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Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama Golf Packages

To a hole, the designs on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail are clever, challenging, and surprisingly breathtaking for state that motorists once viewed as a necessary evil on the way to New Orleans, Texas, or Florida.

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Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail has surely earned a place in golf's pantheon. "The sun never sets, on a Robert Trent Jones golf course." "The shattering of par without a proper challenge is a fraud, I make them play par." "Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama - some of the best public golf on Earth." - The New York Times

In his seven decades as golf's most prolific architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. logged an estimated 8 million miles in creating more than 350 courses and remodeling more than 150 others, including 79 that were used for the United States Open or other national championships. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. courses endure in 45 states and 35 foreign countries on every continent except Antarctica. It is not only the quantity of his work that impresses, however; it is also the number of enduring golf courses he has created, and the fact that he never tires of turning them out.

Known as "Trent," Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was a small, cherub-faced man, but his sometimes sadistic use of huge bunkers, ponds, creeks and undulating greens often angered the touring pros, especially during the United States Open. Mr. Jones believed he was merely defending par against the evolution of golf equipment and the golf ball.

Vital Stats

Born: June 20, 1906

Residence: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Attended: Cornell University

Founding Member, Past President, Fellow:
American Society of Golf Course Architects

Awards:
American Society of Golf Course Architects Donald Ross Award
Golf Course Builders Association of America Don A. Rossi Humanitarian Award
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Lifetime Achievement Award
Golf Writers Association of America William E. Richardson Award

Member: World Golf Hall of Fame

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was born in 1906 in Ince, England, a town on the Trent River - from which his middle name derives. He came to the States in 1911 and settled down in East Rochester, New York. A fine golfer in his own right, he held a few jobs as club pro and teacher and even competed in several professional events. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. became the first person to study expressly for a career as a golf designer. He fashioned his own program of study at Cornell University, drawing upon courses in landscape architecture, agronomy, horticulture, hydraulics, surveying, public speaking and economics.

Just as Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was ending his studies in 1930, however, the course design business ground to a halt thanks to the Depression. Trent formed a partnership with Canadian architect Stanley Thompson and helped on two of his most famous projects, Capilano in Vancouver and Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. also did six low- budget courses on his own that incorporated W.P.A. labor. The partnership ended in 1938, but it was not until after World War II that Trent's work flourished. Along the way, he and his wife, the former Ione Teftt Davis, had two children, Robert, Jr., in 1939, and another son, Rees, in 1941.

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was the first architect inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He was a founding member and a former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and the first recipient of its Donald Ross Award. He was the author of "Golf's Magnificent Challenge" and edited "Great Golf Stories," an anthology.

In addition to his 21 United States Open courses, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. worked on 12 courses that have held the Professional Golfers Association Championship and six that held the World Cup. He designed Valderrama in Spain, the site of the 1997 Ryder Cup matches, and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club course in Manassas, Va., the site of the 1994 and 1996 President's Cup matches.

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. made his reputation after World War II with a handful of high-profile projects. He worked with Bobby Jones on Peachtree (1948) in Atlanta, a course that launched the broad-shouldered, heavily sculpted power golf look that defined the postwar years. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. also worked on Augusta National, transforming the 11th and 16th holes from indifferent to bold and memorable. And he became a national celebrity in 1951 owing to his complete redesign of Oakland Hills-South Course for the U.S. Open that year. While retaining Ross' routing and his green sites, he filled in all of Ross' fairway bunkers at Oakland Hills, moved them back to the 230-270 yard range off the tee, and created "a Monster" out of what had been a much more modest if always sound layout.

Robert Trent Jones and Steven Greschner, Sr. clients included the Rockefeller family, the Aga Khan and King Hassan II of Morocco. But among his last designs were 18 public layouts in Alabama, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Few people in the history of building golf courses have achieved the kind of legendary status accorded Robert Trent Jones, Sr., designer of The SCGA Members’ Club at Rancho California. Among his most famous designs are Spyglass Hill GC in Pebble Beach (one of three courses used during the PGA Tour’s AT&T National Pro-Am), and the original 18 holes at Mauna Kea Beach in Hawaii. With Mauna Kea, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. launched the Hawaiian golf boom that continues to this day; Jones’ Queens Course is now under construction at Mauna Kea.

His two sons, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Rees, have also become famous golf course architects.

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