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June 19, 2021

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Grand National

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Grand National

Grand National is Among the Best of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail covers the state of Alabama with twelve sites and 468 holes of superior golf unmatched throughout the world.

My favorite destination among them for a stay-and-play package’ is the Grand National Golf Club at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa. No matter which destination you choose, you won’t be disappointed. If you had only one choice for a few days, I’d recommend Grand National.

Robert Trent Jones Sr. was noted to exclaim that this site was the single greatest peice of property for a golf complex he had ever seen. Grand National Golf Club boasts 54 holes of championship golf laid out in a pristine natural setting around the 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee and just minutes from the Marriott.

The Lakes course has twelve holes hugging the shoreline and is one of the most scenic layouts in the whole state. The quartet of extraordinary par threes is as good as it gets in the nation. The 230-yard par 3 15th  is the signature hole with a demanding island green with swirling winds to confound even single-handicappers.The 12th hole, a 522- yard par five is the perfect place to pause for a photo.

The Links course is the cornerstone of Grand National and more demanding than the Lakes. It plays more like a parkland style than links but is without a single weakness. The extraordinary design has water and marshes to avoid, elevation changes, tough greens, and it does not return after the outward nine. The par 4 18th is without a doubt one of the strongest finishing holes on the Trail.

If you make the trip, you’ll not want to miss the opportunity to experience the 18-hole par 3 short course. It is simply a thing of beauty with more than half the holes touching Lake Sougahatchee. This complex of one-shotters might be the finest in the country. Both the Links and the Lake courses were in the Top 10 of Golf Digest’s list of “America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses” and all three at Grand National are listed the nation’s Super Values by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” list.

The Short Course at Grand National a Must-play

Nestled on 2,000 acres of lakefront countryside, the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa is on par with the nation’s most distinctive resort hotels, and it’s the area’s premier golf and business resort. Just 12 miles from the airport, the resort has one of the finest spas in Alabama. I spent about half a day being pampered by the therapists and technicians located on multiple floors of the resort. After a day challenging the Links, it was the perfect chill-down.

There are 221 updated and comfortable rooms with views of the surrounding hills. Exceptional service abounds at the Marriott. The pool complex is a thing of beauty-with an all-adult, indoor pool, served by a friendly staff providing light fare and refreshments from the Splash pool bar. The Southern Oak Cafe & Bar is the perfect place for before-tee-time nourishment or refueling after a round of extraordinary golf. Sink your teeth into a succulent steak or freshly prepared seafood in an inviting atmosphere.

Other activities at the resort include hiking, biking, tennis and just relaxing. The resort conference center has 15,000 square feet of event space and can accommodate meetings up to 500. For whatever your next visit or adventure is, book your getaway and settle into modern accommodations and ultimate comfort at Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa.

Alabama Golf News contributor Dave Daubert is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America.

Featured image: Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

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