History of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
In the late 80’s Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama had an idea, but not just any idea, a really big idea. Build an enormous network of world-class golf courses around the state that would drive golf tourism and showcase the natural beauty his home state, Alabama. Bonner knew he needed a partner to pull this off and tapped Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Robert Trent Jones, arguably the premier golf course architect in the world, jumped at the chance and emerged from near retirement to tackle the giant project. What they managed to build became the largest and most successful golf construction project ever attempted anywhere in the world. The project took on the designers name and became The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and it has quickly become one of the top golf destinations in the world.
Starting small, the initial plan was for just seven sites: Hampton Cove in Huntsville, Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Silver Lakes in Anniston, Grand National in Opelika, Cambrian Ridge in Greenville, Highland Oaks in Dothan, and Magnolia Grove in Mobile. After seeing the success of the project, additional courses and destinations were added. In 1999, The Capitol Hill courses in Montgomery were added. Then in 2005, The Shoals in Florence and Ross Bridge in Birmingham premiered.
Since it's founding, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail has won numerous awards and honors, including several from Golf Digest's "Places to Play" and even being featured in Fifty Places to Play Golf Before You Die, by Chris Santella. Frequent Flyer magazine named the RTJ Trail as one of the "Top 10 Trips" and The New York Times called it "Some of the best public golf on earth.' With accolades like that, your golf vacation won't go wrong with the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.