Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

It is golfing nirvana. Fifty-four holes of championship-level golf, all wrapped up within a single 1,500-acre site.

On Friday, April 29, 2011 - 07:06
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Welcome to Prattville, and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill.

The RTJ Golf Trail is a collection of 468 holes of golf at 11 sites throughout Alabama, stretching from Huntsville in the northern part of the state to Mobile in the south. And smack in the middle is the trail’s crown jewel, Capitol Hill, the only facility along the trail that has three separate 18-hole courses.

Prattville is located a few miles from Montgomery, which is the capitol of Alabama. That is where Capitol Hill gets its moniker, and each of the course names pays homage to its political neighbor: the Judge Course, the Legislator Course and the Senator Course.

The most decorated of this trio is the Judge Course. Golf Magazine named it one of the 10 public courses in America worthy of hosting the U.S. Open, and the Zagat Survey of America’s Top Golf Courses ranked it in the top-50.

Golf Course Scenery

While the quality of golf is part of the reason for all the praise, the Judge Course also receives raves for its stunning scenery. The very first tee sits 200 feet above the fairway, with the Alabama River off to the right and the Montgomery skyline visible in the distance. It has been called the signature hole of the entire RTJ Golf Trail. There is water on 14 of the 18 holes, highlighted by an island green on hole No. 6. The vistas are spread throughout the course, which stretches on for nearly 7,800 yards.

Various Courses

The Senator Course also has received accolades. Golf Magazine named it one of top 10 new courses in the nation shortly after it opened in 1999, and Travel + Leisure listed it as one of America’s 100 best courses for $100 or less.

The Senator has all the hallmarks of a Scottish-links style course, without the high winds. There are more than 160 pot-hole bunkers scattered throughout the 7,700-yard course, and mounds that reach up to 40 feet in height. Since 2007, the course has been the site of the Navistar LPGA Classic.

The Legislator Course is the shortest (though still a lengthy 7,417 yards) and most basic of the three. Even so, it remains a challenging test of golf with plenty of beautiful scenery, as the course winds along a bluff and through a native cypress swamp.

Because of the high quality of these courses, the green fees can be pricey. The cheapest rates, during the winter and summer, are still at least $45 per round. During the spring and fall, the fees range from $52 to $64, with a round at the Judge Course running $74 during peak season.

It is a small price to pay, some will say, for a piece of golfing heaven.

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