Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RossWith the state's loyalties divided between the Alabama and Auburn football teams, let's break the tie: Alabama's No. 1 sports draw is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. As golf attractions go, it's unequaled in the U.S. simply for offering a large quantity of world-class golf at municipal course prices.
Two decades after it opened, the Trent Jones Trail now boasts 11 sites, each within 30 minutes of the interstate and no more than a two-hour drive from course to course.
Since kicking off in 1992, tracks such as Ross Bridge, near Birmingham, and Lakewood, in Point Clear, have upped the quality and made fine lodging a higher priority than it was in the early days. Still, the Trail is defined by the consistency and value of its 468 holes. Every one of the 27-, 36- and 54-hole facilities features pristine, back-to-nature settings and challenging layouts that are relentlessly long, tough, and boldly bunkered, with most tee times priced between $46 and $81 year-round.
Other regional and themed course collections have sprung up to challenge Alabama's supremacy, but none has enjoyed this level of success. Happy birthday, RTJ Golf Trail—here's to another 20 great years.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Alabama
Green fees: $46-$136
800-949-4444 rtjgolf.com (Photo: Michael Clemmer)

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