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Old Oct 26, 2016, 04:55 AM   #1
ace in the hazard
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Default RTJ Trail advice

Seeing it referenced in the few threads here piqued my interest but I couldn't find a thread dedicated to it.

A buddy and I are thinking of flying down for 5-6 days end of Jan/beginning of Feb. My idea right now is to fly into Birmingham, rent a car and hit several courses on the way to Mobile where we would fly home from.

He's on a relatively tight budget so i'm getting his flights on points but would love to know the best way to hit the top courses in an affordable manner. Accommodations just have to be clean and convenient...nothing fancy.

I found the "create your own package" option on the website and I'm going to give them a call but as always, any input from the Nutz is appreciated
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 05:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Red Roof Inn...

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Old Oct 26, 2016, 08:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Done the trail 5 times and consider it one of the best values for a collection of golf courses in the world. I'll take a shot at my ideal itin

Day 1:

Play: Ross Bridge which is the best course on the trail in my opinion
Stay: Marriott Ross Bridge Resort (RTJ trail hotel that is usually affordable in the winter)

Day 2:

Play: 18 or 36 at Farm Links which is often rated the top public course in Alabama
Stay: Marriott Grand National (RTJ trail hotel)

Day 3:

Play: 36 at Grand National (Links & Lake where they now hold the Barbasol PGA event
Stay: Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel (RTJ trail hotel)

Day 4:
Play: 36 at Capitol Hill (Judge & Legislator, don't bother with the Senator)
Stay: Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel (RTJ trail hotel)

Day 5:

Play: 27 at Cambrian (has been compared to August in terms of the land)

Stay: Renaissance Battle House Mobile

Day 6:

Play: Magnolia Grove (Not my favourite trail site but both courses are solid, if you are short on time Magnolia can be skipped)

Hope this helps. It is a great trip and collection of golf courses. Alabama is sneaky beautiful and one of my favourite states after spending some time down there
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

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Originally Posted by PistolPete View Post
Done the trail 5 times and consider it one of the best values for a collection of golf courses in the world. I'll take a shot at my ideal itin
Awesome! I sent a package request to them based on a similar itinerary (without Farmlinks) and with Magnolia Grove on a 5 day plan. The site for FL looks incredible though so would love to add that one. Thanks
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 11:37 AM   #5
mpare
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

You might want to check tha average temps in Bama for the end of January in the areas where you'll be playing. The more you're north of the Gulf, the colder it can be. That temperature variance can be substantially.

Hope you enjoy your trip. I'm looking forward to playing in the Gulf area during January, February and March.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ace in the hazard View Post
Awesome! I sent a package request to them based on a similar itinerary (without Farmlinks) and with Magnolia Grove on a 5 day plan. The site for FL looks incredible though so would love to add that one. Thanks
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 12:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

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Originally Posted by mpare View Post
You might want to check tha average temps in Bama for the end of January in the areas where you'll be playing. The more you're north of the Gulf, the colder it can be. That temperature variance can be substantially.

Hope you enjoy your trip. I'm looking forward to playing in the Gulf area during January, February and March.
Thanks Michael. I did look at Birmingham weather and saw historical average highs in the 12* range and overnight lows generally above freezing. Either way, it will definitely be warmer than here, lol. I played yesterday and today in low single digits and was quite comfortable so I don't mind cool as long as it's not cool and wet (or too windy). If the forecast is dodgy before we leave, we'll probably head south sooner and play a few more rounds closer to the coast. The reason for timing is my wife is away in NZ for work so not movable...but I had to promise to take her back when it is warmer
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Would love to make a trip like this one day
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 04:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

That's a lot of driving for a vacation including packing up your stuff each nite and gypsying it thru bama
I would skip the mobile piece and do a circular run for the first rtj visit
You could start in Birmingham for 2 days then down to Prattville for 2 days (the judge is awesome and you will want to play that twice) - don't understand the comment earlier on the Senator course as they play an logs tournament there
Then move to grand national - auburn and stay there 2 days
You can also fly to Atlanta and drive to auburn and start there and return from Birmingham
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Old Oct 26, 2016, 04:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

This is awesome thanks - truly useful information
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Old Dec 30, 2016, 06:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

As we get a bit closer I've narrowed down the itinerary a little more (we're only going for 5 days due to work limitations).

Day 1 - Land at noon, shoot over to Ross Bridge for afternoon round. Stay downtown Birmingham

Day 2 - 36 at Oxmoor Valley. Stay downtown Birmingham

Day 3 - Morning of skeet shooting at Pursell Farms followed by an afternoon round at Farm Links (thanks Pete...this one wasn't even on the radar but it looks awesome and I came across the shooting exploring their website). Stay Renaissance Montgomery

Day 4 - 36 at Capitol Hill. Definitely the Judge and would lean towards Senator because I love links-style courses but with Pete's advice might switch to Legislator. Stay Renaissance Montgomery

Day 5 - Will leave open. Have to be at the airport at 2pm so might play early that morning, or might just sleep-in and take our time. Most of the Trail sites show the first tee time at 8am so it would have to be a repeat of Ross Bridge or Oxmoor and even then it would be tight.
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Old Dec 31, 2016, 04:56 AM   #11
jaybudhwani
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Would be in uncouth to ask what a package like this is going to run you? I was looking at throwing together something similar myself.

Cheers,

J
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Old Dec 31, 2016, 10:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybudhwani View Post
Would be in uncouth to ask what a package like this is going to run you? I was looking at throwing together something similar myself.

Cheers,

J
Not at all.

As I mentioned above, my buddy is on a tight budget so I tried to keep things reasonable and got his flight on points but they're pretty cheap too at this time of year.

Golf - RTJ Trail has winter golf specials for $80/day unltd including range and cart (not at Ross Bridge) so we're doing that for the two 36 hole days. Other rounds range between $45 and $75 depending if you're okay teeing off after noon. I figure the following:

Ross Bridges $75
Oxmoor 36 $80
Farmlinks golf $50 (Farmlinks shooting roughly $150pp with lesson/gun rental/ammo etc)
Capitol Hill 36 $80

$285 total (without shooting)

We've rented a house in Birmingham the first two nights for abt $200/night
The Marriot in Prattville is $110/night (friend got us a discount).

$650 total

Rented an SUV for $110 + gas

$170ish Total

Food?? Breakfasts we'll either cook or are included in the hotel so pretty cheap. Lunches will prob be the most expensive as we'll be eating at the courses. Dinners we'll probably mix a nice dinner or two with some cheap southern BBQ.

$250pp for the 5 days?

$500 Total

All in is around US$1600 + a bit for tax tips and extra purchases. Call it US$2000 or $2700CAD or $1350pp. When my friend was looking at flights they were about $350pp from memory.
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Old Dec 31, 2016, 02:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Just for laughs. I had planned a trip to Florida for the month of Feb. and when I got to Huntsville (I was planning to play a couple courses on my way through) they had snow on the ground. That evening when I went to rent a room the hostess said thanks for this when I said I was from Canada.
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Old Dec 31, 2016, 02:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

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Just for laughs. I had planned a trip to Florida for the month of Feb. and when I got to Huntsville (I was planning to play a couple courses on my way through) they had snow on the ground. That evening when I went to rent a room the hostess said thanks for this when I said I was from Canada.
You didn't have any orange balls in your bag?
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 06:55 AM   #15
ace in the hazard
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

posted a few pics in mpare's Alabama thread (http://www.torontogolfnuts.com/showthread.php?t=169584) but figured I'd post a quick trip report for those interested.

We flew in Sunday and headed straight to Ross Bridge for a twilight round. The course was awesome. Great variety of holes with elevation changes, lots of water holes, immaculate greens for winter, and pretty good for any time of year. They overseed tees fairways and greens and the rough is crispy but very playable. Par 3 tee boxes were a little choppy but that's the nature of pretty dormant grass at this time of year. Great value at abt $65.

Next day was supposed to be 36 at Oxmoor Valley but it was chilly in the am and one of the guys flew in on little sleep so we kept it to an afternoon 18 at the ridge course. Similar conditions with a lot of elevation changes. It was a really nice round but not quite the same class as Ross Bridge.

Tues was our morning of skeet shooting at pursell farms flowed by an afternoon round at pursell farm links. Shooting was amazing. Highly recommend a lesson with Darnell if you're as new as we were. Loved every minute of it and the bets were flying for our 5 stand round after. Quick lunch in the clubhouse and on to golf. The course was immaculate with incredible views from the top of the land. I found the layout a little boring but only because of the comparison to the previous two days. 4 birds though so I'd head back anytime lol.

Wednesday we drove south to Prattville for 36 at Capitol Hill. Morning round on Senator, afternoon on Legislator. Unfortunately the Judge was closed due to a bridge being out but both courses were great so not a big loss. Senator is links style and a great test. Legislator winds through the valley and is a bit tighter. Edge to senator because of conditioning but both nice tracks.

We flew out Thursday aforenoon so we squeezed in a morning round at Highland Park, a small city course beside the airport. It was a fun little track, just not up to the level of the rest of the week.

All in all it was an awesome week and we'll be back for sure. We ate a tonne of bbq as well as some good French food on the last night. My two playing partners are 10 rounds/year guys so they played a scramble against me with "handicaps" adjusted after each nine which made for some great finishes.

My cost estimates were way too high as well. Since the third guy joined we rented a house instead of getting hotel rooms. $600 Cad for the 4 nights for a 5br on the hill overlooking town...all in probably closer to $1000pp for the 5 days and we weren't skimping on food and drinks.
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Rossa Monza Corza
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 08:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: RTJ Trail advice

Thanks for the review, sounds great.

We would like to get farther down there too sometime--we only got as far as the 2 (RTJGT) courses at The Shoals GC (Schoolmaster & Fighting Joe) in NW 'bama when we drove down for a quickie 3 night excursion this past November
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