A former law professor in Alabama revolutionized access to great public golf 25 years ago and the rest is history.
While many scoffed at the concept, Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, brought golf course architect Robert Trent Jones out of retirement in the late 1980’s and the concept of America’s Original Golf Trail was born. Opened in 1992, nearly 12 million rounds of golf have been played along the RTJ Golf Trail. With 26 courses on 11 sites across Alabama, this top golf destination has renovated its original courses and encourages golfers to come play the new RTJ Golf Trail.
While maintaining the key course designs created by Robert Trent Jones, renovations of the original golf sites were recently completed. Owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the RTJ courses remain consistent for quality and value while offering new experiences.
“I want to be able to play the U.S. Open on any one of these courses we build,” said Dr. David G. Bronner. “Make every one of them a championship course. I want people to be challenged enough that they will want to come back and try again.”
While the courses have not hosted the U.S. Open yet, the PGA TOUR professions will compete in the Barbasol Championship at RTJ Grand National this July. Courses in Mobile and Prattville have hosted several LPGA tournaments. PGA TOUR Champions’ tournaments were played at RTJ Ross Bridge for several years. Dr. Bronner has been honored by the golf industry for his vision to make great golf available to both professionals and the general public. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail continues to be one of Alabama’s tourist attractions with guests coming from around the world.
The Trail’s artfully designed and beautifully landscaped courses, according to The New York Times, are “some of the best public golf on earth.” The Wall Street Journal said the Trail “may be the best bargain in the country.” The Boston Globe reported, “In Alabama, a genius in course design created 18 (now 26) jewels for everyone to enjoy at one-third the rate of comparable facilities.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution called the Trail “the finest public courses in the country.”WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?