Golf at the RTJ Trail, Alabama
The Robert Trent Jones Trail (or "RTJ Trail") is the largest golf construction project ever attempted on the planet. Located in the state of Alabama between the towns of Huntsville and Mobile, the Trail is an enormous collection of high-quality championship courses. The idea for this grand project came from Dr. David Bronner, who was in charge of Alabama State's pension fund assets and wished to do something to help the State. He invited the worldclass golf architect Robert Trent Jones Sr to design all (original) golf sites and invested an initial US$120 million, in the hope that golfers from around the world would visit and boost the local tourism. The plan is a great success. The RTJ Trail has become a top holiday destination for golfers, offering an excellent variety of courses, suitable for golfers of all levels. Each of the courses is unique, no mass production took place. Last but not least, the greenfees are very affordable as well, varying from c. $40 in winter (low season) to c. $60 in spring (peak season).
Where to play
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced players, there is plenty of choice to pick your ideal course. The original 7 complexes have grown to 10, including - from North to South - The Shoals, Hampton Cove, Silver Lakes, Oxmoor Valley, Ross Bridge, Grand National, Capitol Hill, Cambrian Ridge, Highland Oakes, Magnolia Grove and Lakewood. At all courses, the tee boxes are designed not to differentiate for gender, but for ability. Besides the RTJ Trail, Alabama offers several other excellent golf sites.
Where to stay
As you can imagine, the grand project not only incorporates great golf courses, but a wide array of excellent golf resorts as well. Some of the recommended options are the Marriott at Capitol Hill, the Marriott at Grand National, the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort and the Marriott Shoals Resort & Spa.