PRATVILLE, Ala. -- Sunbelt Golf Corp. is expanding the
comprehensive Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama with an
eighth facility. Named Capitol Hill, the 54-hole Pratville golf
facility is being developed six miles north of Montgomery and one
mile from Interstate 65. The project features three championship
courses spread over 1,500 acres: the Senator, which opened in
April; the Legislator, scheduled to be unveiled by the end of the
summer, and the Judge, expected to debut in October.
Sunbelt is pouring about $24 million into the project. According to
David Taylor, director of marketing for the Robert Trent Jones Golf
Trail, Capitol Hill will enhance the diversity of the entire trail
and provide a centrally located golf facility on the route.öCapitol
Hill will have three courses on very different types of land.ö
ôFrom one course to the next, it is three completely different
styles. ItÆs not a cookie-cutter concept,ö Taylor said, adding that
diversity in layout is the philosophy of the entire golf trail. As
the largest golf course construction project in the world, the
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail features 324 holes spanning 18
courses throughout the state. A variety of course layouts are
represented on the trail, including those characterized by
mountains, lakes, marshes and sand. Capitol Hill will further
augment the offerings with a new type of layout.
ôThe Senator Course is the only one of its kind in this part of
the country because of its Scottish links layout,ö Taylor said. The
course, which spans the top of a ridge, reflects the Scottish-style
layout with no trees and more than 200 pothole bunkers. The course
features more than five different types of grass on the 40-foot
mounds of soil that border each hole.
The other two courses also will carry distinguishing traits on
the trail. The Legislator will run alongside a ridge and Cooters
Pond. The course will feature elevation drops of more than 200
feet, similar to famous courses in North Carolina, and dense
vegetation, including pine trees and Spanish moss. The Judge
Course, built around the backwash of the Alabama River, will
feature an open layout, with island greens, island tees and most
holes bordering the water.
Capitol Hill sits in the middle of the Robert Trent Jones Golf
Trail, and 11 other courses on the route are within an
hour-and-a-half drive. With the three new courses, Taylor said, the
trail will boast the most diverse collection of courses in the
world. Before Capitol Hill, the main layout the trail was lacking
was a Scottish-style course. ôWe now have every type of course a
golfer could imagine playing, except a layout that runs along the
ocean,ö he said.
The public golf trail, which runs through the entire state, from
Huntsville to Mobile, was designed to use golf as a major tourist
attraction and as a tool for economic development. The trail aims
to provide golfers with high-caliber, reasonably priced courses,
each of which is accessible from major interstates and highways and
within a two-hour drive of the next course. All of the links were
designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., with each course taking in the
natural topography. The courses are intended to cater to golfers of
all abilities, with an average of 10 to 12 tee boxes on every
ôThe courses range from 4,900 yards from the front tees and
7,500 yards from the back tees, which allows both beginners and the
best players in the world to have a good time,ö Taylor said. Since
the trailÆs completion four years ago, golfers from every U.S.
state and 30 countries around the world have played the courses.
The trail has been the venue for a number of important golf
championships and currently hosts two nationally televised events:
the Nike Tour Championship in Dothan and the LPGA Aflac in Mobile,
both of which take place in October.
Greens fees range from $29 to $49.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
Phone: (800) 848-4444