Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill: One Amazing Destination

Our foursome spent a 3 day weekend at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill and came away extremely impressed with plans to return in the future.

From the beginning, the price was right, we were treated great by the staff, played amazing courses and appreciate the accommodations right there on site at the Marriott Hotel. The combination of the items listed below makes it a must visit for the casual or serious golfer.

If you’re a golf enthusiast looking for an unforgettable golfing experience, look no further than the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. This renowned golf destination boasts a collection of championship-caliber courses that will challenge even the most seasoned golfers.

In this post, I’ll be taking you on a tour of one of the Trail’s most iconic facilities – Capitol Hill. We’ll explore the three courses at Capitol Hill, including the Judge, Senator, and Legislator courses, and provide tips for playing each one. We’ll also cover other courses on the Trail, accommodations and dining options, and golf packages and deals available.

The 18th Hole on the Judge Course!

Introduction to Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of 26 golf courses spread across Alabama at 11 sites. The Trail was designed by the legendary golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr., and is considered one of the most significant golf projects in history. The Trail is a testament to Jones’ philosophy that golf courses should be challenging, but fair, and that players of all skill levels should be able to enjoy them. The majority of the trail was built in the 1990s and remains in quality condition 20-30 years later. The customer service and the quality of the experience is simply impressive!

Overview of the Capitol Hill facility

The Capitol Hill facility is located in Prattville, Alabama, and is the largest of the Trail’s facilities. Capitol Hill boasts three championship courses, each with its unique features and challenges. The courses are named after three branches of government – the Judge, Senator, and Legislator courses.

The facility also features a practice range (massive range), a clubhouse with a pro shop, locker rooms, and dining options. The clubhouse offers sweeping views of the courses and is an excellent place to relax after a round of golf.

The driving range is maybe one of the most impressive practice facilities you will find in the country with a 360 degree setup. You will never run out of space to hit or quality grass to hit off of. They also have an academy on site at one portion of the range.

The clubhouse is beautiful with quality good and drink options. The service was timely and friendly with grab and go options at breakfast and lunch to ensure you can make your tee time or make a quick turn without going hungry.

We played 36 holes per day on our trip and would each lunch between the 18 hole rounds around noon. We were impressed with the quality of the food and the options that made you feel like home at a country club.

Related: The official RTJ Trail Website

The opening tee shot on the Judge.

The Judge Course at Capitol Hill – features, challenges, and tips for playing

The Judge Course is the most challenging of the three courses at Capitol Hill, and some even consider it one of the most challenging courses in the United States. The course features numerous water hazards, bunkers, and undulating greens. The Judge Course is also the longest course at Capitol Hill, measuring over 7,800 yards from the back tees.

There are several holes that stand out in my mind:

  • Hole 1: A 200 hundred foot elevated tee shot with water on both sides of the hole makes it difficult from the beginning. You can see Montgomery (10 miles away) and an Air Force Base from the tee. A remarkable way to start a round!
  • Hole 6: Any island green is fun to play. We were playing from the Orange tees and had to hit the green from 177 yards on this day! What a challenge!
  • Hole 7: A 605 yard par 5 from the Orange tees with weather down the entire right side that crosses over in front of the green. I look forward to another chance at this hole on future trips.
  • Hole 15: A shorter par 5, but with water down both sides with a green that is very undulating.
  • Hole 16: A forced carry and a hole that plays up to 225 yards from the tips.
  • Hole 18: A beautiful sun set and a water fall right of the green made for a perfect photo opportunity on our trip!

To play the Judge Course, you’ll need to bring your A-game. The course demands accuracy off the tee, as many of the fairways are lined with trees and hazards. The greens are also challenging, with many subtle breaks that can be difficult to read. If you’re up for the challenge, I recommend playing from the appropriate tees for your skill level and taking the time to study the course layout before your round.

Overall, a challenging course, but if played from the proper tees, it is manageable. I loved the challenge of this course and shot a 77 on this day from the Orange Tees.

Related: Why RTJ Trail should be your next trip – GOLFWRX

Good luck with this tee shot. Hit is straight on the 15th hole par 5!
Here was my route on the hole!

The Senator Course at Capitol Hill – features, challenges, and tips for playing

The Senator Course at Capitol Hill is a more forgiving course than the Judge Course, but it still presents plenty of challenges. The Senator Course is known for its elevation changes and scenic views with plenty of mounds. The course features fewer water hazards than the Judge Course, but there are still plenty of bunkers to contend with.

This course, just like the judge, provides 6 tee options, and the key is playing the right distance.

There are several holes that stand out in my mind:

  • Hole 5: A great par 5 that is lengthy and massive mounds all down the left side with trouble on the right side.
  • Hole 7: Shares a green with the 4th hole and is a challenging, somewhat uphill par 3.
  • Hole 13: An amazing par 3 from the white tees and very challenging on the orange and longer tees. The more the pin is in the back, the more difficult the hole plays.
  • Hole 17: Maybe my favorite hole on the entire complex. This par 5 makes you think and rewards the golfer ready to take a risk. I made a birdie on my first round on the course and bogey the next time. The placement of your tee shot is vital!

To play the Senator Course, accuracy is still essential, but there is more room for error off the tee. The greens are also more receptive than the Judge Course, but they still demand precision with your approach shots. I recommend taking advantage of the elevation changes on the course and taking in the stunning views.

The great thing about this course is you don’t have to worry about out of bounds, too many water hazards, but you do have to deal with 30-40 foot mounds with long grass throughout the course. This links style course is picturesque and provides a great challenge, but is very fair.

I shot a 76 and a 69. I played great on this round, making 5 birdies on the 69 with 2 bogeys on the par 5 10 and par 5 17.

The mounds on the Senator are massive and create a unique setting.
The 17th hole on the Senator – Birdie on day 1!

The Legislator Course at Capitol Hill – features, challenges, and tips for playing

The Legislator Course at Capitol Hill is the shortest of the three courses, but don’t let that fool you. The course presents plenty of challenges, including narrow fairways and greens that require precision on approach shots. The Legislator Course is also known for its difficult greens with small landing areas with multiple levels on many greens.

We found this course really difficult at times based on the pin placements we faced that day. These were maybe the trickiest greens of hundreds of golf courses I have played across America.

There are several holes that stand out in my mind:

  • Hole 3: A shorter, downhill par 3 with a green similar in shape to #12 at Augusta. The slope on the right side is simply difficult. Precision with the iron shot and then great lag putting are a must for a shot at par.
  • Hole 4: Maybe the most difficult approach shot with a short iron you will ever face. Trouble left, a bunker right with the pin in the back on a small landing area made this extremely difficult.
  • Hole 11: A quality par 3 over water that requires you to have a specific distance if you want to have a chance at birdie.
  • Hole 13: A shorter par 5 that has a major risk reward. If you are willing to take the chance to reach the green in two, you can’t miss left! Placement off the tee is important as well.

To play the Legislator Course, accuracy off the tee is critical. The course demands precision on approach shots, and the greens are small and undulating. I recommend playing conservatively and avoiding the bunkers at all costs.

All of the courses require you to have a quality GPS or Rangefinder. The greens are often large, but require you to be on the right level with your approach shot or a 3 putt is very common.

I played my worse round of the trip, shooting a 43-37=80. It took me time to adjust to the difficult greens.

Hole #3 on the Legislator. A difficult downhill putt for this golfer!
The weather was ideal on this morning – 1st hole the Legislator looking back towards #1 tee.

Other courses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

While Capitol Hill is undoubtedly one of the Trail’s crown jewels, there are 10 other sites to explore and 23 other courses to explore. Each course has its unique features and challenges, and all are worth playing. Some of the other notable courses on the Trail include the Grand National, Ross Bridge, and Oxmoor Valley.

Planning your visit to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

When planning your visit to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, there are several factors to consider. First, decide which courses you want to play and how many rounds you want to play. The Trail offers several packages that include accommodations and rounds of golf, making it easy to plan your trip.

We went with the all day play price at $105 on the last weekend that is considered their winter prices. This is a great value considering the courses, the amenities at the golf course and overall customer service. One neat thing is that we could leave our clubs on the cart overnight as we headed back to the hotel.

Next, consider where you want to stay. There are several accommodations near the Capitol Hill facility, including hotels and vacation rentals. There are also many dining options in the area, ranging from casual to fine dining.

Accommodations and dining options near the Capitol Hill facility

If you’re looking to stay close to the Capitol Hill facility, there are several options to choose from. The Marriott Prattville Hotel and Conference Center is located on the Trail and offers comfortable accommodations and dining options. Other nearby hotels include the Courtyard by Marriott Montgomery Prattville and the Hampton Inn and Suites Prattville.

We stayed on site at the Marriott Prattville Hotel and Conference Center. The rooms were clean, the beds were ideal and the Oak Tavern at quality food and service. We spent our evenings here reliving the rounds of golf. We would recommend staying on site and spending the extra money for the convenience and comfort that it provides.

As for dining options, there are several restaurants in the area that cater to all tastes and budgets. Some recommended options include the Cotton Gin Restaurant, the Italian Cafe, and the Fat Boy’s BBQ Ranch.

The Legislator hole #1 – A great par 5 starting hole!

Golf packages and deals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offers several packages that include accommodations and rounds of golf. These packages are an excellent way to save money and simplify your planning process. The Trail also offers several deals throughout the year, including discounted rates for certain times of the day or season.

We called and spoke with a representative to schedule our tee times and pay for our golf in advance. We used the online booking system for our nights at the Marriott. Everything was seamless. The staff at the golf facility are well trained and prepared to handle the wave of golfers entering the facility everyday.

The $105 daily golf fee for unlimited was perfect for our group as we played 36 holes each day of our trip!

Conclusion and final thoughts on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill

We can’t wait to head back and take on these 3 courses again. What an amazing trip with good friends, great golf courses and amazing customer service. You are treated right and the value is impressive.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a golfer’s paradise, and the Capitol Hill facility is one of its crown jewels. The Judge, Senator, and Legislator courses at Capitol Hill offer a unique golfing experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there is a course for you on the Trail. So, pack your clubs, plan your trip, and get ready to tee off in style.

You will enjoy the overall experience and get to play 3 unique golf courses that differ from each other. Playing a different style course made the trip unique compared to similar trips to other resorts or states.

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