goofy golf" design features, they're pretty much talking about this course.

10) Highland Oaks, Dothan: Three 9s and a short course. The 9s are the Magnolia, Highlands and Marshwood. Not a lot to distinguish this place. It's not played as much as the others.

11) Point Clear Resort, Fairhope: An older course that was freshened up and added to the Trail because it hooks onto a Marriot spa and resort (same deal at Ross Bridge and The Shoals). I don't think RTJ Sr. had anything to do with this one, either. Completely different course than the others.

Hope this helps,
Jess

#9 morganmonroe

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:57 PM

View PostJessN16, on Jul 3 2009, 03:55 AM, said:

Here are my takes (this is an old thread, I know)...

It never lets up on you.

RTJ courses in general, IMO.  Penal beyond belief.  Makes you think about EVERY shot, though.  I just get tired of thinking.

#10 adamjstl

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:32 PM

the rtj trail, from what i've seen, are designed with the philosophy of "hard par, easy bogey"... also, the par 5s are generally very long, to encourage players to hit them in 3 shots, not 2..... I'm a 3 handicap, and playing the tips on these courses would be more pain than pleasure :)

that being said, they are all outstanding courses with beautiful scenery


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#11 8orBetter

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:36 PM

Hampton Cove River is shut down to resurface the greens with Champions Bermuda. I didn't get a chance to check out if they were reshaped or not. If they weren't this will make it one of the hardest damn courses in America LOL. The trail is going to phase out some of the Bent on a few courses over the next few years from what I've heard which is welcomed for the Superintendents I'm sure,




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