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Robert Trent Jones Trail - Official 2010 Guide

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THE TRAIL GUIDE
    THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO AL ABAMA’S ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF TRAIL · 2010 EDITION
GETTY IM S
 ET IMAGES




Navistar is proud to return in 2010 as the title sponsor of the Navistar LPGA Classic. A global transportation company with a
family of brands committed to helping you, your neighbor, or someone on the other side of the world pursue a better tomorrow.
Our innovative and fuel-efficient International® trucks move goods coast to coast, our IC Bus™ brand buses transport more
children to school every day than any other bus manufacturer, our Navistar Defense vehicles safeguard our nations troops and
our recreational vehicles from Monaco RV, LLC feature the comforts of home for leisure travel. Many of these vehicles are
powered by our MaxxForce® Advanced Diesel engines, which are made right here in Alabama.




For spectacular off-highway drives, don’t miss the 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic on the Senator Course
at Capitol Hill in Prattville, AL, October 6-10, 2010. To get a free ticket good any day of the tournament,
just go to www.navistarlpgaclassic.com/2010 to register.
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                                     OFF THE TRAIL
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                                                                                        So when Dr. Bronner proposed building a trail of golf courses
                                                                                     to attract tourists and retirees, there were a lot of naysayers
                                                                                     who thought his idea was also a bit too ambitious. The scope
                                                                                     of the project—the largest construction project in the history of
                                                                                     golf—and the idea that tourists would come to Alabama just to
                                                                                     play golf, seemed pretty unlikely to many people.
                                                                                        Now, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is acclaimed
                                                                                     as the best golf value in the entire nation, and two of the Trail
                                                                                     courses, Grand National and Capitol Hill, were named the Number
                                                                                     1 and Number 2 public golf courses in the United States in 2008
                                                                                     by the readers of Golf World magazine.
                                                                                        Through RSA’s innovative and comprehensive advertising
                                                                                     campaigns, many of those who previously knew little about
                                                                                     our state saw television and newspaper ads about the Trail,
                                                                                     RSA-owned hotels, state attractions and other positive aspects
                                                                                     of Alabama. This effort has paid off exponentially for our state.
                                                                                     Since the Trail’s inception, Alabama’s tourism industry has
                                                                                     grown from $1.8 billion to $9.3 billion.
                Welcome to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail!                           Those of us who know and love this state are proud of the many
                   This beautiful Alabama attraction came about as the result of     accolades received by the RTJ Golf Trail. Until the world saw the
                a great deal of vision, commitment, and old fashioned hard work.     success of what had been done here in Alabama, few others dared
                   Making projects of this magnitude a reality is something that     think of using a golf trail as a tourism draw. Now, there are golf
                I personally understand. You see, it was not long after I became     trails in many other states and Canada, but few compare with the
                governor of Alabama in 1993 that we had an opportunity to recruit    original—and we feel the best—right here in Alabama.
                Mercedes Benz to build its first North American manufacturing            Alabama has grown tremendously over the past decade
                plant in Alabama. At that time, such a project was seen as a long    as other states and countries recognize our rich natural
                shot and the detractors and doubters were many.                      resources, hard working people and wonderful quality of life.
                   Fortunately, dreams do come true, and Mercedes chose              Companies from around the world continue to recognize the
                Alabama after one of the most energetic competitions in history.     still untapped economic and tourism potential in Alabama.
                Landing Mercedes was the pivotal event in building what is           We are grateful for those who saw Alabama’s promise and
                now Alabama’s world renowned automobile industry. It brought         potential and had the vision and courage to act upon that dream.
                positive national attention to a state long trapped in outdated      For that, Alabama is a better state today.
                perceptions. It also served as a catalyst for bringing in other
                auto companies, which now include Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota.
                I am proud to say that in 2007 the one-millionth automobile was
                manufactured in Alabama.
                   There’s a logical parallel between our endeavor to attract the
                automobile industry and the vision Dr. David G. Bronner had in
                building the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Alabama had long been
                viewed as a pass-through state, a place visitors would see as
                they came to visit relatives or as they drove through on their way   The Honorable Jim Folsom
                to Florida and other neighboring states.                             Lieutenant Governor




                                                                                                                                    THE TRAIL GUIDE   3
                                                      PRICES FROM
                                                      $180’s to $700’s




                                          luxury living on the trail
                 SEE OUR LUXURY MODEL HOMES by INTERNATIONALLY-KNOWN DESIGNER

From Auburn fans to golf lovers to retirees, National Village has several     two-bedroom to five-bedroom homes gives you access to world-class
luxury living options for you directly on the Robert Trent Jones                     golf, miles of walking trails, access to fitness room, pool and
Golf Trail. Come see spectacular new model homes                                               dining at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel. Come
designed by Kay Green, one of the nation’s top                                                    see why Golf World readers named Grand National
interior designers, and tour the available homes at                                              the number one public golf location in the country.
National Village in Opelika. Owning one of these                                                 Now you can call it home at National Village.


TOUR THE NATIONAL AWARD-WINNING MODELS AND AVAILABLE HOMES
at National Village by calling 334.749.8165 or stop by for a visit. Located in Opelika adjacent to Grand
National on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Homes open seven days a week. www.nationalvillage.com                            All information is believed to be
                                                                                                                                  accurate but is not warranted.
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        CONTENTS
                                                                       TRAIL GUIDE · 2010 EDITION




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···············                                                                          Golf landscape photography throughout by Michael Clemmer
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                  10                                                                 7
···············        LIVING LARGE IN ‘BAMA                                                NATIONAL PUBLICATIONS PRAISE
···············        Golf Digest travel editor offers tips                                RTJ GOLF TRAIL & RESORTS
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···············        on experiencing the Trail.
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                                                                                     8      MAKING OF A MASTERPIECE
                                                                                            The story behind the RTJ Golf Trail.



                  14
···············        SPRING IN MOBILE,
···············        FALL IN PRATTVILLE
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                       LPGA tournaments return to the Trail in 2010.
                                                                                   22       TOP OF THEIR CLASS RTJ Golf Trail Resorts
                                                                                            honored internationally for luxury & value.

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                  18                                                               28
···············        ALABAMA TO A TEE                                                     ALABAMA ART
···············        A Chicago Tribune writer and his friends                             Golf Trail’s hotels showcase local artists.
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···············        take on the Trail’s challenging courses.
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                                                                                   30       LIFE ON THE TRAIL
                                                                                            Residential options offer different experiences.




                       ON THE COVER: One of the original
                       Trail locations, Oxmoor Valley’s Ridge
                                                                                   35       A VISITOR’S GUIDE TO THE TRAIL

                       course and its 17th hole continue to
                       challenge golfers today.
                       Above: No. 12 on the Shoal’s Fighting
                       Joe offers both beauty and a challenge
                       to golfers from around the world.




                                                                                                                                   THE TRAIL GUIDE   5
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NATIONAL PUBLICATIONS PRAISE
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     RTJ GOLF TRAIL &RESORTS
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             From Golf Digest to U.S. News & World Report to Travel + Leisure, the Robert Trent
             Jones Golf Trail and its Resort Collection have received praise from some of the
             country’s top publications.


                                                                      GOLF ALL-STARS Golf Digest            2009
                                                                      In the August 2009 issue of Golf Digest, the magazine names its list of All-Stars
                                                                      of Public Golf. Like many golf all-star listings, Tiger Woods is first on the list,
                                                                      followed by a who’s who of golf: Lee Trevino, Nancy Lopez, Hale Irwin, Fred Couples
                                                                      and others. The list of a dozen names concludes with Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO
                                                                      of the Retirement Systems of Alabama.“Dr. David Bronner led the development of
                                                                      the largest public golf course project in history, Alabama’s 11-site Robert Trent
                                                                      Jones Golf Trail,” cited Golf Digest.




      [   “We focus every day on enhancing our guests’ experience on the golf
           courses and in our hotels,” said Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems
           of Alabama. “The RTJ Golf Trail offers a unique blend of great golf, luxurious
           accommodations and world-class amenities in picturesque settings.”

             NUMBER ONE VALUE IN THE COUNTRY FOR GOLF Golf Digest 2008
             Golf Digest, in partnership with the Travel Industry Association of
             America, recently announced the findings of their 2008 Travel &
                                                                                       BATTLE HOUSE NAMED “ONE OF THE TOP 500 HOTELS
                                                                                       IN THE WORLD” Travel + Leisure 2009
                                                                                                                                                [
                                                                                       The Battle House was named one of the “Top 500 Hotels in the
             Destination Study and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail came out on       World” by Travel + Leisure magazine in its January 2009 issue.
             top for value. The RTJ Golf Trail also ranked in #8 for golf quality.     Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham was
                                                                                       on the 2008 list.
             TRAIL COURSES RANK #1 AND #2 PUBLIC COURSES
             IN THE COUNTRY Golf World 2008                                            BATTLE HOUSE SPA NAMED “ONE OF SEVEN MUST-DO SPAS
             According to the readers of Golf World, the best public golf courses      IN THE WORLD” Shape magazine 2009
             in the country are on the Trail. For public golf, the Auburn/Opelika’s    The October 2009 issue of Shape magazine featured seven spas
             Grand National was the top location in the country and Prattville’s       from around the world as must-do’s for spa lovers. The Battle
             Capitol Hill was second. Mobile’s Magnolia Grove placed #32.              House was one of five spas in the United States featured and was
                                                                                       highlighted for its value. The Hungarian Mud treatment was a
              AUBURN/OPELIKA NAMED ONE OF THE “TOP 10 RETIREMENT                       favorite of the magazine.
              SPOTS FOR GOLF NUTS” U.S. News & World Report 2008
              U.S. News & World Report named Auburn/Opelika as one of the top          GRAND HOTEL WINS READER’S CHOICE AWARD
             “Ten Great Retirement Spots for Golf Nuts.” The article explains that     Southern Living 2009
              Auburn is not simply a football town, but offers one of the greatest     In the annual Southern Living Readers’ Choice Awards, the Grand
              opportunities for golfers that can be found nationwide. Auburn/          Hotel was named the #4 favorite hotel. The city of Fairhope was
              Opelika is a “great option for retiring golfers looking to settle down   also recognized as the #2 Best Small Town in the South by Southern
              in the South.” U.S. News & World Report said the Robert Trent Jones      Living readers. The Grand Hotel also recently was honored by Wine
              Golf Trail is “a 26-course masterpiece that winds through the state.”    Enthusiast magazine for the hotel’s wine program.




                                                                                                                                      THE TRAIL GUIDE   7
MAKING MASTERPIECE
       THE STORY BEHIND THE RTJ GOLF TRAIL
                        BY TOMMY HICKS
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    ·························                 Mona Lisa has worn that same, silly little smirk of a smile for more than 500
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    ·························                 years. The farmer portrayed in the painting “American Gothic’’ is still holding on
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    ·························                 to the same pitchfork. Equally, Venus de Milo, The Thinker, the Sistine Chapel
    ·························
    ·························                 and other great works of art created years ago share a common thread today.
    ·························
    ·························                 They are masterpieces.
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    ·························                     A more modern work of art uses the same ideas for its base as              Prior to the Trail, Dr. Bronner said, state tourism was worth
    ·························
    ·························                 the classic works of art. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, much          $1.8 billion. That figure grew to $9.6 billion after the Trail. While
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    ·························                 like the aforementioned works, used bold strokes to produce a              the courses offer challenges and opportunities for golfers, it is
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    ·························                 work based in simplicity. It, too, is a masterpiece. But unlike the        what the Trail has provided for the citizens of Alabama that most
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    ·························                 classics, the Trail isn’t afraid to tweak its work, seeking to make        pleases Dr. Bronner.
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    ·························                 it even more beautiful while maintaining the challenges and                    “People that work for one of the companies that came to
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    ·························                 integrity of the course’s original work and idea. And so it has, with      Alabama, that person has no idea that the Trail directly affected
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E
    ·························                 recent renovations to The Crossings Course at Mobile’s Magnolia            their lives and their jobs, and that’s fine,’’ he said “That’s what
    ·························
    ·························                 Grove, the Ridge Course at Birmingham’s Oxmoor Valley and The              makes it worthwhile, knowing that a lot of neat, great Alabamians
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    ·························                 Highlands Course at Huntsville’s Hampton Cove, the Trail has               might be at a much lower income level had it not been for the Trail.’’
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    ·························                 altered its original work and come away with a new look; more bold             Dr. Bronner noted that, “A lot of people never would have come
    ·························
    ·························                 strokes fashioned to present a work of beautiful simplicity.               here if it hadn’t been for the Trail.’’ Instead, thousands of visitors
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    ·························                     In effect, those ideas–bold strokes and simplicity–have been           have put Alabama on their travel schedules for the chance to
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    ·························                 the backbone of the Trail since its inception. Dr. David G. Bronner,       play the Trail. Rocker Alice Cooper played The Judge at Prattville’s
    ·························
    ·························                 CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, was searching for an             Capitol Hill and told Dr. Bronner, “It ripped my handicap to pieces,
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    ·························                 idea that would bring new industry to the state of Alabama while           and I loved every minute of it.’’ A lady from Atlanta told the story
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    ·························                 also improving the lives of its citizens.                                  of being in South Africa and watching the Navistar LPGA Classic
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    ·························                     “We wanted to change the image of the state,’’ Dr. Bronner             golf tournament, played at Capitol Hill, on television. “She told the
    ·························
    ·························                 said. “The Trail has done that. A lot of people would never have           friends she was with, ‘I’m going to play that course.’’
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                                              come to Alabama if it hadn’t been for the Trail. It has changed




                                                                                                                         [                                                           [
                                              the perception of Alabama. The adage, ‘bad news travels and
                                                                                                                                     Rocker Alice Cooper played
                                              good news stays at home,’ holds some truth.’’ Good news, in the
                                              form of the Trail, traveled, and traveled quickly. Many thought Dr.                The Judge at Prattville’s Capitol Hill
                                              Bronner’s idea of a golf trail throughout the state foolish at best.
                                                                                                                                  and told Dr. Bronner, “It ripped
                                              Others suggested the idea would be a huge failure and end up
                                              being just more bad news.They were wrong.                                         my handicap to pieces, and
                                                  “The most important part of the Trail is that it has attracted
                                              industry to Alabama and as such, has helped create tens of
                                                                                                                                I loved every minute of it.’’
                                              thousands of jobs,’’ Dr. Bronner said. “Many people in the state
                                              are working for those industries now and are in jobs paying                   “That’s a woman from Atlanta, visiting South Africa, saying she
                                              $50,000 to $60,000 a year.’’                                               was going to Prattville, Alabama, to play the Trail,’’ Dr. Bronner
                                                  In retrospect, Dr. Bronner said the Trail “turned out a lot better     said. “That’s the kind of exposure the Trail has provided and the
                                              than I had hoped.” He said the beauty of the Trail can be seen             kind of reach it has had.’’
                                              every day at each of the 11 sites. The Trail’s beauty not only is             As with other works of art, some have attempted to duplicate
                                              aesthetic, but “it’s beautiful because we went into the woods and          the original. Dr. Bronner said, “Two dozen states have tried the
                                              created something,” he said. “It also has a philosophical beauty.”         copy the idea, but only one spent the money.’’ He added some
                                                  “We had enjoyed success with the Retirement Systems, but I             states attempted to create a golf trail by using existing courses.
                                              didn’t feel I had done much to enhance the state of Alabama and            “There’s only one real Trail,’’ Dr. Bronner noted.
                                              the quality of life in Alabama,’’ he said. “I think it’s exciting to see      He’s right. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is an original, a
                                              the success and have golfers from across the country and other             masterpiece of golf design and play that has lifted the image
                                              countries play the Trail. It’s great to see industry come to the state     and corporate profile of the state of Alabama and provided an
              Opposite: Hole No. 9 on the     and how it has changed the state. That was our goal. We were               improved quality of life for its citizens.
      Highlands Course at Hampton Cove        basically saying to the world, ‘We have potential,’ and that has              If it were possible, it’s the kind of achievement that would make
         in Huntsville. One of the original   been recognized globally.                                                  Mona Lisa break into a full-bore grin. ■
           RTJ course, the Highlands was          “In my line of work, I have as many failures as I have successes.
                        renovated in 2009.    It’s good to see something that works and that has worked so well.’’       Tommy Hicks is a sportswriter for the Mobile Press-Register.




                                                                                                                                                                           THE TRAIL GUIDE   9
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                          LIVING LARGE
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                          IN
                          ★★★★
                               ‘BAMA                         EDITED BY MATT GINELLA Reprinted with permission of Golf Digest


                          I’ve been to Birmingham and back, and everything there is big. I stayed at a big
                          resort, played a big golf course, had big portions of food and was issued speeding
                          tickets (not one, but two) by police officers wearing big hats. “What are you doin’
                          down here?” they each asked after they looked at my New York state driver’s license.
                          I’ve since paid two big fines.

                              But let me tell you more about my trip.                              started the trail 15 years ago, we brought in $1.8 billion a year
                             The 15-year-old Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail comprises 11            in tourism,” says Bronner. “Today we’re up to $9.3 billion a year.”
                          locations, 26 courses, 468 holes and 100 miles of golf that weaves           Some golfers travel the Trail and others prefer to hunker down
                          through the state like veins. The average green fee during the peak      in one spot. I felt a need to do the latter. I stayed and played in
                          fall and spring months is $50. The highest fee at most courses is        and around Birmingham because it was easy to get there by
                          $64, and the Trail is widely considered a collection of the best value   plane, and I was familiar with Ross Bridge, the course that hosts
                          golf in the world.                                                       a Champions Tour event in May. Although Ross Bridge has the
                             The Trail, which is owned and operated by the Retirement              highest green fee on the Trail ($148 during peak season), it’s
             Opposite:    Systems of Alabama and founded by Dr. David G. Bronner, is a             cheaper than most ★★★★½ courses in the country, and it
    Ross Brdige No. 14.   big reason for the rise in the state’s tourism dollars. “When we         offers award-winning, four-diamond lodging. ···»




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   As I drove through suburbia, past a church, a park and through a see a number of holes from the same spot.” The 13th hole, 698          ·················
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new housing development, I came upon a castle. The Renaissance yards from the tips, is as long as a workweek. The tee box feels            ·················
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Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa opened in 2006 with 259 guest like Monday, and the flag is Friday. I teed off from Wednesday,                 ·················
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rooms (starting at $189 per night), 11 suites ($300 a night), dining which is only 540 yards, and I still could manage only a 6.           ·················
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options, and a 12,000-square-foot spa. With its dark-wood interior,      Just down the street from Ross Bridge is Oxmoor Valley and        ·················
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formal lobby and bar area, efficient service, spacious rooms and another 54 holes of fun. I played the Ridge and Valley courses.            ·················
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high-speed wireless Internet, it’s got a sophisticated feel. And the Both are $64 during peak season, and both are worth it. Here,         ·················
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Renaissance is right on the golf course. You can access the golf trees and narrow landing areas come into play, as do rolling              ·················
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shop from the hotel elevator.                                         fairways, elevated tee shots and greens. The Valley course doesn’t   ·················
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   Ross Bridge is the third-longest golf course in the world, and have as many spectacular views, which is why I prefer the Ridge          ·················
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my plan was to play from the tips, for no other reason than to say course. Both present challenging finishes to your round. The             ·················
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I did. Then I considered the wind, which was blowing about 15 Valley’s 441-yard 18th is nicknamed “the Assassin” because it’s              ·················
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miles per hour, and the temperature, which was 45 degrees in uphill and into the wind; it’s a graveyard for good rounds. The               ·················
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early November, and the number on the scorecard: 8,191 yards. Ridge wraps up with 592 yards of trouble along the left side of              ·················
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I stuck my first tee in the ground between the orange markers, the fairway.                                                                 ·················
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which played 6,783 yards.                                                I finished my trip a big fan of Birmingham. There are 10 more      ·················
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   Ross Bridge is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s a golf destinations on the trail I still haven’t seen, but not returning to     ·················
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course that has been pulled and stretched in every direction. I’ve Ross Bridge would be a big mistake. ■                                   ·················
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never felt so small. Think Gulliver’s Travels. As you stand in a                                                                           ·················
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fairway, you feel like it’s Gulliver’s home course, and you’re one *Star listings from 1 to 5 are derived from readers’ Best Places To     ·················
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of the Lilliputians who tied him down. Critics will say it’s too big. Play ratings. Visit golfdigest.com/courses for more information.     ·················
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Walking Ross Bridge is not an option, though you will get plenty                                                                           ·················
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of exercise hiking from its cartpaths to its greens. I like something                                                                      ·················
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that’s unique, so I loved the experience, regardless of the excess GOLF GUIDE                                                              ·················
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space and big green fee.                                              ROSS BRIDGE (★★★★½) $148,                                            ·················
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  “Ross Bridge is our highest price point on the trail because it rossbridgeresort.com, 800.593.6419                                       ·················
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costs more to mow an extra 6,000 acres,” Bronner says. “But we OXMOOR VALLEY (RIDGE) (★★★★) $64, rtjgolf.com                               ·················
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built this course to hold a tournament. For a spectator, you can OXMOOR VALLEY (VALLEY) (★★★★) $64, 800.949.4444                           ·················
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LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
CHAMPAGNE WISHES…                                       HOG HEAVEN                                               CAN I DRIVE?
The spa at Ross Bridge has bamboo floors, low           I’m not a gearhead, but I didn’t want to leave the       Next door to the Motorsports Museum is the 2.8-mile
lighting, couples treatment rooms and a variety of      Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. About 25              track they use for the Porsche Sport Driving School.
services, including hot-stone massages and “the         minutes from Ross Bridge is a five-floor display           (There’s shuttle service to and from the airport and
ultimate 75-minute caviar facial” for $195.             of 1,220 motorcycles and 50 Lotus cars ($15 for          to and from the resort.) Open 140 days a year, and
                                                        adults; $10 for children; free for kids 3 and under).    with a fleet of 50 new Porsches, it’s the Augusta
                                                        The oldest of George Barber’s personal motorcycle        National of car classes ($1,795/one day, $2,995/
                                                        collection dates to 1902. “They all run,” says Brian     two day). Notable students: Corey Pavin, Bernhard
                                                        Slark, the museum’s technical director.                  Langer and Loren Roberts.




                                                        Left: A hot-stone massage at The Spa at Ross Bridge.
                                                        Opposite: Ross Bridge serves as the official host hotel
                                                        for the Porsche Sport Driving School.
                                                        Photo courtesy of Porsche Sport Driving School.




12   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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        SPRING IN MOBILE»
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                    BellMicro LPGA Classic · May 10–16, 2010»Navistar LPGA Classic · October 6–10, 2010




       »FALL IN PRATTVILLE
                                                LPGA TOURNAMENTS RETURN TO THE TRAIL IN 2010
                                                 Perhaps the only people busier than Lorena Ochoa and her coaches in
                                                 2009 were the golf course construction crew finishing the Crossings
                                                 course at Mobile’s Magnolia Grove. In October all of their hard work
                                                 paid off. Ochoa repeated as champion in the Navistar LPGA Classic
                                                 with a four stroke win over Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang in Prattville.
             Opposite: LPGA players will take    Simultaneously, the finishing touches were made three hours south on
                on the new Crossings Course      the massive Crossings course redesign. Both Ochoa and the Crossings
          during the Bell Micro LPGA Classic     course are world-class and will be showcased on the LPGA Tour in 2010.
            in Mobile. Top left: Lorena Ochoa
           defended her title at the Navistar       The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) players           Spring will be an ideal time to showcase the new Crossings
             LPGA Classic. Above, clockwise      will be spending two weeks on the Robert Trent Jones Golf         course, said John Cannon, president of Sunbelt Golf, which
           from top left: Yani Tseng, Natalie    Trail in 2010. After taking a year off for the Crossings course   oversees the RTJ Golf Trail. “The course will have several
         Gulbis, Morgan Pressel and Brittany     redesign, the BellMicro LPGA Classic will return to Mobile’s      months to mature and we are looking forward to seeing how
        Lang challenged Ochoa in the exciting    Magnolia Grove from May 10 to 16, 2010. The Navistar LPGA         reigning champion Angela Stanford and the other LPGA players
           Navistar tournament in Prattville.    Classic will return to Prattville from October 6 to 10, 2010 on   will perform on the Crossings Course. For players, sponsors
                 LPGA photos by Dave Martin      the Senator course at Capitol Hill.                               and fans, the new date should be ideal. With spring weather,




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The Navistar LPGA Classic will return to Prattville for the 4th year in 2010. Players and fans were able to see the Navistar trucks and Monaco RVs placed around the course.
Lorena Ochoa enjoyed the comfortable October air during the Navistar tournament.



bountiful seafood and blooming azaleas, Mobile is spectacular in               TOURNAMENT NOTES
May and we look forward to bringing the BellMicro LPGA Classic                  Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV
back to Magnolia Grove.”
   For the fourth year, the Navistar LPGA Classic will return to                OCHOA NOTCHES 27TH LPGA CAREER WIN AT NAVISTAR LPGA
Prattville in 2010 following the largest crowds and television                  CLASSIC PRESENTED BY MONACO RV
viewership in the tournament’s history. With first time
appearances by Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis, and the                        Overcast skies and a threat of rain did not faze Lorena Ochoa in her quest for a successful
introduction of fourteen-year-old golfing sensation Alexis                     title defense and $195,000 check at the $1.3 million Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by
Thompson, the 2009 tournament generated international                          Monaco RV. The 6,546-yard Senator Course at Capitol Hill on the Robert Trent Jones Golf
excitement and exposure. Golf Channel viewership of the                        Trail set up well for the second year in a row for Ochoa (66-68-66-70), although she took
tournament was up more than 40 percent over the previous                       her 54-hole, three-stroke lead and made it four by the end of regulation – avoiding the
year and the tournament landed on the front of sports sections                 playoff situation she found herself in one year ago. Her winning 18-under-par 270 beat
around the world. The October 4 to 10 schedule minimizes                       her 2008 tournament-record 15-under-par score by three strokes.
collegiate football conflicts and should help draw even larger                      Ochoa’s 27th career LPGA win came despite an opening five holes that included a bogey
crowds in 2010. More than 30,000 golf fans attended the                        on hole two, offset by a birdie on the par-4, fourth hole, followed by a double-bogey on the
2009 event.                                                                    par-5, 517-yard fifth hole after her initial tee shot ended up unplayable.
  “The Navistar LPGA Classic has been a great success for us,”                    “Of course it was a shame, that driver that I missed. It was early in the day. I just told
said Dan Ustian, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar                       myself to forget it. ‘You have many holes to go and just be patient,’” said Ochoa, who also
International Corporation. “It has given us an opportunity to                  successfully defended her last title in April at the Corona Championship. “I’m proud that
strengthen our brand awareness, give back to a community                       I did that and turned around and played really good the back nine.
where we do business and deepen relationships with our key                        “But the way I played the last few weeks and winning today, it means a lot. I have
customers, dealers, suppliers and business partners.”                          been working hard, and I guess I’m proud, because it’s just a good feeling. I’m gonna
  “Navistar has been a great partner for us for three years                    try to repeat a few of those this year, and I try hard to win the player of the year.”
now,” said Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems                     Tying their career-best performances, rookie Michelle Wie (66-70-72-66) and four-year
of Alabama. “We are extremely proud that this international                    Tour member Brittany Lang (68-68-68-70) tied for second at 14-under-par 274.
company has an Alabama presence with its diesel engine                             Wie, who battled a twisted ankle for the past two days found her only bogey
assembly plant in Huntsville, and that we have the pleasure                    of the day on the second hole and, after a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine, she
of working with Dan and his team again next year.”                             rallied on the back to move from a 54-hole tie for 13th to the runner-up position
   Tickets are already on sale for both events. To learn more                  thanks to five birdies on her back nine at holes 10, 12, 14, 16 and 17.
about the tournaments, visit www.navistarlpgaclassic.com and                      “I’m really proud of the way I grinded it out there, especially the back nine,” said the
www.bellmicrolpgaclassic.com. For information on the Robert                    season’s second-ranked rookie. “There (were) a lot of points where I felt like I had to
Trent Jones Golf Trail, visit www. rtjgolf.com. Also follow us on              stop and catch my breath and keep going. But, you know, I kept moving forward, so I
Facebook and Twitter. ■                                                        felt really good about it.”




16   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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Amateur Alexis Thompson (left) gained many new fans and made international news while topping the leader board throughout much of the Navistar LPGA Classic.
Michelle Wie (right) hits a shot out of the bunker during her first visit to the Navistar LPGA Classic. Wie tied with Brittany Lang for second place behind Lorena Ochoa.



      Lang’s first three rounds of 68s were broken with her 2-under-par 70. She ended the day              and amateur Jordan Hardy were the only two entries, therefore
   encouraged, partly by the fact that she felt the score was the worst she could have posted.            earning their way into the tournament proper. Starting off with
     “I didn’t really finish exactly how I wanted to. I didn’t make a lot of putts today. I hit it         a blazing 7-under-par 65 – a career-low – and following up
   great again,” said Lang, who made her Solheim Cup debut in August and will play every                  with a 3-under-par 69, Thompson drew national attention
   event through the remainder of the year. “I hit it great. I had opportunities on every hole.           for her game. She made the cut and with weekend rounds of
   Missed a couple five, six footers for birdie, parred hole eight. So kind of it was the worst I          2-over-par 74, she finished at 6-under-par 282 for the week
   could – but I’m happy. It’s something to build on. It was good.”                                       and tied for 27th.

   TSENG RECORDS 10TH TOP-10 IN 2009                                                                      LOW AMATEUR ROUNDS IN LPGA EVENTS,
                                                                                                          1990-2009
   The 2008 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year recorded her 10th top-10 finish in 23
   starts at the Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV with a tie for fourth (71-                  64 – Erica Blasberg, second round, 2003 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship
   63-71-70=275, -13). Five strokes out of first, but only one stroke back from runner-up                  (T49) Paula Creamer, second round, 2004 ShopRite LPGA Classic (T2)
   golfers Brittany Lang (68-68-68-70) and Michelle Wie (66-70-72-66), Tseng earned                       65 – Stacy Lewis, 2007 NW Arkansas LPGA Championship
   $59,554 for her performance and became the ninth player this season to cross the $1                    (rain-shortened to 18 holes) Louise Stahle, second round, 2005
   million mark in season earnings ($1,055,027).                                                          Weetabix Women’s British Open (T8) Alexis Thompson, first round,
      Tseng, who won earlier this season at the LPGA Corning Classic, also became the fifth                2009 Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV
   player in the three-year tournament history to card the tournament-record 9-under-par 63.
   She now leads the Tour with 324 birdies this season, over Cristie Kerr’s 317.                          PRESSEL CARDS FIRST-ROUND HOLE-IN-ONE

   LANG CROSSES $2 MILLION MARK                                                                           Two-time LPGA Tour winner Morgan Pressel carded her third
                                                                                                          LPGA career hole-in-one in four seasons on Tour during
   Brittany Lang’s tie for second at the 2009 Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV                Thursday’s opening round of the Navistar LPGA Classic
   not only meant a $101,453 paycheck, but also pushed her over the $2 million mark in career             Presented by Monaco RV. Pressel aced her second hole of
   earnings. With 21 career LPGA top-10 finishes, including three runner-up performances,                  the day from 154 yards with a 6-iron. It was the 21st hole-
   Lang (68-68-68-70) stayed steady through the week and went a field-high 50 rounds without               in-one during the LPGA Tour’s 2009 campaign, fourth in
   a bogey – from the 10th hole of the first round to the 14th hole of Saturday’s third round.             tournament history and the third time in as many years that
                                                                                                          someone made a hole-in-one on the second hole of The Senator
   THOMPSON TURNS HEADS                                                                                   Course at Capitol Hill on the RTJ Golf Trail. In 2007, Virada
                                                                                                          Nirapathpongporn used a 5-iron from 176 yards and, in 2008,
   Top-ranked junior Alexis Thompson proved her game at the 2009 Navistar LPGA                            it was breast cancer survivor Wendy Doolan with a 9-iron
   Classic Presented by Monaco RV. The 14-year-old Floridian and her father drove to                      from 153 yards. Pressel finished the event tied for 19th at
   Prattville, Ala., for the tournament’s Monday qualifier event. When the day came, she                   8-under-par 280 (69-72-70-69). ■




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        ALABAMA TEE
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        PRIME SEASON NEARS FOR A STUNNING GOLF TRAIL THAT WON’T PUT YOUR BUDGET IN THE ROUGH
        BY STEVE MILLS Reprinted with permission of the Chicago Tribune; copyright Chicago Tribune; all rights reserved



          The view from the first tee of The Judge, one of three courses at the Capitol Hill stop on
          the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, is breathtaking: Spanish moss hanging from the tall
          oaks on the left, the Alabama River on the right, all of it about 200 feet below.

               Between the expanse of river and the stand of trees is a fairway             The trail and its individual courses routinely place near the top in golf
           silvered with the early morning dew, the kind of tableau that has drawn       magazine rankings and not only for affordability, though it is always
           an ever-expanding group of friends to this part of the country for the last   near the top in that category. The Grand National resort in Opelika and
           five or six years. We golf and, in what for some of us is culinary research,   Capitol Hill, here in Prattville, ranked at the top of Golf World magazine’s
           eat barbecue. By the end of the day, after at least 36 holes of golf and,     2009 readers’ choice awards.
           in the patois of the barbecue joints we frequent, three meats, we usually        With good reason. The courses are beautiful and challenging at
           are exhausted. It is a great feeling.                                         any level, a difficult combination of tough terrain, sand traps and
               During the last 15 years, Alabama has become an unlikely but              water hazards that are a good but fun test for serious players and
           increasingly popular destination for golf, its combination of world-class     recreational golfers alike. The on-site Marriotts I have stayed at
           courses and affordable greens fees at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s     are well-appointed and comfortable; the Renaissance hotels I’ve
           11 sites drawing savvy golfers from across the country.                       seen are fancier. ···»




                                                                                                                                                THE TRAIL GUIDE   19
    I suspect that most golfers use them as my group does, leaving             When Pillen and his friends were finished, they had played 153          ·························
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them early for their morning tee time and returning late, after a           holes of great golf.                                                      ·························
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drink or two at the clubhouse and then supper.                                 “There’re a lot of holes of golf, and it’s reasonably priced.          ·························
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    Clubhouses at each course, while similarly designed, offer good         And the courses are in great condition,” he said when he                  ·························
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snacks and meals—mostly the basics, although the breakfast                  was back in Kewanee. “For any purist of a golfer, that’s what             ·························
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sandwiches make for a good start to any round of golf. The pro              you want.”                                                                ·························
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shops stock an ample selection of logo clothing and a relatively               Staying outside the resort is the other way to do this trip,           ·························
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small selection of equipment. Employees are friendly, their easy            and my group has had to avail itself of that option on the rare           ·························
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drawls charming most Northerners.                                           occasion that we have found the resort hotels booked. In general,         ·························
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    But it is what you get for your money that draws most golf              the Marriotts and the Renaissance hotels are nicer than the chain         ·························
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fanatics to the RTJ trail.                                                  motels found along the expressways.                                       ·························
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    “You can go to some places and spend an outrageous amount                  Over the years, I have been to seven of the trail’s 11 stops, and      ·························
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of money,” said Mike Pillen, who works at a sporting-goods store in         I have yet to be disappointed. My favorite location: Grand National       ·························
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downstate Kewanee. “But here you have great golf for a reasonable           in Opelika, with its two courses, the Lake and Links, though the          ·························
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amount of money.”                                                           two courses at The Shoals in Muscle Shoals, in the northwest              ·························
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    Pillen, 47, was at Capitol Hill the same weekend as my group.           corner of the state, are a close second.                                  ·························
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I did not actually see him. But as my group was leaving—rushing                Our getaways are fairly simple. We fly into Birmingham                 ·························
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to drive up to Birmingham to catch a plane home—I spotted a truck           because you can fly there directly from Chicago. We rent a van.            ·························
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in the parking lot with a personalized Illinois license plate: Pinhy N 2.   We drive to a stop on the trail, and generally they’re never too          ·························
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    This, Pillen told me after I tracked him down, was his second           far. Because there are 11 locations, you can choose how far               ·························
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trip to Alabama for golf. He had heard about the RTJ trail from             you drive. From the airport this time out, we headed to Opelika,          ·························
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two sources—a friend and on the Web—and decided to give it                  about 21/2 hours southeast.                                               ·························
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a try. This time out, he and two friends made a local motel their              We stay two nights at each resort; it is nice to settle in rather      ·························
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base camp and played for five days, leaving early in the morning             than drive every night. So after Opelika, we headed here to Prattville,   ·························
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to drive to different stops across the state.                               staying at what was a nearly identical Marriott.                          ·························
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20   THE TRAIL GUIDE
                                     Of course, the trail offers more than just affordable golf. There    4 million visitors from 2000 to 2007 alone, topping out at 22.4
                                 are the afternoons when, just as you are teeing off, a blue heron        million. It helps, Bronner said, that many of the locations have
                                 lifts off from the water, or you spot an eagle flying above the           other attractions. So the visitor to, say, Hampton Cove courses in
                                 piney woods. Yes, you could argue that the golf interrupts such          Huntsville might also visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center or see
                                 a tranquil scene. But if you are there for golf, it accentuates it.      the tall ships when playing Mobile’s Magnolia Grove.
                                     That was part of the plan when David Bronner conceived of the           Truth be told, my group has not stopped for a single tourist
                                 golf trail. The head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, Bronner       attraction in the years since I’ve been going to Alabama, unless
                                 during the late 1980s and early 1990s was frustrated. True, the          you consider a barbecue joint at Capitol Hill called Fat Boy’s
                                 system was well-funded, his chief responsibility. Nonetheless, he        Bar-B-Que Ranch a tourist stop. Bronner said that way of
                                 felt as if he had not accomplished all he wanted.                        traveling the trail appeals more to couples and older folks who
                                     At the same time, Alabama was experiencing a crisis of               play 18 holes a day and then are looking for something else
                                 sorts, when controversy erupted over the site of the 1990                to do. That is not us. At least not yet.
                                 PGA Golf Championship—the Shoal Creek Golf and Country                      The trail also has attracted professional golfers with various
                                 Club, near Birmingham, which had not admitted any African-               events from the LPGA Tour, the Champions Tour and the Nationwide
                                 American members.                                                        Tour. Mostly, though, the trail hopes to attract golfers looking for
                                     “What Alabama didn’t understand was that it wasn’t a sports-         a fun and affordable trip, one that gets them more golf than they
                                 page story,” Bronner said in an interview. “It was a front-page story.   get elsewhere.
                                 So what I wanted was to change Alabama.”                                    Prime time to go? That’s March, April and October, said Bronner,
                                     Bronner lured famed course designer Robert Trent Jones to            when it is cool to cold in Chicago and warm in Alabama. This last
                                 Alabama to design the trail. Now, golfers who might otherwise            late October, we enjoyed days that began chilly—we even had a
                                 head to Florida or the Carolinas come to Alabama for a terrain of        rare frost delay one morning—and gradually warmed until the
 Previous: The Judge No.1        mountain, rivers and the Gulf of Mexico, a landscape that Bronner        afternoon temperature was in the 70s.
at Capitol Hill in Prattville.   calls “especially blessed.”                                                 Pillen, the Kewanee sports shop employee, said he already has
    Above: Grand National            The result: Since the first trail stops opened in the early           decided to return to Alabama and the trail. His headquarters:
     Links No. 3 in Opelika.     1990s, tourism has seen healthy increases, rising by about               here in Prattville. Sounds like a wonderful plan. ■




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      OF THEIR CLASS
      RTJ GOLF TRAIL RESORTS HONORED
      INTERNATIONALLY FOR LUXURY & VALUE
               For Meetings, Alabama’s Resorts Offer Over-the-
               top Experiences in Under-the-Radar Locations.

                   With 50 spas internationally at Marriott and JW Marriott Hotels, the top spa for
               guest satisfaction is located in Point Clear, Ala., at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort,
               Golf Club & Spa. Marriott International uses a third-party company specializing in
               guest satisfaction to rate all areas of the hotels, including spas. This is not the
               first time the Grand Hotel has topped the list. The Grand Hotel Spa ranked the #1
               Marriott spa in North America for 2008, but the top internationally ranking shines
               a new light on the historic hotel and its spa. The Grand Hotel is part of the Resort
               Collection on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
                   On the other side of Mobile Bay, the Spa at the Battle House was named one of
               Shape magazine’s top seven “Must Do Spas” in its October 2009 issue. The Battle
               House Hotel & Spa also won international praise being named in the “Top 500
               Hotels in the World” by Travel + Leisure.
                   In many areas, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and its resorts are indeed Top of
               the Class. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail not only has great golf at a value, but
               it also has luxury resorts ideal for both meetings and leisure travel. In times when
               meeting planners are shying away from perceived extravagance, the RTJ Resort
               Collection offers over-the-top experiences in under-the-radar locations.
                   Readers of ConventionSouth ranked all eight hotels as some of their favorites.
               With world-class hotels built for meetings and their proximity to great golf on the
               Trail, Alabama is a leading option for affordable yet upscale meetings in 2010 and
 The Spa at    beyond. Information on each of the eight hotels is below and also can be found
Ross Bridge.   online at www.pchresorts.com. Each hotel also has Facebook and Twitter sites. ···»




                                                                                 THE TRAIL GUIDE   23
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MOBILE BAY REGION                                                                  ················································
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Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa                                       Museum, the Museum of Mobile and the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science
Point Clear, Alabama www.marriottgrand.com                                         Center, which also features blockbuster exhibitions.
    www.facebook.com/thegrandhotel                                                    Having just undergone a $50 million renovation, the 374 plush guest
    www.twitter.com/marriottgrand                                                  rooms are as popular as the hotel’s spectacular views of Mobile Bay. The
Since 1847, The Grand has maintained a gracious tradition of Southern              Harbor Room restaurant features exceptional seafood and steaks. Riverview
hospitality on historic Mobile Bay. The Grand Hotel consistently receives the      Plaza features 32,000 square feet of versatile meeting, banquet and exhibit
AAA Four Diamond Award and is a family-friendly historical hotel that is 160       space. Mobile is the home of the country’s original Mardi Gras, and parades
years young and was named a top family resort by Travel + Leisure and Zagat.       pass in front of the Renaissance Riverview Plaza during Carnival season.
Southern Living readers named it as one of their favorites. A schedule of             Guests at all three Mobile Bay resorts have easy access to great golf at
activities and special weekends is particularly attractive to families. Groups     RTJ’s Magnolia Grove. Creeks, marshlands and lakes add to the challenge
appreciate the superlative meeting facilities. With 405 luxurious guest rooms      of Mobile’s Magnolia Grove. The Falls, Crossings and Short courses have all
and having some of Marriott’s best spas, golf courses and pools, the Grand         received national recognition from various golf publications. With Bell Micro’s
Hotel is now grander than ever. A $50 million renovation on The Grand was          LPGA full-field tournament in May at Magnolia Grove, the three Mobile Bay
completed in 2003 and again in 2006. The Dogwood and Azalea golf courses           hotels are a great place to stay for the event.
were renovated in 2005.
   The resort has 37,000 square feet of meeting space that was completely          CENTRAL ALABAMA AND MONTGOMERY REGION
renovated in 2006. The Grand’s 550 acres feature giant live oak trees,
multiple beaches and lush landscaping. A military salute and cannon firing          Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center
takes place each day at 4:00 p.m. and is followed by afternoon tea in the          Montgomery, Alabama www.renaissancemontgomery.com
hotel lobby. In addition to world-class golf and the 20,000-square-foot spa,          www.facebook.com/renaissancemontgomeryhotel
the resort has a variety of activities including eight rubico tennis courts, a        www.twitter.com/renaissancemgm
croquet lawn, horseshoes, bikes, kayaks, sailboats and other watercraft for        The Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center
the guests’ enjoyment.                                                             opened in February 2008 and brings Alabama’s capital city a great
   For those wanting to own a piece of the Grand Hotel, Colony at the Grand        cultural, culinary and corporate hub. The hotel features 346 luxurious
offers upscale condominium options overlooking Mobile Bay and the Azalea           rooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, an 1,800 seat performing
golf course. For more on the Colony, visit www.colonyatthegrand.com.               arts center and a European-style spa. Located near the Alabama River,
                                                                                   Renaissance Montgomery is a part of the city’s downtown revitalization.
Battle House, a Renaissance Hotel                                                  For concerts, plays and general entertainment, the hotel’s 1,800-seat
Mobile, Alabama www.rsabattlehouse.com                                             performing arts centre is quickly becoming the city’s social hot spot.
    www.facebook.com/battlehouse                                                      Renaissance Montgomery includes a newly renovated and expanded
    www.twitter.com/battlehouse                                                    convention center. The hotel complex has more than 100,000 square feet
Originally built in 1852 and closed in the mid-1970’s, the Battle House            of meeting space and features some of the latest technology available for
in Mobile has been restored to all its original grandeur. The Battle House         meetings. The Renaissance Montgomery is approximately 10 minutes from
reopened in May 2007 and has been named as one of the “Top 500 Hotels              the Capitol Hill site on the RTJ Trail.
in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2009. The hotel has also been named one
of National Geographic Traveler’s “Top Places to Stay” in North America and        Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel & Conference Center at Capitol Hill
was named a favorite by Coastal Living.                                            Prattville, Alabama www.marriottcapitolhill.com
   The 238 gracious guest rooms, new spa and historic lobby, restaurant               www.facebook.com/marriottcapitolhill
and ballrooms make Battle House the perfect urban retreat for business and            www.twitter.com/marriottcaphill
leisure guests with an affinity for the finer things in life. The hotel has 35,000   Minutes from downtown Montgomery and near the Bass Pro Shop, the
square feet of meeting space and is connected to RSA Battle House Tower.           Marriott hotel’s 95 guest rooms were completely renovated in 2009.
                                                                                   Seventy-four spacious guest rooms are located in the main lodge.
Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel                                                  Two eight-room luxury villas have living areas for informal gatherings
Mobile, Alabama www.renaissanceriverview.com                                       and are ideal for golfing groups. ···»
   www.facebook.com/riverviewplaza
   www.twitter.com/riverviewplaza
A prime downtown location with a covered walkway to the Mobile
Convention Center makes the Renaissance Riverview Plaza a favorite for                Opposite, clockwise from top: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention
business guests. Leisure travelers will enjoy easy access to the Alabama              Center; A featured recipe from the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa;
Cruise Terminal, the home port for the Carnival Cruise Line’s Holiday ship.           The Trellis Room in The Battle House; and a view from Mobile Bay of the Renaissance
Renaissance Riverview Plaza also is a short walk from the city’s Carnival             Riverview Plaza Hotel and RSA Battle House Tower




24   THE TRAIL GUIDE
THE TRAIL GUIDE   25
26   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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             Also renovated in 2009, the 10,000-square-foot Presidential Cottage           Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
          features five executive suites, private balconies, a lush garden and a            Birmingham, Alabama www.rossbridgeresort.com
          private heliport. All guest rooms at the hotel feature flat screen televisions        www.facebook.com/rossbridgeresort
          and high-speed internet access. Executive parlors and suites are available.          www.twitter.com/rossbridgehotel
          Luxurious bedding with down comforters and custom duvets were added              Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa is designed to provide a
          in 2009.                                                                         unique environment of stylish comfort and sophistication. Ross Bridge
             The hotel was the first to be built directly on the Robert Trent Jones Golf    was named “One of the Top 500 Hotels in the World” by Travel + Leisure
          Trail courses and overlooks the 54 holes of championship golf at Capitol         magazine in 2008. This four diamond resort has 259 guest rooms, with
          Hill. Named the #2 site for public golf in the country by Golf World readers,    balconies overlooking the third longest golf course in the world at 8,191
          this RTJ site hosts the LPGA Navistar Classic tournament in September.           yards from the tips. The resort has 11 spacious suites, for an extra level of
             The Marriot’s Oak Tavern offers dining with an extraordinary view             comfort and indulgence. Between Ross Bridge and nearby Oxmoor Valley,
          overlooking the 17th Fairway of the Senator Course. Indoor and outdoor           golfers have access to 54 holes of golf at this luxury resort.
          dining options are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel             Ross Bridge is the home of the Regions Charity Classic, a PGA Champions
          features 15,000 square feet of event space, including 13 venues, a new           Tour tournament, and is the host hotel for the Porsche Sport Driving School.
          ballroom and pre-function area and a covered terrace.                            The resort offers luxurious pampering in a 12,000-square-foot, European
             For recreation the hotel features an outdoor pool and whirlpool, a fitness     spa. Caviar facials, a couple’s treatment room and hot stone massages are
          center plus tennis and volleyball courts.                                        signature treatments in the spa. BestSpasUSA has named Ross Bridge as
                                                                                           one of their top spas.
          Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National                 The resort has multiple restaurants, including fine dining with a
          Opelika, Alabama www.marriottgrandnational.com                                   Mediterranean influence in Brock’s. The Clubhouse was named one of Golf
               www.facebook.com/marriottgrandnational                                      Digest’s “Favorite 19th Holes” in 2008. For meetings or special events,
               www.twitter.com/GrandNatl_Hotel                                             Ross Bridge has 20,000 square feet of function space ranging from a
          Named the #1 location for public golf in the country by GolfWorld readers,       large ballroom to a smaller, distinctive boardroom. The resort consistently
          it is easy to see why U.S. News & World Report named Auburn/Opelika one          remains among the top Renaissance hotels in the world for guest
          of the top places to retire for golf lovers. This location offers both a great   satisfaction and overall style.
          hotel and an upscale residential option.
              Situated just 10 minutes from Auburn University, in the quaint historic      Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa
          town of Opelika, the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel and Conference Center         Florence, Alabama www.marriottshoals.com
          at Grand National offers the finest, most luxurious accommodations in                 www.facebook.com/marriottshoals
          the area. This nationally renowned retreat is the region’s premier golf              www.twitter.com/marriottshoals
          destination and lakeside resort with 54 holes of Robert Trent Jones Golf         Overlooking the Tennessee River and historic Wilson Dam in Florence,
          Trail golf. The majority of guest rooms in this luxury hotel and resort          Alabama, the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa continues to be the Marriott
          overlook Grand National’s golf course and Lake Saugahatchee. The hotel           leader for exceptional golf, hotel rooms, pools and overall guest satisfaction.
          has 114 guest rooms and 15 luxury suites.                                        The 200 guest rooms, including seven suites, have private balconies and
              Renovated in 2006, this hotel has 15,000 square feet of technology-          riverfront views. The resort features Alabama’s only revolving restaurant
          equipped event space, a business center and a 96-seat amphitheater. The          and more than 30,000 square feet of versatile meeting space. For guest
          hotel was named among the “Best of the Best” by ConventionSouth readers          satisfaction, the hotel’s spa is one of Marriott’s top 10 internationally for
          and the hotel’s chef was named “Alabama’s Top Chef” by the Alabama               guest satisfaction.
          Hospitality Association.                                                            The Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa is a short distance from two new Robert
              For golfers wanting to move to the area, National Village offers             Trent Jones Golf Trail courses – Fighting Joe and Schoolmaster. The Fighting
          upscale homes and cottages adjacent to the Grand National. From a                Joe was named among the top 10 new courses by Golf Magazine and Travel +
          primary residence to second homes, National Village has great options            Leisure Golf. The Schoolmaster course opened in 2005 and approaches 8,000
          and golf waiting for you. For more on this upscale Trail residential option,     yards. In addition to great golf, the Shoals area is internationally known for
          visit www.nationalvillage.com.                                                   two things: bass fishing and a rich musical heritage.
                                                                                              The Bronzeback Café pays homage to the area’s bass fishing reputation.
                                                                                           Little Richard, Rolling Stones, Cher and others recorded in the Shoals, so the
                                                                                           hotel’s bar, Swamper’s Bar & Grill, celebrates the area’s rich musical heritage.
   Opposite, clockwise from top left: The Oak Tavern Bar at the Montgomery Marriott        For upscale dining, the revolving 360 tower restaurant offers remarkable
Prattville Hotel & Conference Center at Capitol Hill; Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa; Chef    cuisine and amazing views of the Tennessee River. The 6,000-square-foot
Pete Idsall of the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National;    European-style spa and salon helps make the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa
            and Brock’s wine cellar at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa       the premier resort in the Tennessee River Valley. ■




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         Alabama art
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········································                          GOLF TRAIL’S HOTELS SHOWCASE LOCAL ARTISTS
                                                                  The eight Alabama hotels owned by the Retirement Systems of
                                                                  Alabama are known for their commitment to quality and service,
                                                                  as well as a diverse collection of original art from Alabama artists.

                                                                     The “Alabama Art” collection features works          Pietrasanta, Italy, where his bronze work, “Peace
                                                                  curated by Nall, a native of Alabama who also           Frame” is installed as the gateway to the city.
                                                                  exhibits in Europe, as well as artists from around      Prince Albert II of Monaco said “Nall has been
                                                                  the state. The works hanging in the hotels range        such a fine cultural ambassador for his native
                                                                  from primitive, outsider art pieces to intricate        land with the Alabama Art Exhibit.” His book,
                                                                  mosaics and oils to photography.                       “Alabama Art,” won an award as “Best Art Book”
                                                                     Nall has long supported an art renaissance in        in the Southeastern United States. ■
                                                                  Alabama in an effort to explore the state’s artistic
                                                                  excellence. He has been awarded the University         For more information on Nall and Alabama art, visit
                                                                  of Alabama Image Award and the Governor’s Most         www.nallart.com. Many of the pieces on display are
                                                                  Distinguished Artist Award. He spearheaded the         available for purchase by contacting nall@nallart.com
                                                                  relationship between Montgomery, Alabama, and          or by writing PO Box 1343, Fairhope, Alabama 36533.




                                                                  ARTISTS WITH WORKS HANGING IN RSA’S ALABAMA HOTELS AND RESORTS INCLUDE: Judith Amanda,
                                                                  Jennifer Antoline, Margaret Barber, Ann Mottershead Betak, Sloane Bibb, Sue Blackshear, Julia Bradshaw,
                                                                  Neal Brantley, Kyle Braund, Edward Brummal, Nan Cunningham, Mike Handley, Marty Hoerr, J J Gaudel,
                                                                  Sybil Gibson, Sarita Gish, Jim Gunter, Anton Haardt, Amber Hall, Baba Hendricks, Carrie Johnson, Robert
                                                                  Harold Johnston III, Christy Rhodes Kirk, Charlie Lucas, Betty Sue Matthews, Jim Morris, Maya Morland,
                                                                  Christopher Moses, Haardt Moses, Donna Pickens, Tigjo Price, Barbara Reed, Natalyn Havenick Rose,
                                                                  Conrad & Janice Ross, Jayne Rushin, Michael Simpson, David M. Spears, George Taylor, Les Thompson,
                                                                  Langley Tolbert, Melissa Tubbs, Mary Catherine Watson and Dave Willmart.
                                                                     Xander Booker, Chip Cooper, Russell Goodloe, Nancy Goodman, Erin Fitzhugh Gregory, Stacey Howell,
                                                                  Robert Johnston, Ryan Clifford Keller, Mary Riser Kennedy, Bruce Larsen, Charlie Lucas, Michael
                                                                  Mastro, Betty Sue Matthews, Herbert “Mannie” Pair, Heather Pettersen, Joan White-Spunner, Lynda Smith
                                                                  Touart, Bradley Robertson, Stephen Savage, Kate Seawell, Susan Starr, Steve Strickland, Les Thompson,
                     Opposite: Alabama White Camellia Nall        Annie Tolliver, Susan Downing White, Devlin Wilson and Robert Zimmerman.
        This page, from left: Turtles, Birds and Snakes Mose T;      Artists Paul Looney, Ann Morland, Kate Seawell, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Yvonne Wells also have works
               Gables Neal Brantley; New York City Skyline        on consignment in the Renaissance Montgomery. Deceased artists in permanent collection include:
                 Jimmy Lee Sudduth; Elephant Bruce Larsen.        Steve Skidmore, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose T, and Flemming Tyler Wilson.




                                                                                                                                                          THE TRAIL GUIDE   29
                                                                                              ON THE TRAIL
                               RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS OFFER DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES
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                                 One group loves going to art openings, watching pelicans in flight at sunset and
                                 embraces the traditions of a fine Southern resort. The other enjoys the excitement of
                                 SEC athletics, the quaintness of a small college town and the serenity of a wooded
                                 setting. Both groups have access to world-class golf and Southern Hospitality. Now,
                                 the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offers two residential options for those looking to
       Opposite: From lap        play the Trail all year long in their primary home or looking to invest in an upscale
    pools to a lazy river to     second residence. Each offers very different experiences.
pool butlers serving meals
   poolside, the Colony at          Auburn/Opelika and Fairhope/Point Clear have been praised as      quaintness of a small Southern town or would rather browse
   the Grand recreational        some of the top retirement locations in the country. Each area       through antique shops and art galleries before enjoying sunset
  complex is popular with        offers great cultural options, unique charm and access to multiple   views over Mobile Bay, your new home is waiting for you on
     residents of all ages.      RTJ Golf courses. Whether you enjoy the university resources and     Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.




                                                                                                                                                 THE TRAIL GUIDE   31
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NATIONAL VILLAGE                                                                                                                                   ·························
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Auburn/Opelika, Alabama www.nationalvillage.com                                                                                                    ·························
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Can’t get enough golf…or fishing or hiking through woodland              chef in Alabama, according to the recent honor from the Alabama            ·························
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nature trails? Then check out National Village, a planned 700-acre      Hospitality Association. All of these amenities are available to           ·························
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resort community adjoining the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at         residents at National Village.                                             ·························
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Grand National near Auburn and Opelika, Alabama. Plans call for a          The Auburn/Opelika area was named one of the “Top 10 Places             ·························
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series of villages surrounded by open, green spaces, including the      to Retire for Golf” by US News & World Report. Readers of Golf             ·························
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Grand National golf facility and Lake Saugahatchee.                     World named Opelika the #1 site for public golf in the country. Golf       ·························
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   A partnership between The Retirement Systems of Alabama              Digest named the RTJ Trail the top value for golf in the country and       ·························
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and Conner Bros. Construction Company, the community skirts             number eight for quality.                                                  ·························
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the 1500-acre, 54-hole golf facility. The late golf legend Robert          The first 53 homes in the community are Craftsman style                  ·························
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Trent Jones Sr., who designed the Trail, called the Grand National      cottages, with prices beginning in the $400,000 range. New golf            ·························
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facility the single greatest site for golf in the world.                cottages start in the $180’s and offer a great value for golfers           ·························
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   For those who want more than golf, there’s a pristine 600            and others wanting to live in an upscale community. A variety              ·························
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acre lake, miles of walking trails and the on-site Auburn Marriott      of floor plans ranging from 1,200 to nearly 4,000 square feet in            ·························
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Opelika Hotel and Conference Center at Grand National. The              size are currently available. From primary residences to second            ·························
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hotel contains 129 rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a state-of-         homes, National Village offers great options of luxury living on           ·························
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the-art meeting amphitheater and can officially claim the best           the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.                                         ·························
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» For more information contact National Village at 334.749.8165 or visit www.nationalvillage.com.                                                  ·························
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COLONY AT THE GRAND
Fairhope/Point Clear, Alabama www.colonyatthegrand.com
Some traditions only get better. Eating Sunday Brunch with your         oak-draped parks and a fresh-water lake to the magnificent
grandparents. Strolling under giant oak trees dripping in Spanish       36 holes of the Azalea and Dogwood courses of the Lakewood
moss. Learning to play croquet on the Grand Lawn with your parents.     Golf Club. Amenity-rich living at the Colony Club is centered
Watching the sunset over Mobile Bay with the ones you love. Enjoying    around an aquatics center, fitness and wellness studio, tennis
afternoon tea at 4:00 by the fireplace. Making new friends at the pool   academy, dining and social areas and a business center. These
or rejuvenating yourself in the Grand Hotel’s Spa.                      amenities, together with the Lakewood Golf Club and the Grand               Left: The National Village
    Since opening in 1847, The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf        Hotel’s Spa, offer the residents of the Colony at the Grand a true          setting features Craftsman
Club & Spa has been rich with many traditions. For generations          resort-living experience.                                                   style homes and easy
Grand Hotel guests have found it difficult to leave. Now they can           Exploring the Colony at the Grand doesn’t end at the front gate of       access to great golf.
own a part the Grand’s new tradition. The Colony at the Grand           this private community. The quality of life at Point Clear is legendary.    Colony at the Grand offers
offers a variety of luxury residential options and the amenities to     Explore the boutiques, galleries and restaurants of Fairhope or spend       great views of Sweetwater
spoil you. The first phase of The Colony at the Grand is upscale         your day along the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail. The Fairhope/Point        Lake and Mobile Bay.
condominiums called Bayview.                                            Clear area has gained notice in the Wall Street Journal as one of the       Opposite: Internationally-
    Overlooking Sweetwater Lake on the hotel’s historic grounds,        Top 10 places in the U.S. to retire. Perhaps it is time you take a look.    known designer Kay Greene
Bayview offers a breathtaking panorama at every floor from               Luxury condominium residences from the $300’s.                              decorated two model homes
                                                                                                                                                    at National Village, including
» For more information call 251.990.9951 or visit us online at www.colonyatthegrand.com.                                                            this upscale cottage.




32   THE TRAIL GUIDE
  “THAT’S ONE FOR
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL”.
  TRIPLE HOPS BREWED™ GREAT PILSNER TASTE.
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                                                                                                       A VISITOR’S GUIDE
                                                                                                      TO THE TRAIL
                                                                                                       Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of
                                                                                                       468 holes of championship golf on 11 sites around Alabama.
                                                                                                       Most are near an interstate or federal highway and directions
                                                                                                       are easily marked by green highway signs.




                                                                                                     [                                                     [
                                                                                                                 The Wall Street Journal said
                                                                                                            the Trail “may be the biggest
                                                                                                                 bargain in the country”
                                                                                                                and The New York Times called
                                                                                                                the Trail “some of the best
                                                                                                                  public golf on earth.”
                                                                                                          The eight Resort Collection hotels on the Trail all fly the
                                                                                                       Marriott or Renaissance flags and are top in their class for
                                                                                                       luxury, golf and spa experiences.
                                                                                                          Please use the map and the mileage chart on this page
                                                                                                       for guidance or contact any of our Reservations Specialists
                                                                                                       at 800.949.4444 for more information or for tee times
                                                                                                       and reservations.
                                                                                                          You may also visit us online at www.rtjgolf.com. Click on
                                                                                                       Reservations, then on Driving Directions and Information
                                                                                                       for maps and more detailed information. ■

                                                                                                          www.facebook.com/rtjgolf           www.twitter.com/rtjgolf




MILEAGE BETWEEN TRAIL SITES
                 CAPITOL HILL CAMBRIAN RIDGE GRAND NATIONAL HAMPTON COVE HIGHLAND OAKS MAGNOLIA GROVE LAKEWOOD G.C. OXMOOR VALLEY ROSS BRIDGE SILVER LAKES SHOALS
CAPITOL HILL         —            57             78           193           114            183            185             86            85           155       212
CAMBRIAN RIDGE      57            —             114           245           99             137            139            138           137           207       264
GRAND NATIONAL      78           114             —            189           131            240            242            121           120           112       242
HAMPTON COVE        193          245            189            —            310            372            374            122           123           81        77
HIGHLAND OAKS       114           99            131           310            —             201            217            201           200           233       328
MAGNOLIA GROVE      183          137            240           372           201             —              39            264           263           333       364
LAKEWOOD G.C.       185          139            242           374           217            39              —             284           283           353       384
OXMOOR VALLEY       86           138            121           122           201            264            284             —              2           88        140
ROSS BRIDGE         85           137            120           123           200            263            283             2             —            89        141
SILVER LAKES        155          207            112            81           233            333            353             88            89            —        135
SHOALS              212          264            242            77           328            364            384            140           141           135           —




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                                                                                     FIGHTING JOE COURSE
                                                                                     Black 8,092/78.7/138; Purple 7,126/74.0/135; Orange 6,628/71.5/130;
                                                                                     White 6,154/69.3/123; Teal 4,978/69.0/122; Par 72
                                                                                               1      2      3      4      5      6       7     8     9
                                                                                     BLACK    611    466    478    426   236    497      607   477   236
                                                                                     PURPLE   567    413    416    360   193    468      537   406   190
                                                                                     ORANGE   540    388    396    326   175    432      524   375   157
                                                                                     WHITE    512    370    373    313   160    408      467   332   145
                                                                                     TEAL     394    302    320    279   137    325      408   283   101
                                                                                     PAR       5      4      4      4      3      4      5     4     3


                                                                                               10     11     12     13    14     15      16    17    18
                                                                                     BLACK    489    413    716    223   476    466      483   592   200


THE SHOALS
FLORENCE/MUSCLE SHOALS · 36 HOLES
                                                                                     PURPLE
                                                                                     ORANGE
                                                                                     WHITE
                                                                                              460
                                                                                              428
                                                                                              412
                                                                                                     371
                                                                                                     345
                                                                                                     332
                                                                                                            622
                                                                                                            581
                                                                                                            498
                                                                                                                   184
                                                                                                                   163
                                                                                                                   153
                                                                                                                         417
                                                                                                                         403
                                                                                                                         369
                                                                                                                                397
                                                                                                                                352
                                                                                                                                326
                                                                                                                                         437
                                                                                                                                         423
                                                                                                                                         385
                                                                                                                                               537
                                                                                                                                               483
                                                                                                                                               473
                                                                                                                                                     151
                                                                                                                                                     137
                                                                                                                                                     126
                                                                                     TEAL     256    310    441    136   244    260      304   377   101
The Fighting Joe course at The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals opened    PAR       4      4      5      3      4      4      4     5     3
August, 2004, and was the first Trail course to break 8,000, measuring some
8,092 yards from the black tees.                                                     SCHOOLMASTER COURSE
   It’s long, really long, and this links style course is simply good, straight-     Black 7,971/78.0/143; Purple 7,294/74.7/134; Orange 6,778/72.2/128;
forward golf. You can see where you’re going. The question is…can you                White 6,160/69.1/124; Teal 5,249/70.3/121; Par 72
get there?                                                                                     1      2      3      4      5      6       7     8     9
   Some say the spectacular 17th hole is the signature hole on the course, but       BLACK    453    238    477    632   472    265      459   509   681
the 18th green overlooking Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River will distract you      PURPLE   421    196    450    568   452    231      400   445   645
with its beauty, if not its treachery.                                               ORANGE   382    178    421    549   409    208      366   406   604
   Travel + Leisure Golf has named Fighting Joe one of the top new courses in        WHITE    337    135    393    504   373    178      339   369   562
2004 for good reason. Long-hitters here will experience a test of champions;         TEAL     311    131    337    478   315    158      268   325   488
but from the correct tee box, all players will enjoy world-class golf.               PAR       4      3      4      5      4      3      4     4     5
   The second course, The Schoolmaster (named for President Woodrow Wilson
who was responsible for getting Wilson Dam built on the River and who was                      10     11     12     13    14     15      16    17    18
known as The Schoolmaster of Politics) opened in the Summer of 2005.                 BLACK    226    589    618    455   417    447      197   443   393
   This tree lined course is more traditional golf with every hole in keeping        PURPLE   202    559    568    424   390    414      157   409   363
with the natural topography along the Tennessee River. It is wooded, rolling         ORANGE   168    521    527    402   368    395      146   390   338
and spectacular.                                                                     WHITE    147    489    501    353   333    347      135   347   318
   First reports indicate The Schoolmaster may be a tougher course than              TEAL     122    381    479    307   265    267      101   283   233
Fighting Joe, but only time will tell. One thing’s for sure, it’s a shot maker’s     PAR       3      5      5      4      4      4      3     4     4
golf course with narrower fairways, tree lined greens, and still a length of
nearly 8,000 yards!
   It’s hard to beat the beauty that Hole #18 holds on the high bluffs over the
river, but the waterfall on Hole #2 sure comes close. Make sure you’ve done
your homework well, for The Schoolmaster will certainly test all of your skills. ■

ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT THE SHOALS
990 SUNBELT PARKWAY · MUSCLE SHOALS, AL 35661 · 256.446.5111
GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
   www.facebook.com/rtjtheshoals




36   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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HIGHLANDS COURSE
Purple 7,428/76.0/132; Orange 6,806/69.9/123; White 6,070/69.9/123;
Ladies’ Teal 4,951; Par 72
            1      2          3     4     5     6      7       8       9
PURPLE    409     403        550   215   412   435   453      238     526
ORANGE    394     372        518   183   378   406   424      190     511
WHITE     372     330        452   165   334   381   387      158     444
TEAL      309     303        377   94    273   336   318      94      361
PAR         4      4         5     3     4     4       4      3       5


           10      11        12    13    14    15     16      17      18
PURPLE    461     206        435   415   414   539   259      621     437
ORANGE    434     177        347   391   382   520   211      570     398
WHITE
TEAL
PAR
          371
          257
            4
                  154
                  108
                   3
                             308
                             265
                             4
                                   336
                                   319
                                   4
                                         342
                                         298
                                         4
                                               470
                                               390
                                               5
                                                     161
                                                     101
                                                       3
                                                              541
                                                              475
                                                              5
                                                                      364
                                                                      304
                                                                      4
                                                                            HAMPTON COVE
                                                                            HUNTSVILLE · 54 HOLES

RIVER COURSE                                                                   The Northern gateway to the Trail is Hampton Cove in Huntsville, a 54-hole
Purple 7,668/77.8/136; Orange 6,764/72.8/134; White 6,111/69.7/128;         facility with terrain that drastically changes from one side of the property
Ladies’ Teal 5,278/70.4/119; Par 72                                         to the other.
            1      2          3     4     5     6      7       8       9        Renovated in 2008, the Highlands Course has been restored back to its
PURPLE    556     207        467   447   476   214   433      627     438   original Scottish-Links style design. Long waving grasses frame beautiful
ORANGE    505     186        404   375   388   196   393      566     394   rolling terrain creating beautiful golf holes. The finishing holes on the Highlands
WHITE     463     165        347   342   350   158   360      540     348   Course are among the most scenic and challenging on the Trail. One of the most
TEAL      431     135        267   299   285   135   305      499     318   recognizable landmarks on the Trail is the old mule barn beside the fifth hole.
PAR         5      3         4     4     4     3       4      5       4     Completely opposite in design is the River Course, the only Robert Trent Jones
                                                                            layout without a single bunker. The River Course is laid out on former soybean
           10      11        12    13    14    15     16      17      18    fields in the flood plain of the Flint River. The River Course is a throwback to the
PURPLE    572     437        454   421   208   600   187      451     473   way courses were built long ago, where dirt was merely pushed up to create the
ORANGE    535     398        418   382   186   519   176      378     365   greens and tees, leaving all else, including massive oak trees, as is. With water
WHITE     486     353        379   314   165   494   163      350     334   on 16 of the 18 holes, the River Course will challenge your shot making ability.
TEAL      428     293        340   276   112   426   132      314     283      The Short Course at Hampton Cove is very open and links-like, with water
PAR         5      4         4     4     3     5       3      4       4     in play on 11 holes and a large double green accommodating the 10th and
                                                                            17th greens. The Short Course is a great venue for golfers of all skill levels.
SHORT COURSE                                                                Alternating tees allow golfers to hit every club in their bag! ■
Purple 3,635; Orange 3,007; White 2,480; Teal 1,861; Par 54
            1      2          3     4     5     6      7       8       9    ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT HAMPTON COVE
PURPLE    192     184        222   149   201   257   190      215     199   450 OLD HWY 431 SOUTH · OWENS CROSS ROADS, AL 35763 · 256.551.1818
ORANGE    161     167        189   110   182   184   175      173     153   GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
WHITE     124     152        154   95    149   145   144      145     128      www.facebook.com/rtjhamptoncove
TEAL       83     109        72    78    83    109   114      126     111
PAR         3      3         3     3     3     3       3      3       3


           10      11        12    13    14    15     16      17      18
PURPLE    177     193        184   222   205   247   159      232     207
ORANGE    161     152        174   185   170   184   143      168     176
WHITE     115     131        144   156   143   137   115      151     152
TEAL       98      83        124   105   115   95     85      128     143
PAR         3      3         3     3     3     3       3      3       3




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                                                                                      MINDBREAKER COURSE
                                                                                      Purple 3,579/37.5/76; Orange 3,216/35.7/60; White 2,981/34.5/66;
                                                                                      Ladies’ Teal 2,317/33.5/58; Par 36
                                                                                                  1      2       3         4     5     6      7     8     9
                                                                                      PURPLE    546     177     408    207      556   434    406   454   391
                                                                                      ORANGE    505     157     361    189      515   388    362   387   351
                                                                                      WHITE     471     132     345    169      492   376    320   358   324
                                                                                      TEAL      344     96      296    123      376   279    280   317   291
                                                                                      PAR        5       3       4         3    5     4       4     4    4


                                                                                      HEARTBREAKER COURSE
                                                                                      Purple 3,827/39.1/72; Orange 3,301/36.3/69; White 2,966/34.4/67;
                                                                                      Ladies’ Teal 2,553/34.8/64; Par 36


SILVER LAKES
ANNISTON/GADSDEN · 36 HOLES
                                                                                      PURPLE
                                                                                      ORANGE
                                                                                                  1
                                                                                                568
                                                                                                532
                                                                                                         2
                                                                                                        479
                                                                                                        397
                                                                                                                 3
                                                                                                                455
                                                                                                                402
                                                                                                                       431
                                                                                                                       404
                                                                                                                           4     5
                                                                                                                                215
                                                                                                                                167
                                                                                                                                       6
                                                                                                                                      452
                                                                                                                                      394
                                                                                                                                              7
                                                                                                                                             550
                                                                                                                                             506
                                                                                                                                                    8
                                                                                                                                                   229
                                                                                                                                                   146
                                                                                                                                                          9
                                                                                                                                                         449
                                                                                                                                                         353
                                                                                      WHITE     481     375     367    357      136   344    475   118   315
Named by Golf Digest’s Places to Play as one of the nation’s Great Value              TEAL      431     280     329    312      109   301    454   67    260
courses in the public category, Silver Lakes is set on rolling terrain at the edge    PAR        5       4       4         4    3     4       5     3    4
of Talladega National Forest between Anniston and Gadsden. Silver Lakes
features three championship nines plus a nine hole Short Course. This facility        BACKBREAKER COURSE
is anchored by a number of strong par fours that play to pedestal greens              Purple 3,846/38.6/79; Orange 3,385/36.2/70; White 2,927/34.0/62;
perched 30 to 40 feet above fairway level.                                            Ladies’ Teal 2,369/34.0/60; Par 36
   The Heartbreaker nine is dubbed by many as the most challenging nine                           1      2       3         4     5     6      7     8     9
on the Trail from the championship tees. Consider the 450-yard par-4 ninth            PURPLE    455     206     455    496      231   401    623   445   534
with water rippling down the entire left side of the hole. The beauty of Silver       ORANGE    406     159     399    400      174   371    578   399   499
Lakes is the multiple tee selections (up to 12 on some holes). The Backbreaker        WHITE     346     132     350    343      120   346    466   342   482
nine is a photographer’s dream, boasting beautiful views of the Appalachian           TEAL      293     92      294    292      94    212    369   287   431
foothills from its elevated tees. The par-5 seventh, a 623-yard thriller (466 from    PAR        4       3       4         4    3     4       5     4    5
the novice tees), brings water into play not once, but twice. The Mindbreaker,
although a tad easier than the other two, demands shotmaking at its finest.            SHORT COURSE
The Short Course at Silver Lakes is arguably the most demanding collection of         Purple 1,946; Orange 1,450; White 1,276; Teal 798; Par 27
one-shotters on the Trail. There’s water in play on seven of the holes, including a               1      2       3         4     5     6      7     8     9
12-foot cascade beside the sixth green. ■                                             PURPLE    232     192     225    236      199   254    186   211   211
                                                                                      ORANGE    137     155     166    171      160   167    170   169   155
ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT SILVER LAKES                                        WHITE     123     133     146    156      130   138    147   150   153
1 SUNBELT PARKWAY · GLENCOE, AL 35905 · 256.892.3268                                  TEAL       90     81      100        94   99    94     94    85    61
GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information                  PAR        3       3       3         3    3     3       3     3    3
    www.facebook.com/rtjsilverlakes




38   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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RIDGE COURSE
Purple 7,055/73.5/140; Orange 6,527/71.6/136; White 6,148/70.1/133;
Teal 4,974/69.1/122; Ladies’ Teal 70.2/130; Par 72
           1       2       3      4       5      6     7       8       9
PURPLE    449     528    539     389    179     447   379     176     421
ORANGE    404     513    520     382    146     405   346     159     384
WHITE     364     500    506     356    123     389   317     129     393
TEAL      297     458    451     286     85     291   232     77      227
PAR        4       5       5      4       3      4     4      3       4


           10     11      12      13     14      15   16      17      18
PURPLE    414     446    483     189    389     390   205     440     592
ORANGE    379     393    465     162    348     366   172     411     572
WHITE
TEAL
PAR
          361
          279
           4
                  373
                  305
                   4
                         440
                         410
                           5
                                 137
                                  92
                                  3
                                        333
                                        251
                                          4
                                                353
                                                321
                                                 4
                                                      165
                                                      145
                                                       3
                                                              396
                                                              304
                                                              4
                                                                      543
                                                                      463
                                                                      5
                                                                            OXMOOR VALLEY
                                                                            BIRMINGHAM · 54 HOLES

VALLEY COURSE                                                               This 54-hole facility was built on former mining land owned by U.S. Steel.
Purple 7,149/74.6/130; Orange 6,590/71.3/127; White 6,027/68.7/118;         Sculpted from the peaks and valleys of the Appalachians, the courses offer
Teal 4,924/69.4/122; Ladies’ Teal 68.3/120; Par 72                          scenic forests, numerous creeks and challenging elevation changes. The Ridge
           1       2       3      4       5      6     7       8       9    Course, with its roller coaster fairways, heavy tree cover, and precipitous 150-foot
PURPLE    440     204    435     188    415     400   564     433     561   elevation changes, is incredibly photogenic. As a reminder of the site’s former
ORANGE    415     174    391     171    375     369   509     396     541   use, the green at the par-five 3rd is buttressed by a shelf of exposed shale rock.
WHITE     393     153    363     145    327     334   475     358     513      The Valley Course is dotted with picturesque lakes, beautiful rolling fairways,
TEAL      367     100    285     109    265     290   401     268     428   and stretches two miles downrange along a slender valley. The 18th hole, a
PAR        4       3       4      3       4      4     5      4       5     441-yard par-4, nicknamed “The Assassin,” rises to a dramatic finish at the
                                                                            signature clubhouse just above the green. The Short Course at Oxmoor Valley is a
           10     11      12      13     14      15   16      17      18    delightful collection of 18 pure one-shotters which offer severe elevation changes
PURPLE    475     363    506     207    552     407   178     400     441   and almost every hole plays downhill. The Short Course is listed by Golf Digest’s
ORANGE    420     322    504     177    527     381   165     359     393   Places to Play as one of the nation’s Great Value courses in the public category. ■
WHITE     393     279    490     147    502     335   120     337     363
TEAL      284     229    461     107    441     295   81      302     210   ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT OXMOOR VALLEY
PAR        4       4       5      3       5      4     3      4       4     100 SUNBELT PARKWAY · BIRMINGHAM, AL 35211 · 205.942.1177
                                                                            GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
SHORT COURSE                                                                   www.facebook.com/rtjoxmoorvalley
Purple 3,360; Orange 3,037; White 2,556; Teal 1,871; Par 54
           1       2       3      4       5      6     7       8       9
PURPLE    170     224    203     208    135     155   163     204     161
ORANGE    152     206    183     185    126     147   150     188     130
WHITE     122     195    138     142    113     139   131     170     119
TEAL       79     141    103     108     98     93    103     144     103
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3     3      3       3


           10     11      12      13     14      15   16      17      18
PURPLE    195     215    182     137    253     211   192     174     178
ORANGE    179     191    154     135    225     192   160     164     170
WHITE     166     158    144     127    141     153   137     129     132
TEAL       69     114     95     124    123     91    124     83      76
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3     3      3       3




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                                                                                      ROSS BRIDGE COURSE
                                                                                      Black 8,191/78.5/135; Purple 7,446/74.9/127; Orange 6,783/71.3/118;
                                                                                      White 6,200/68.7/117; Teal 5,312/70.2/123; Par 72
                                                                                                 1      2       3      4      5      6      7      8         9
                                                                                      BLACK     620    467     470    226    469    207    619    502       518
                                                                                      PURPLE    573    430     445    202    417    194    561    447       410
                                                                                      ORANGE    543    395     422    155    380    185    519    408       377
                                                                                      WHITE     511    322     392    146    337    174    484    376       341
                                                                                      TEAL      463    278     366    140    303    110    458    311       285
                                                                                      PAR        5      4       4      3      4      3      5      4        4


                                                                                                 10     11     12      13     14     15    16      17       18
                                                                                      BLACK     477    208     454    698    239    458    571    501       487


ROSS BRIDGE
HOOVER · 18 HOLES
                                                                                      PURPLE
                                                                                      ORANGE
                                                                                      WHITE
                                                                                                454
                                                                                                417
                                                                                                387
                                                                                                       184
                                                                                                       167
                                                                                                       133
                                                                                                               429
                                                                                                               408
                                                                                                               357
                                                                                                                      614
                                                                                                                      540
                                                                                                                      519
                                                                                                                             219
                                                                                                                             176
                                                                                                                             163
                                                                                                                                    415
                                                                                                                                    366
                                                                                                                                    341
                                                                                                                                           538
                                                                                                                                           511
                                                                                                                                           477
                                                                                                                                                  467
                                                                                                                                                  411
                                                                                                                                                  382
                                                                                                                                                            447
                                                                                                                                                            403
                                                                                                                                                            358
                                                                                      TEAL      273    120     326    403    130    293    410    334       309
Alabama welcomes the newest addition to The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail:            PAR        4      3       4      5      3      4      5      4        4
Ross Bridge. Beautifully carved into the rolling terrain of Shannon Valley, these
18 holes will challenge even the best golfers. Named one of Zagat’s top new
courses, Ross Bridge hosts the Regions Charity Classic, a PGA Champions
Tour event, each May.




                                                                                      [                                                                 [
   The course meanders through indigenous landscape and around the 259 room
Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. Ross Bridge is the third longest                    FOR MAPS AND MORE DETAILED INFORMATION
course in the world but offers multiple tees for golfers of all levels. Symbolic of
an old parkland style course, ten holes play along the banks of two significant                   on all Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail sites,
lakes connected by a spectacular waterfall dropping 80 feet between the ninth
                                                                                               go to www.rtjgolf.com. Click on Reservations,
and eighteenth greens. A gristmill added to the waterfall reflects the history
of this old mining site. The beauty and challenge of each hole leads many to                    then on Driving Directions and Information.
believe there is not one signature hole but possibly eighteen.
   Like many other Trail courses, the par-three holes are incredible. Considerable
elevation changes combine with water or other natural obstructions to get
your attention. Large putting surfaces provide many tempting pin locations
that will test golfers’ approach shots.
   Number seventeen, a long par four, plays to a small, well guarded green.
Water frames the right side of this down-sloping hole. In the background
is a picturesque view of the ninth and eighteenth holes with the waterfall
tumbling between. The seventh hole offers a par five that traverses a ridge
high above the rest of the course. The ninth will leave you speechless as it is
time to decide how daring you are off the tee. A split fairway allows for either
a short challenging route along the water’s edge or opt for safer play leaving
a longer, more difficult approach to the green. Regardless if it is a par three,
four or five, Ross Bridge stands ready for your game! ■

ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT ROSS BRIDGE
4000 GRAND AVENUE · BIRMINGHAM, AL 35226 · 205.949.3085
GREENS FEES from $96 to $136 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
   www.facebook.com/rtjrossbridge




40   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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LAKE COURSE
Purple 7,149/74.3/136; Orange 6,488/71.3/126; White 5,948/68.7/117;
Teal 4,910/68.7/117; Ladies’ White 74.4/133; Ladies’ Teal 68.0/119; Par 72
           1       2       3      4       5      6       7      8       9
PURPLE    380     428     197    527    423     442    557     213    411
ORANGE    364     381     178    480    396     381    521     182    379
WHITE     319     361     168    447    385     352    477     148    339
TEAL      285     308     92     399    308     295    418     103    276
PAR        4       4       3      5       4      4       5      3       4


           10     11      12      13     14      15     16      17     18
PURPLE    434     445     522    427    545     230    334     205    429
ORANGE    397     387     493    388    510     182    297     174    398
WHITE
TEAL
PAR
          353
          276
           4
                  356
                  239
                   4
                          459
                          391
                           5
                                 361
                                 343
                                  4
                                        488
                                        384
                                          5
                                                160
                                                 93
                                                 3
                                                       285
                                                       247
                                                         4
                                                               143
                                                               126
                                                                3
                                                                      357
                                                                      327
                                                                        4
                                                                             GRAND NATIONAL
                                                                             AUBURN/OPELIKA · 54 HOLES

LINKS COURSE                                                                 The Links Course was named by Golf Digest as the 2nd best new public course
Purple 7,311/75.1/135; Orange 6,574/72.3/129; White 6,015/69.6/119;          in America in 1993. The Lake Course was named by Golf Digest as the 4th best
Teal 4,843/69.6/113; Ladies’ White 75.5/139; Ladies’ Teal 70.4/120; Par 72   new public course in America in 1993. And both courses were in the top 10
           1       2       3      4       5      6       7      8       9    of Golf Digest’s list of America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses. The three courses
PURPLE    423     556     206    425    456     544    472     345    204    at Grand National are also listed among the nation’s 40 Super Value courses
ORANGE    396     509     182    409    375     499    446     319    170    by Golf Digest’s Places to Play. Grand National, by all reports, was the single
WHITE     366     470     165    384    342     460    409     299    133    greatest site for a golf complex Robert Trent Jones, Sr. had ever seen. Built on
TEAL      313     385     110    262    275     412    318     234    119    600-acre Lake Saugahatchee, 32 of the 54 holes drape along its filigreed shores.
PAR        4       5       3      4       4      5       4      4       3       The cornerstone of the complex is the Links Course, which is without a
                                                                             single weakness. The par-four 18th is without a doubt the strongest finishing
           10     11      12      13     14      15     16      17     18    hole on the Trail. The drive must carry a corner of the lake, while the approach
PURPLE    363     260     575    418    467     516    181     429    471    is played to a shallow pedestal green shored up by boulders. With 12 holes
ORANGE    326     195     500    378    422     467    152     402    427    hugging the shore, Grand National’s Lake Course is every bit as scenic as the
WHITE     289     151     493    343    372     451    118     368    402    Links. Not only is the quartet of par-threes on the Lake Course as good as any
TEAL      242     69      426    272    338     362     93     312    301    in the nation, the 230-yard, island green 15th may be the single prettiest hole
PAR        4       3       5      4       4      5       3      4       4    on the Trail. The Short Course, while overshadowed by the two main tracts, is a
                                                                             thing of beauty, with more than half the holes touching the lake. This 18-hole
SHORT COURSE                                                                 course of one-shotters might be the finest anywhere in the country.
Purple 3,328; Orange 2,798; White 2,476; Teal 1,715; Par 54                      National Village, a golfing community on the Trail, is adjacent to these
           1       2       3      4       5      6       7      8       9    course and the Marriott Hotel. ■
PURPLE    188     201     171    173    187     173    152     216    250
ORANGE    170     166     151    152    147     137    119     193    234    ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT GRAND NATIONAL
WHITE     148     148     128    131    124     137    119     174    211    3000 ROBERT TRENT JONES TRAIL · OPELIKA, AL 36801 · 334.749.9042
TEAL       93     106     83      92    102      97     89     119     71    GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3       3      3       3       www.facebook.com/rtjgrandnational


           10     11      12      13     14      15     16      17     18
PURPLE    161     187     231    185    138     204    202     155    154
ORANGE    131     172     179    151    108     184    173     110    121
WHITE     108     139     179     98    104     156    156     110    106
TEAL       85     95      119     58     72     143    108      77    106
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3       3      3       3




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                                                                                    LEGISLATOR COURSE
                                                                                    Purple 7,323/74.1/126; Orange 6,646/70.8/124; White 6,232/68.7/117;
                                                                                    Teal 5,414/71.5/119; Par 72
                                                                                               1       2       3      4      5       6     7     8         9
                                                                                    PURPLE    631    404     177     481    603    198    425   455       420
                                                                                    ORANGE    554    389     163     421    536    174    401   411       380
                                                                                    WHITE     541    366     136     391    509    151    361   393       366
                                                                                    TEAL      435    324     115     325    428    124    339   353       311
                                                                                    PAR        5       4      3       4      5      3     4      4        4


                                                                                               10     11      12     13      14     15    16     17       18
                                                                                    PURPLE    412    207     387     544    476    407    181   585       424
                                                                                    ORANGE    369    170     367     519    434    364    160   552       365


CAPITOL HILL
PRATTVILLE · 54 HOLES
                                                                                    WHITE
                                                                                    TEAL
                                                                                    PAR
                                                                                              350
                                                                                              337
                                                                                               4
                                                                                                     148
                                                                                                     105
                                                                                                       3
                                                                                                             348
                                                                                                             302
                                                                                                              4
                                                                                                                     505
                                                                                                                     451
                                                                                                                      5
                                                                                                                            407
                                                                                                                            343
                                                                                                                             4
                                                                                                                                   343
                                                                                                                                   313
                                                                                                                                    4
                                                                                                                                          148
                                                                                                                                          124
                                                                                                                                          3
                                                                                                                                                512
                                                                                                                                                464
                                                                                                                                                 5
                                                                                                                                                          330
                                                                                                                                                          295
                                                                                                                                                          4


Named the number 2 public golf site in the country by Golf World readers,           SENATOR COURSE
Capitol Hill in Prattville continues to get praises from golfers and golf writers   Purple 7,726/76.6/131; Orange 6,968/72.4/125; White 5,921/67.6/111;
alike. Golf magazine called The Judge Course one of the 10 public courses in        Teal 5,122/67.6/115; Ladies’ White 69.6/121, Par 72
America worthy of hosting the U.S. Open and the Zagat Survey of America’s                      1       2       3      4      5       6     7     8         9
Top Golf Courses ranked it among the top 50 courses in America. The Senator         PURPLE    427    230     419     426    681    420    232   558       437
was named among the Top 10 New Courses in the nation by Golf magazine               ORANGE    395    206     385     367    606    385    167   530       402
and is showcased in October during the Navistar LPGA Classic presented by           WHITE     365    165     346     339    511    326    129   453       376
MaxxForce. Located in Prattville, approximately 13 miles north of Alabama’s         TEAL      281     89     290     282    460    301    109   393       290
state capitol, Capitol Hill features three 18-hole championship courses. With       PAR        4       3      4       4      5      4     3      5        4
more than 1500 acres of golf and nature, the pure magnitude of this facility
is amazing and allows each course to be drastically different from the others.                 10     11      12     13      14     15    16     17       18
   The Senator, a Scottish-Links style course with beautifully manicured bent       PURPLE    616    435     467     203    459    449    222   559       457
grass greens, holds over 160 pot-hole bunkers and mounds 20 to 40 feet in           ORANGE    543    400     434     169    426    417    181   515       408
height, cleverly hiding the cart path or any other hole from the fairway.           WHITE     528    634     391     159    358    334    147   475       366
The secluded settings of each hole will make it feel as if you are the only         TEAL      460    317     326     116    333    307    84    376       308
foursome on the course.                                                             PAR        5       4      4       3      4      4     3      5        4
   The Legislator, a more traditional course, plays in and out of pine trees and
along the bluff. The view riding down the “Sky Bridge” for six holes laid out in    JUDGE COURSE
a native cypress swamp will impress as you are led back up the bluff to finish       Purple 7,794/77.8/144; Orange 6,670/72.6/132; White 6,198/69.3/129;
the course at the spectacular clubhouse.                                            Teal 4,955/68.3/121; Par 72
   The Judge offers stunning vistas alongside the 200 acre glistening                          1       2       3      4      5       6     7     8         9
backwaters of the Alabama River. The first tee lies 200 feet above the fairway       PURPLE    415    459     187     617    423    229    675   466       424
overlooking the Alabama River and the Montgomery skyline. With 14 holes             ORANGE    400    371     155     514    386    190    586   420       387
adjoining the water and a stunning bulkhead island green, the Judge is              WHITE     379    350     129     486    335    148    575   395       362
described as simply magnificent.                                                     TEAL      296    297     104     402    273    128    351   344       271
   Capitol Hill also features an innovative circular driving range 400 yards        PAR        4       4      3       5      4      3     5      4        4
in diameter. ■
                                                                                               10     11      12     13      14     15    16     17       18
ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT CAPITOL HILL                                      PURPLE    711    478     231     424    469    552    256   430       348
2600 CONSTITUTION AVENUE · PRATTVILLE, AL 36066 · 334.285.1114                      ORANGE    563    394     179     373    424    500    223   384       321
GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · $10 up-charge per round on Judge course               WHITE     543    340     160     313    377    478    170   364       293
Visit rtjgolf.com for more information                                              TEAL      421    268      98     278    352    413    126   286       247
    www.facebook.com/rtjcapitolhill                                                 PAR        5       4      3       4      4      5     3      4        4




42   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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SHERLING COURSE
Purple 3,681/37.4/67; Orange 3,423/36.3/65; White 3,028/34.9/62;
Teal 2,435/33.7/60; Ladies’ Teal 34.3/57; Par 36
            1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9
PURPLE    568     209     428    184     428       420   437   636   371
ORANGE    531     167     398    169     399       397   412   601   349
WHITE     490     146     365    141     367       324   354   514   327
TEAL      417      91     280     79     224       283   322   460   279
PAR         5      3       4       3      4        4     4     5     4


CANYON COURSE
Purple 3,746/38.0/74; Orange 3,490/36.9/72; White 3,058/35.8/70;
Teal 2,422/34.4/68; Ladies’ Teal 33.9/59; Par 36


PURPLE
ORANGE
            1
          501
          477
                   2
                  275
                  244
                           3
                          585
                          553
                                   4
                                 444
                                 421
                                          5
                                         383
                                         353
                                                    6
                                                   418
                                                   374
                                                          7
                                                         522
                                                         499
                                                                8
                                                               258
                                                               237
                                                                      9
                                                                     360
                                                                     332
                                                                           CAMBRIAN RIDGE
                                                                           GREENVILLE · 36 HOLES
WHITE     432     163     478    366     330       366   464   152   307
TEAL      371     130     409    297     272       259   336   108   240   Known by avid golfers as one of the most beautiful and most challenging stops
PAR         4      3       5       4      4        4     5     3     4     on the Trail, Cambrian Ridge in Greenville lies just 40 miles from Montgomery.
                                                                           It is well worth the ride for any golfer looking for 36 holes of jaw-dropping golf.
LOBLOLLY COURSE                                                                Cambrian Ridge was also immortalized on the 2003 Microsoft Golf Game
Purple 3,551/36.6/66; Orange 3,295/35.6/63; White 3,078/34.7/61;           and was the subject of an extensive ad campaign in Golf Magazine promoting
Teal 2,350/33.4/58; Ladies’ Teal 33.5/54; Par 35                           the game.
            1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9        This year on Memorial Day weekend, May 29-30, Cambrian Ridge will host the
PURPLE    497     421     418    182     418       222   503   447   443   Annual Father/Son Championship, one of the most popular events on the Trail.
ORANGE    469     397     390    155     413       196   434   423   418       The Sherling/Canyon combination was named by Golf Digest as the 3rd
WHITE     457     346     334    136     367       138   369   366   365   best new public course in America in 1994 and 13th in their list of America’s
TEAL      342     322     249     75     301       112   344   321   284   Top 50 Affordable Courses. This combination was also named by Golf Digest’s
PAR         5      4       4       3      4        3     4     4     4     Places to Play as one of the nation’s 40 Super Value courses. The Loblolly
                                                                           nine, with its gently rolling fairways, cathedral-like pines, and water-fronted
SHORT COURSE                                                               greens, exudes a stately, Augusta-like quality. The Canyon nine, carved from
Purple 1,640; Orange 1,415; White 1,116; Teal 745; Par 27                  former hunting grounds where deer blinds remain nailed to the hard-wood, is
            1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9    a thrilling stretch of target-style golf with hole #1 being a 501-yard par-four
PURPLE    156     187     211    147     173       159   231   185   191   that drops 200 feet from tee to fairway.
ORANGE    136     155     187    123     142       141   210   162   159       The Sherling nine may be the best nine on the entire Trail. Drama takes
WHITE     118     121     151     79     109       123   123   151   141   center stage at Sherling’s ninth hole which marches straight uphill past a deep
TEAL       81      71     94      66     76        75    76    93    113   ravine strewn with ochre boulders to a lolling tongue of a double green shared
PAR         3      3       3       3      3        3     3     3     3     with the ninth on the Canyon nine. Above this green is a clubhouse set atop the
                                                                           highest point in the county, its verandah serving up expansive 30-mile views
                                                                           of Southern forest land. The nine-hole Short Course is a marvelous collection
                                                                           of par-three holes laid out beautifully between the ridge and Sherling lake. ■

                                                                           ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT CAMBRIAN RIDGE
                                                                           101 SUNBELT PARKWAY · GREENVILLE, AL 36037 · 334.382.9787
                                                                           GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
                                                                              www.facebook.com/rtjcambrianridge




                                                                                                                                         THE TRAIL GUIDE   43
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                                                                                       HIGHLANDS COURSE
                                                                                       Purple 3,892/38.6/70; Orange 3,580/37.1/68; White 3,296/35.8/66;
                                                                                       Teal 2,554/34.3/63; Ladies’ Teal 35.0/64; Par 36
                                                                                                   1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9
                                                                                       PURPLE    493     458     457    256     430       206   561   435   596
                                                                                       ORANGE    442     415     437    225     390       178   523   409   561
                                                                                       WHITE     402     371     414    181     362       169   507   365   525
                                                                                       TEAL      367     253     294    115     327       120   339   305   434
                                                                                       PAR         4      4       4       3      4        3     5     4     5


                                                                                       MARSHWOOD COURSE
                                                                                       Purple 3,812/38.3/68; Orange 3,492/36.8/65; White 3,158/35.3/63;
                                                                                       Teal 2,531/34.0/60; Ladies’ Teal 34.5/62; Par 36


HIGHLAND OAKS
DOTHAN · 36 HOLES
                                                                                       PURPLE
                                                                                       ORANGE
                                                                                                   1
                                                                                                 411
                                                                                                 370
                                                                                                          2
                                                                                                         564
                                                                                                         521
                                                                                                                  3
                                                                                                                 406
                                                                                                                 364
                                                                                                                          4
                                                                                                                        205
                                                                                                                        178
                                                                                                                                 5
                                                                                                                                456
                                                                                                                                441
                                                                                                                                           6
                                                                                                                                          701
                                                                                                                                          660
                                                                                                                                                 7
                                                                                                                                                448
                                                                                                                                                421
                                                                                                                                                       8
                                                                                                                                                      199
                                                                                                                                                      157
                                                                                                                                                             9
                                                                                                                                                            422
                                                                                                                                                            380
                                                                                       WHITE     334     483     327    137     418       616   382   113   348
Located in the southeast corner of Alabama, Highland Oaks offers three nine-           TEAL      276     406     266    114     351       435   287   94    302
hole championship courses. The Highlands/Magnolia combination was named                PAR         4      5       4       3      4        5     4     3     4
by Golf Digest as the 7th best new public course in America in 1994 and 31st
in their list of America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses. This combination was             MAGNOLIA COURSE
also named by Golf Digest’s Places to Play as one of the nation’s Great Value          Purple 3,699/37.4/65; Orange 3,404/36.1/62; White 3,090/34.7/59;
courses. This 36-hole complex features some of the longest and most classically        Teal 2,471/33.3/56; Ladies’ Teal 34.0/59; Par 36
designed holes on the Trail. Each nine has a different personality. Highlands, the                 1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9
core nine, is relatively open with several lakes in play. The peninsula green at the   PURPLE    392     205     577    546     416       480   195   437   451
par-3 sixth has an elusive, beckoning quality.                                         ORANGE    371     155     545    516     377       441   176   409   414
   Marshwood has been made famous (or notorious) by its behemoth par-5                 WHITE     330     110     520    480     352       396   150   373   379
sixth, which stretches to 701 yards from the tips. The 422-yard par-4 ninth,           TEAL      252      81     392    413     291       307   111   297   327
a left to right dogleg, is arguably the best hole at the site and has a tilted         PAR         4      3       5       5      4        4     3     4     4
green elevated above a swathe of wetlands. The Magnolia nine is well-named:
specimen magnolia trees dot the higher ground, which is reached via a 1,000            SHORT COURSE
foot long wooden bridge spanning a marsh filled with lichen-dappled trees. The          Purple 1,809; Orange 1,539; White 1,229; Teal 874; Par 27
feature hole is the 416-yard fifth, where a split-level fairway offers an option off                1      2       3       4      5         6     7     8     9
the tee. The Short Course, a nine-hole par-3, has demanding bunker placements,         PURPLE    199     241     216    172     174       188   232   178   209
three water holes and possibly the best putting Bermuda greens in the South. ■         ORANGE    164     215     181    149     137       141   197   175   180
                                                                                       WHITE     121     184     133    127     101       113   159   136   155
ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT HIGHLAND OAKS                                        TEAL       85     108     94      83     73        76    106   113   136
904 ROYAL PARKWAY · DOTHAN, AL 36305 · 334.712.2820                                    PAR         3      3       3       3      3        3     3     3     3
GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
   www.facebook.com/rtjhighlandoaks




44   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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CROSSINGS COURSE
Purple 7,212/74.7/134; Orange 6,652/71.6/131; White 6,157/69.2/126;
Ladies’ Teal 5,261/69.4/115; Par 72
           1       2       3      4       5      6      7      8       9
PURPLE    422     185    385     540    430     528    412    219     406
ORANGE    387     168    347     511    392     500    385    192     381
WHITE     342     135    317     496    378     484    369    163     349
TEAL      275     101    279     478    331     425    314    122     316
PAR        4       3       4      5       4      5      4     3       4


           10     11      12      13     14      15    16     17      18
PURPLE    417     398    421     559    195     423    596    226     450
ORANGE    386     364    392     524    172     400    535    201     415
WHITE
TEAL
PAR
          374
          348
           4
                  334
                  273
                   4
                         371
                         285
                           4
                                 508
                                 430
                                  5
                                        157
                                         99
                                          3
                                                354
                                                282
                                                 4
                                                       476
                                                       425
                                                        5
                                                              168
                                                              134
                                                              3
                                                                      382
                                                                      344
                                                                      4
                                                                            MAGNOLIA GROVE
                                                                            MOBILE · 54 HOLES

FALLS COURSE                                                                Magnolia Grove, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s most southern
Purple 7,239/74.6/142; Orange 6,558/71.4/135; White 6,070/69.5/126;         location was recently voted #32 in Golf World magazine’s Readers’ Choice top
Teal 5,253/68.1/124; Ladies’ Teal 70.4/124; Par 72                          50 Public Courses. The Crossings and Falls courses at Magnolia Grove have
           1       2       3      4       5      6      7      8       9    also been recognized by Golf Digest’s Places to Play as two of the nation’s
PURPLE    448     197    413     391    582     187    520    443     420   Great Value Courses and were listed in America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses.
ORANGE    406     173    380     368    516     169    496    405     386   Magnolia Grove features creeks, marshland and lakes. Each of the 54 holes
WHITE     370     157    330     345    497     135    466    377     367   are carved through a thick forest of indigenous hardwoods and pines.
TEAL      345     126    308     331    412     93     417    336     320      The Crossings Course underwent an extensive renovation in 2009. All 18
PAR        4       3       4      4       5      3      5     4       4     greens have been redesigned and planted with the newly acclaimed ultra
                                                                            dwarf grass: Mini Verde. The renovation provides more of a parkland type
           10     11      12      13     14      15    16     17      18    ambiance, contrasting the Falls Course and its tree lined fairways. Several
PURPLE    570     206    393     215    430     446    437    395     546   water features have been added to create an exciting new look. The Bell Micro
ORANGE    513     161    367     162    386     407    394    356     513   LPGA Classic will be played on the Crossings Course in May 2010.
WHITE     476     145    345     146    380     364    356    338     476      The Falls Course is currently undergoing a similar renovation which should be
TEAL      393     106    307     138    264     328    324    282     423   complete in fall 2010. The renovated course will feature newly designed greens
PAR        5       3       4      3       4      4      4     4       5     along with enhancements to strategic play locations throughout the course.
                                                                               Most of the holes on the Short Course call for good shots over marsh to
SHORT COURSE                                                                liberally sloped greens. This course is as good as any collection of one-shotters
Purple 3,140; Orange 2,734; White 2,279; Teal 1,829; Par 54                 on a championship course. The Short Course was recognized by Golf Digest as
           1       2       3      4       5      6      7      8       9    the best par-3 course in America. ■
PURPLE    174     180    189     215    137     135    190    178     160
ORANGE    160     170    165     189    107     126    152    153     140   ROBERT TRENT JONES GOLF COURSE AT MAGNOLIA GROVE
WHITE     119     137    124     155     91     100    127    140     126   7001 MAGNOLIA GROVE PARKWAY · MOBILE, AL 36618 · 251.645.0075
TEAL       93     102     90     136     71     80     90     110     118   GREENS FEES from $45 to $64 · Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3      3     3       3        www.facebook.com/rtjmagnoliagrove


           10     11      12      13     14      15    16     17      18
PURPLE    173     192    195     205    190     110    192    155     170
ORANGE    151     174    170     175    164     99     161    135     143
WHITE     132     132    142     143    144     85     138    111     133
TEAL      117     108    128     121    103     70     122    80      90
PAR        3       3       3      3       3      3      3     3       3




                                                                                                                                         THE TRAIL GUIDE   45
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                                                                                    AZALEA COURSE
                                                                                    Purple 7,504/75.3/132; Orange 6,759/71.5/126; White 6,112/68.5/117;
                                                                                    Teal 5,431/70.3/116; Red 4,725/67.8/111; Par 72
                                                                                              1      2      3      4     5      6      7      8     9
                                                                                    PURPLE   636    411    420    203   355    572    225   463    470
                                                                                    ORANGE   558    375    400    178   315    520    180   422    385
                                                                                    WHITE    490    345    353    164   288    491    159   379    372
                                                                                    TEAL     455    312    339    145   243    400    148   349    305
                                                                                    RED      410    255    303    77    216    354    120   296    293
                                                                                    PAR       5      4      4      3     4      5      3      4     4


                                                                                              10     11     12    13     14     15    16     17    18
                                                                                    PURPLE   429    514    448    196   545    195    471   475    476


LAKEWOOD GOLF CLUB
POINT CLEAR · 36 HOLES
                                                                                    ORANGE
                                                                                    WHITE
                                                                                    TEAL
                                                                                             389
                                                                                             347
                                                                                             344
                                                                                                    500
                                                                                                    460
                                                                                                    420
                                                                                                           398
                                                                                                           371
                                                                                                           354
                                                                                                                  180
                                                                                                                  158
                                                                                                                  117
                                                                                                                        531
                                                                                                                        472
                                                                                                                        421
                                                                                                                               147
                                                                                                                               133
                                                                                                                               107
                                                                                                                                      428
                                                                                                                                      342
                                                                                                                                      289
                                                                                                                                            423
                                                                                                                                            386
                                                                                                                                            349
                                                                                                                                                   430
                                                                                                                                                   402
                                                                                                                                                   334
                                                                                    RED      302    321    338    107   383     66    273   307    304
The venerable Dogwood and Azalea courses at The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort,        PAR       4      5      4      3     5      3      4      4     4
Golf Club & Spa, have seen a lot in their days. They’ve hosted President Gerald
Ford, Dr. Billy Graham and Bob Hope, to name a few of the more famous players.      DOGWOOD COURSE
   They’ve been through renovations and hurricanes and still remain a showcase      Purple 7,063/72.9/128; Orange 6,521/70.4/126; White 5,885/67.5/115;
for great golf in the South. First built in 1947, the Lakewood Golf Club at The     Teal 5,267/70.3/122; Red 4,522/66.5/112; Par 72
Grand Hotel showcases fairways lined with 200-year-old oaks and a dramatic                    1      2      3      4     5      6      7      8     9
signature hole, the 14th on Azalea. An island green is surrounded by a four-acre    PURPLE   528    425    214    399   499    426    305   191    398
lake which makes your approach shot to this par-5 very demanding. Recently          ORANGE   483    410    174    380   469    415    286   177    361
redesigned, the new designs lend themselves to superb conditioning year round.      WHITE    425    375    167    362   442    379    262   155    328
With the addition or expansion of ten water features over the span of the 36        TEAL     385    330    143    344   397    347    236   128    294
holes as well as other interesting architectural features, golfers are faced with   RED      335    266    105    239   346    324    221   106    256
decisions at every corner.                                                          PAR       5      4      3      4     5      4      4      3     4
   The two 18-hole courses are open to Lakewood members and hotel guests and
promise a memorable golf experience for both the novice and the experienced                   10     11     12    13     14     15    16     17    18
golfer alike. Where the Dogwood course might seem a tad bit easier, and the         PURPLE   380    445    548    233   463    454    572   209    374
Azalea, more of a challenge, both courses can play to your liking depending on      ORANGE   347    415    521    191   428    424    531   176    333
your selection of tees. With five sets of tees per hole, your decision should be     WHITE    316    367    454    170   355    381    479   157    311
rather easy.                                                                        TEAL     296    288    390    154   335    361    408   139    292
   Funded by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the renovation of both              RED      267    239    334    130   315    312    382   119    226
courses brings them on par with many of the great resort golf courses in the        PAR       4      4      5      3     4      4      5      3     4
country. Lakewood Golf Club has several times been named to Golf magazine’s
Best Golf Resorts in America.
   Colony at the Grand overlooks the Azalea course at Lakewood. ■

GOLF AVAILABLE ONLY TO GUESTS AT THE GRAND HOTEL MARRIOTT RESORT,
GOLF CLUB & SPA

LAKEWOOD GOLF CLUB
ONE GRAND BOULEVARD · POINT CLEAR, AL 36564 · 251.990.6312
GREENS FEES from $90 to $125 · Rates include golf cart fee per player
Visit rtjgolf.com for more information
    www.facebook.com/rtjlakewood




46   THE TRAIL GUIDE
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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Official 2010 Guide to the Robert Trent Jones Trail