The Links Course at RTJ Trail Grand National – Links in name only, but a worthy challenge

Our final 18 holes of our two-day whirlwind trip along the Alabama Robert Trent Jones Trail was the Links Course at Grand National in Opelika, Alabama on a Tuesday afternoon.  We basically had the course to ourselves, as no one else was dumb enough to play golf in 95-plus degree heat with 90% humidity in…

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RTJ Trail’s Grand National Lake Course – A PGA Tour level experience

Playing Grand National’s Lake Course on the Alabama Robert Trent Jones Trail one week after the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship was contested on the course was a rare treat for our group.  It is probably as close as we hacks will get to competing on a venue set up to host some of the highest…

The Amazing Links of the Senator Course at RTJ Trail Capitol Hill, Prattville, AL

The Senator Course at Capitol Hill on the Alabama Robert Trent Jones might be the most unique, and unexpectedly great, course in the southern United States not on the Atlantic Coast. Unique in that it’s a fantastic links style course, with only one tree and one water hazard in play, giant, rolling greens, and an…

Pride of the RTJ Trail – The Judge at Capitol Hill, Prattville, AL

Of all the factors an architect must juggle in designing a championship caliber golf course, the balance between creating a fun playing experience for the “average” golfer and producing a course that will challenge the best golfers is probably the most delicate. Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and his design associate Roger Rulewich absolutely nailed this…

Silver Lakes Revisited – Day 2 of the 2013 Golf Trip Retrospective

For the Saturday half of our golf trip, we traveled 87 miles up the highway from Hoover to the greater Anniston/Gadsden, AL area to play the RTJ Trail at Silver Lakes.  Silver Lakes has three full nine hole courses, aptly named the Heartbreaker Mindbreaker, and Backbreaker.   The Silver Lakes property is beautiful, sprawling across the…

RTJ Oxmoor Valley Golf: Valley & Ridge Courses Revisited – 2013 Golf Trip Retrospective

As we prepared for this year’s getaway to beautiful Hilton Head Island and wait for Winter Apocalypse 2014 to pass , I’m taking this opportunity to look back at our “Inaugural Guys Golf Trip” from 2013. In late April, four of us headed to “scenic” Birmingham, Alabama to tackle four area courses on the Robert…