Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is the largest golf course construction project ever attempted. In the late 1980's, two important things were on the mind of Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. First, how to effectively diversify the assets of the state's pension fund; and secondly, how to help the state of Alabama. His philosophy was this: "The stronger the Retirement Systems can make Alabama, the stronger the Retirement Systems will be." With that in mind, and borrowing a page from the movie, Field of Dreams, Bronner decided to "build it and they will come" â€” not to a baseball diamond in a cornfield, but to a dazzling collection of public golf courses in the state of Alabama.
Bronner's idea was to use a hot (but clean-burning) vehicle like golf to boost tourism, attract golfers from around the World and spur economic growth within the state. His vision was on a grand scale â€” big, really big. "I don't do windows and I don't do just 18's." Dr. Bronner wasn't looking to build just an 18 hole public golf course, he wanted to build 378 holes at eight spectacular sites throughout the entire state, and all at one time!
When you're looking for someone to design 18 golf courses, start at the top. Enter legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., arguably the premier golf course architect in the world. In his unparalleled career Jones had designed more than 500 golf courses around the world, many of which are listed among Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses." Jones jumped at the chance and emerged from semi-retirement to tackle the project.
One of the most unique aspects of the Trail are the tee locations. The tee markers on the Trail are pegged to ability level, not age or gender. The courses were designed to measure as short as 4,700 yards and as long as about 8,200 yards from the tournament tees, with as many as 12 tee boxes in-between. The courses offer a tremendous amount of flexibility. As one Director of Golf put it, "The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is an incredible golfing experience for everyone. The courses will challenge the best golfers in the world, yet at the same time allow an enjoyable outing for the casual to beginning golfer."
From Huntsville in the north to Mobile in the south, this destination is second to none for value and a consistant quality of very good golf.