I've never been to Alabama and don't have any immediate plans to go there. Call me ignorant but I have always thought of Alabama as a state comprised of rednecks named Billy Bob. In my mind the entire state is one big Hazzard County, although seeing Daisy Duke wouldn't be so bad. Whenever I read about or watch golf all I ever seem to see ads for is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
I guess I, like many golfers, have memories from the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek CC and the racial issues that arose. With that, I want to know why did someone think that Alabama would be a great place for golfers? Golfers aren't exactly the type to go to the Hank Williams Museum. I personally don't know anyone that has ever gone to Alabama for a vacation. Do they even have any good restaurants there? Who really wants to drive 100 miles from one golf course to another? Why not go to Myrtle Beach or Florida where there is quality golf on every corner?
I'll give the RTJ Golf Trail credit that it is definitely marketed properly and there seems to be an unlimited budget with it as well. The people doing the marketing should be commended on their branding. If they are actually getting golfers there to play, then as far as I'm concerned, they are miracle workers. If golfers are going there, these people could probably sell ice to an eskimo.
While I'm at it, why did they pick Robert Trent Jones? Was he really that good of an architect? They keep building new courses and using his name, but do the people in Alabama realize that he died over 4 years ago? I used to play a RTJ course, Lyman Orchards Golf Club, growing up as a kid. I wouldn't consider this a quality golf course by any means, it's OK at best. However, two of my more memorable golf moments were on that golf course. When I was 13 years old I won a tournament there that I was playing in with my grandfather. And when I was 16 I missed a hole in one by less than 3 inches, no big deal, but if it had it gone in I would have won a car.
Until someone from Alabama pays my way up there to play, I'm not going. There are too many other states I'd rather visit and many other golf architects I prefer. I could be wrong, but I doubt the golf in Alabama is worth the trip.