The Fairways of Alabama

Alabama’s warm climate sets the perfect stage for some beautiful fairways and golf lovers from all across the southeast come here to play scenic, challenging courses. Golf destinations in Alabama span from the northern end of the state to the Gulf Coast, and there’s some pretty spectacular stuff all in between!

The Kiva Dunes Golf Course
The Kiva Dunes Golf Course should be on every golfers “must play” list as it is ranked the number one course in the state. Located in popular Gulf Shores, the course is full of natural beauty and difficult holes. Designer Jerry Pate said, “I tried to make Kiva Dunes a golf course that not only gave you a lot of options, but one that tested all the shots.” He succeeded.

Style: "Agfa"

Golfers love playing Kiva Dunes for many reasons, but two are distinct: the pristine beachfront atmosphere and its world-wide reputation for a unique and challenging course. Golf lessons are available and it is set among a fabulous West Indian-influenced resort property. Resort amenities are plentiful with pools, a spa, and tennis courts being at the top of the list.

AWARDS
Golf Digest
Voted #2 – Best New Public Courses in U.S. – Dec. 1995
Voted – Alabama’s BEST Place to Play – Jan. 1995
Ranked #24 – America’s Top 75 Upscale Courses – May 1996
Ranked #68 in America’s Top 75 Golf Resorts – Mar. 2002
Ranked #58 in America’s Top 100 Public Courses – May 2003

Golf Magazine
Appeared in Top 10 You Can Play – Feb. 1996

LINKS The Best of Golf
Featured as Modern Classics Course – Jan./Feb. 2000

Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
This four-diamond award-winning hotel is more than a place to lay your head. It is known for its elegance and luxury amenities such as a European spa and Mediterranean-influenced restaurant Brocks. Hoover is proud to be the home of this sophisticated resort property. A stay here is sheer pampering.

Ross Bridge Golf Course, part of the Robert Trent Jones Trail, meanders through the landscape of the resort property and is one of the longest courses in the world, offering multiple tees for golfers. This 18-hole course, designed by Roger Rulewich, ASGCA/Bobby Vaughan, offers 8,191 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Ten holes of the course play along the banks of two substantial lakes connected by a stunning waterfall that drops some 80 feet between the ninth and eighteenth greens. The combination of elevation changes and natural obstacles create this challenging course, not to mention, testing the skills of even the best golfer.

Ross Bridge Golf Course is home to a PGA Champions Tour tournament annually with a clubhouse recognized by Golf Digest as one of the Favorite 19th holes in 2008.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals
The Shoals is unique in that it offers two championship 18-hole golf courses: The Fighting Joe and The Schoolmaster, situated between Wheeler and Wilson Dams on the Tennessee River. Fighting Joe captured one of Travel & Leisure Golf’s coveted awards for Top New Courses in 2004 giving golfers over 8,000 feet of competitive golfing pleasure. The 17th and 18th holes are both known as signature holes, but the 18th wins out for most spectacular view overlooking Wilson Lake.

The Schoolmaster offers very traditional golf with its rolling topography and wooded landscape. It, too, has a signature 18th hole situated on high bluffs overlooking the river.

Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa is the closeby accommodation venue for both of these fine courses and offers Alabama’s only revolving restaurant. Like its sister property Ross Bridge, Marriott Shoals has a great deal of meeting space and gives guests an upscale property with amenities that are highly sought after: a European spa and salon, on-site restaurant, pools, and a high-scoring guest satisfaction rating.

The Lakewood Golf Club
Part of the service- and luxury-oriented Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, The Lakewood Golf Club with its two Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses, is situated beautifully along Mobile Bay’s eastern shore. The resort itself is home to a 20,000-square-foot European-style spa, palette-pleasing dining options, tennis courts, a pool complex, and a gorgeous marina dotted with sailboats, yachts, and other sea vessels.

The courses of Lakewood Golf Club are shaded by ancient oaks that lend a quiet feeling of belonging…and relaxation. Perry Maxwell designed both the Dogwood and Azalea courses with rolling fairways, tight greens, spring-fed lakes, and mature trees…southern qualities appreciated by golfers from all over. Maxwell used Mother Nature as his “assistant” in this Deep South design.

Amenities of Lakewood include:
* 419 Bermuda grass tees, fairways & roughs
* Classic Tifdwarf putting surfaces
* Full Golf Cart service
* Men’s & Women’s locker rooms featuring high wooden lockers
* Full-service, fully stocked golf shop featuring classic names including Titleist, Fairway & Green, FootJoy, Vineyard Vines and Page & Tuttle.
* Bag storage and club cleaning service

Golf is a game of patience and perseverance where practice makes perfect. Enjoy a round today at one of Alabama’s beautiful public courses or book a weekend getaway to one of these spectacular golf destinations. Enjoy!

SIDEBAR
Limestone Springs Golf Club
One of Alabama’s hidden gems is Limestone Springs Golf Club located about 25 minutes north of Birmingham in Oneonta. This public access championship course is set among 225 acres of the Appalachian Mountains amidst some of the state’s most picturesque views. Golfers agree that the views are magnificent but the course doesn’t depend on that alone for popularity…it offers an exceptional challenge just as designer Jerry Pate intended.

Some of the tees are set on elevations creating breathtaking views of twisting fairways and free-flowing streams…in other words, hazards! These 18 holes represent almost 7,000 yards of impressive golf course challenges as well as delightful views including local wildlife. Limestone Springs consistently receives a 4 ½ star rating by Golf Digest’s Places to Play and is ranked in the top five public courses in Alabama by GolfWeek.

Capstone Club
Tuscaloosa’s (really Brookwood’s) best kept secret is the Capstone Club, a public golf facility, referred to as “one of the most interesting and unique golf courses in Alabama” by Golfweek Magazine.

This award-winning course is really summed up in the words of its designer. “This will be a course that reveres and respects the traditions of the game, while producing a great experience for the golfer. It will be traditional in all its trappings – a clear reflection of the proud heritage of tradition,” stated Course Architect Gil Hanse.

Golf Magazine has ranked the Capstone Club #15 in the United States for courses you can play for under $50. That’s a bargain and allows for many folks to play in this uncertain economy.

The finishing hole at Capstone is rounded out with a blind, uphill tee shot and a green that is set in a natural amphitheater. When you’re finished, have lunch at Bear’s Den and enjoy a wonderful clubhouse with tons of amenities.

IF YOU GO…
Kiva Dunes Resort & Golf Course
815 Plantation Drive
Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542
1-888-833-5482
www.kivadunes.com

Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
4000 Grand Avenue
Hoover, Alabama 35226
1-800-593-6419
http://www.rtjgolf.com/resorts/rossbridge/

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals
990 SunBelt Parkway
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35661
256-446-4111
http://www.rtjgolf.com/theshoals/

Lakewood Golf Club
5910 Lakewood Drive
Fairhope, Alabama 36532
251-990-6312
http://www.lakewoodatthegrand.com/golf.asp

Limestone Springs Golf Club
3000 Colonial Drive
Oneonta, AL 35121
205-274-4653
www.limestonesprings.com

The Capstone Club of Alabama
16000 Capstone Boulevard
Brookwood, AL 35444
205-462-0590
www.capstoneclub.com

You may have seen this article by Becky in River Region Magazine.

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