Worldgolf Travel

Golf Is Alabama's Game

From the quiet streams in the Appalachian Mountains to the bustling streets of Birmingham, from the historical sites around Montgomery to the Southern charm of Mobile, and finally to the sugar-white beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama is host to golfers from around the world.

The level of golf played in Alabama ranges from beginners' lessons at a variety of golf schools to the Senior PGA Tour making a stop at the Bruno's Memorial Classic in Birmingham.


Kiva Dunes-Gulf Shores
The quality of golf in Alabama is at near perfection, yet continues to improve. The Arnold Palmer-designed Cotton Creek in Gulf Shores has set the standard for public golf along the Gulf Coast and with the addition of Jerry Pate's Kiva Dunes, Alabama's Gulf Coast is sure to attract golfers interested in a great golfing experience.


Cotton Creek
Other known designers to put their stamp on Alabama include Larry Nelson, Bruce Devlin, Bob Von Hagge, Ward Northrup, and likely the most prolific native architect in Alabama, Earl Stone. As the number of great golf courses in Alabama continues to grow, lodging choices increase as well.
Golf Packages are becoming an important part of the group business handled by Alabama hotels, allowing the visiting golfer to take advantage of the variety and value created by these pre-packaged plans.

As if value and quality aren't enough, there are many other aspects that make the golf experience in Alabama so unforgettable. The first is the natural beauty of the state, such as playing a round of golf in the early morning with the mountains as a backdrop which is simply breathtaking. The people of Alabama, with their laid-back style and genuine hospitality, make the vacationing golfer feel right at home. Plus, the great weather throughout the state helps ensure and enjoyable trip.

Golf is truly Alabama's game! With championship golf courses and many lodging choices, Alabama is THE destination for the golfer looking for a world-class, value-packed golfing vacation.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail The most ambitious public golf course project ever attempted, anywhere in the world!
All the courses along the Trail were designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., arguably the premier golf course architect in the world. In his unparalleled career, Jones has designed no less than 600 golf courses. Coming out of semi-retirement to tackle the greatest challenge of his career, Jones jumped at the opportunity to create a multi-million-dollar masterpiece.

"There has been nothing like it in the world," Jones says. "It is the biggest thing I have ever done," he says, "and I think Alabama will become the greatest golf mecca in the world."

The Trail was completed in late 1993 and features 18 thrilling courses at seven facilities throughout Alabama. Each location showcases the spectacular signature clubhouse designed to complement the grandeur of this incredible project.

Meandering from the beautiful foothills of the Appalachians in north Alabama to the sparkling Gulf of Mexico in the southwest the courses conveniently located within 15 minutes of an interstate highway.

Hampton Cove, Huntsville
Built on 650 acres, Hampton Cove features 3 distinctly different courses. The Highlands Course is highlighted by a breathtaking mountain backdrop and a traditional Scottish layout with numerous grassy mounds.
The River Course runs along Flint River with thick forests bordering each fairway. Completely free of bunkers, it's the only sand-free course ever designed by Jones. The 18-hole Short Course is a traditional layout, averaging over 200 yards from the back tees.

Silver Lakes, Anniston
Located in east-central Alabama, Silver Lakes is situated on elegant terrain adjacent to the Talladega National Forest. It features a stunning waterfall, statuesque pine trees, and many spectacular views from the hilltops.
The 3 championship nines at Silver Lakes are named Heartbreaker, Mindbreaker, and Backbreaker. The Short Course requires play over the water on 7 of the 9 holes, including the magnificent 176-yard No.6. This signature hole comes complete with a 14 foot waterfall just to the right of the green.

Oxmoor Valley, Birmingham
Following the peaks and valleys at the end of the Appalachian chain, Oxmoor Valley features incredible changes in elevations, scenic forests, numerous creeks - and bent grass greens.
The Ridge Course's roller-coaster fairways are visually stunning and very photogenic - and the undulating greens are very demanding. The Valley Course displays rolling fairways, picturesque lakes and a dramatic uphill finishing hole. The 18-hole Short Course averages around 180 yards, with almost every hole playing downhill.

Grand National, Auburn<
Situated around 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee, 32 of the 54 holes border the water. The Links Course was named the second best new public course for 1993 by Golf Digest, while the Lakes Course was rated 4th best.
Each captures the true beauty and serenity of the surrounding lakes and coves. Perhaps the signature hole for the entire trail is the par-3 15th on the Lakes which features an unnerving island green. The 18-hole Short Course features water on 12 holes. One trip to Grand National and you'll understand why Robert Trent Jones called it "the most spectacular golf site in the world."

Cambrian Ridge, Greenville
Named the 3rd best new public golf course in America by Golf Digest in 1994, Cambrian Ridge offers the greatest change in elevation of any course on the Trail.
Number 1 on the Canyon Course drops 250 feet from too to landing area; number 3 on the Sherling drops 300 feet! The changes in elevation. the trees, and the water from Lake Sherling make for the perfect golf setting. A scenic 9-hole Short Course is also available.

Highland Oaks, Dothan
Gently rolling terrain, numerous creeks, swamps, wetlands, tall pines, and beautiful oaks are all part of this gorgeous facility, also ranked in the top 10 of Golf Digest's best new public courses in 1994.
The three championship nines all have a very unique character. The Marshland Course is built around wetlands; the Highlands Course has the rolling terrain; and the Magnolia Course features dense forests. The 9-hole Short Course, aptly named Challenge, demands length and a mastery of its undulating greens.

Magnolia Grove, Mobile
Located near the shimmering Golf of Mexico in Mobile, Magnolia Grove offers golfers 54 challenging holes running quietly through wetlands and dense pine forests. The Crossings Course is noted for its monster finishing hole - nicknamed "The Terminator" - a 436-yard par-4 (from the back tees).
The Falls Course features a scenic manmade waterfall flowing elegantly down long steps in front of the 10th green. Both championship courses also feature huge white-sanded bunkers. The splendid 18 hole Short Course weaves its way through the marsh and the wetlands, creating a scenic and challenging golfing experience.

Well, there you have it, Alabama's magnificent Trail. Eighteen championship courses, 324 holes, a country-club atmosphere, signature clubhouses and lots of amenities, all open to the public for everyone to enjoy. And you can play a Trail course for an unbelievable greens fee in the $20s. It's truly the best golf value in the world.

Whether soaring along the mountain-tops, or weaving through the lowland marshes and swamps, Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail will provide you with the golfing experience of a lifetime.

Reprinted with permission of The Fairways Golf Company, Mobile, Alabama.

Howey in the Hills Golf Package
Dates: any time
Celebrate Mission Inn Resort & Club's 50th anniversary! Enjoy this complete package while golfing on the resort's two championship courses, El Campeon and Las Colinas. Includes Club Suite accommodations, 18 holes of golf with shared cart daily, range balls, club storage, advance tee times, $50 credit toward dinner each night, $50 total credit per person to use in the golf shop, and a commemorative gift item.
Price range: $225
Birmingham Related Articles