Venue Has Hosted Alabama Men’s State Amateur
There’s no shortage of good golf courses located in Jefferson County in the Birmingham Alabama. area, and Bent Brook Golf Course is among the area’s finest.
From well-known clubs such as Shoal Creek, Greystone Golf and Country Club and the Country Club of Birmingham, both of which have hosted USGA and PGA Tour events, to fine public golf offerings, good golf is easy to find.
One of Birmingham’s best public facilities can be found in Bessemer, where the 27-hole Bent Brook facility was established in 1988. The course is currently open for play.
Bent Brook features three nines – Brook, Windmill and Graveyard – although Windmill currently is closed as three of its holes are being renovated. It is slated to reopen late this year or in early 2021, according to pro shop personnel.
Bent Brook Golf Course features a wide practice range and two practice greens. Bent Brook also is home to the Hank Johnson School of Golf.
Bent Brook’s courses are both fun and challenging at the same time. The courses are difficult enough to have hosted the Alabama Men’s State Amateur numerous times, but also offer the possibility of shooting a career round if everything falls into place.
Tees and fairways are Bermuda grass. The greens are AU Victory bent grass, which holds up well in Alabama’s sweltering, humid summer temperatures
Bent Brook Golf Course Has Three Nines
All three courses are relatively flat and mostly wide open. A tornado took down several hundred trees in 2016, and players can generally see most of the property from just about hole on the course.
Yardages from the tips range from 6,772 on the Graveyard-Windmill loop to 7,222 yards on the Brook-Graveyard loop. The Brook-Windmill loop is 7,014 yards. Bent Brook has five sets of tees – from the No. 2 set of tees yardages range from 6,179 to 6,470.
One of Bent Brook’s best attributes is that the courses are straight forward – there are few blind shots. Everything is right in front of you; what you see is what you get. The rough can be penal. Fairways and greens are generous – there’s no excuse not to hit most of them, but hitting the large greens doesn’t mean two-putts are guaranteed. Distance control is a must.
There isn’t an overabundance of water, but it is strategically placed. Fairways are generous but stray too far and water definitely comes into play. Bunkers are strategically sprinkled throughout the courses as well.
Best holes: Three of the best holes are on the Brook course. The third hole is a difficult par 3 that plays about 180 yards with a creek running up the right side that flows from a ball-attracting pond. It is considered the signature hole of the Brook loop. No. 7 is a brute of a par 4 – a slight dogleg right with a pond guarding the front of the green. From the No. 3 tees, a layup is required off the tee and can leave a short iron approach. From the No. 2 tees, even a good drive can leave a mid- to long-iron approach. There is little room for error when the pin is on the front of the green. No. 9 is a picturesque par 4 with water in play down the right side and in front of a green that is also guarded by a deep bunker.
Cost: Greens fees and a cart are $55 Monday-Friday and $65 on weekends and holidays. The twilight fee on weekends and holidays is $50 after 3 p.m. Senior and junior rates are also available.
By Alabama Golf News Editor Gregg Dewalt.
Featured image: Bent Brook Golf Course