Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Highland Oaks, Marshwood/Magnolia Course, Dothan, Alabama - Hailed as Part of the Best Public Golf on Earth
Highland Oaks is located in the southeast corner of Alabama, and is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The Trail is the largest golf course project ever attempted, and consists of 11 different sites across the state and a total of 468 championship-caliber holes. It's also very affordable, with The Wall Street Journal stating that the Trail "may be the biggest bargain in the country.'' The New York Times also called the Trail "some of the best public golf on Earth.''
The Highlands Oaks complex consists of four distinct nine-hole courses for a total of 36 holes, as well as some of the longest and most classically designed holes on the Trail.
The Marshwood course is famous (or, perhaps, notorious) for one hole in particular: the par-5 sixth, which measures an intimidating 701 yards from the tips. The 422-yard ninth hole is also one of the best holes on the course, challenging golfers with a dogleg right, as well as a tilted green that's also elevated above a stretch of wetlands.
The Magnolia nine is aptly named for the magnolia trees that dot the higher ground. The course is accessible via a 1,000-foot-long wooden bridge that traverses a tree-filled marshland. The signature hole on the Magnolia course is the 416-yard fifth, with a split-level fairway that presents golfers with a decision off the tee.
The Highlands course is considered the core nine at Highland Oaks, and has its own distinctive personality, with a relatively open design but several lakes that are often in play. The sixth hole is particularly challenging, with an elusive peninsula green at the end of a downhill par-3.
There's also a Short Course - a nine-hole par-3 course that challenges golfers with some difficult pin placements, three water holes and some of the best-putting Bermuda greens in the southern U.S.
Golf Digest named the Highlands-Magnolia combination as the 7th-best new public course in America in 1994, and #31 in the magazine's list of America's Top 50 Affordable Courses.
The Highland Oaks complex also offers practice facilities, including a driving range with grass tees and a short-game area. For dining and relaxing, there's a clubhouse with a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and full bar service.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Resort Collection also features a number of exceptional resorts.
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