The Links at Grand National Golf Course

4.4052235294 4.4 stars from 5 (41)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7311 yards
  • Slope: 135
  • Rating: 75.1
  • Layout

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes
Clubs: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes
Golf school / academy: Yes

Policies

Metal spikes allowed: No
Credit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Purple 72 7311 yards 75.1 135
Orange 72 6574 yards 72.3 129
White 72 6015 yards 69.6 119
Teal 72 4843 yards 69.6 113

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.4 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.4 stars from 5
Value: 4.1 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.0 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.4 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.6 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.5 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 41 Reviews
5 stars:
26
4 stars:
9
3 stars:
3
2 stars:
2
1 stars:
1

recommend this course

36 out of 41 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Challenges include undulating greens  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Greens aerated a week ago"


BrandonWebb's avatar
Top 25 Contributor
Birmingham Advisor
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/17/2017
Previously played Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

Greens were one week post aeration. Not ideal, but better than I expected for that time frame. Just a little hairy and still some sand. Front nine was worse than the front.

Tremendous layout. Great blend of dogleg-left and right holes. Holes 1 and 16 - both short par 4s - are among my favorite on the Trail. Water is in play on 10 of the 18 holes, including every par 3. Good iron play is required to get the ball on the proper level of the green, as most are multi-level complexes. Otherwise, you will be dodging three-putts all day.

Bunkers are in better shape than other RTJ facilities. That may be a result of the PGA Tour event - The Barbasol Championship - played one month ago. If you go play here after watching the tournament on TV, beware that although holes 9 and 18 remain the same, the nines are flipped.

I would not recommend walking this course as the nines are extremely spread out.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Great Course/Poor Staff"


u000003046530's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

2 2.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/12/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Course was beautiful and conditions where good. Greens slow but in the Bermuda summer transition. Staff was very unfriendly in the pro shop. Starter was just going through the motions and not helpful for directions to range. No Amenities. No tees, no ice chests and no towels in carts. For a place with this name very disappointed and cheap feeling. Will definitely look for other options when I am back in the area!!


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Poor

Value for the Money: Fair

Off-Course Amenities: Poor


I don't recommend this course


"Sweet"


bbwirtbb's avatar
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/05/2017
First time playing Used cart Wet weather

Reviewed on

Great views, great greens, $3 miller lites Doesn't get any better. Solid layout. Fun to play.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Great green complexes, but...."


B8951593's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/11/2017
Previously played

Reviewed on

Needs hybrid tee rating for purple/orange for a choice between 7200 yds and 6400 yds.

Green complexes great with 2 or 3 distinct areas.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Beware seen/unseen hazards off tee"


BrandonWebb's avatar
Top 25 Contributor
Birmingham Advisor
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/28/2017
Previously played Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

This review is for the Links course, though I still scratch my head as to why they named it that. There is nothing even remotely linksy about it, so don't be disappointed if you arrive and are expecting windswept, treeless fairways full of hillocks and hummocks! That said, this is a first-class companion course to the Lake, which hosts the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship in July. Both courses are ranked in Golfweek's top 10 public courses in Alabama. Expect a lot of elevation change. This is one of the few Trail courses that I use a wide variety of clubs off the tees of the four- and five-pars. Today I counted 8 drivers, two 3-Woods, two 4-irons and two 5-irons. That spells good variety and some large fairway bunkers to navigate off the tee. The course has really come in with our recent weather and is in great shape. Fairways were nice and cushiony. The Lake has TifEagle Bermuda greens. The Links employs Bent and they were fantastic. The extreme summer heat has not set in yet and they were mown perfectly and provided really good consistency throughout. Bunkers have a little more sand in them than you may be used to, but played fairly. Greens are very large, so spend a little extra time on the practice green lagging putts. If you've read any of my other reviews on a Trail courses, you will note that I love some of the unique natural things that are incorporated into many of the courses across the state. Hampton Cove has the mule barn. Magnolia Crossings has the covered bridge. Ross Bridge has the stone watermill. After teeing off on the par-3 16th of the Links course, look for the chimney to the right of the cart path as you drive toward the green. It is all that is left of an early homeplace. The 427-yard par-4 18th hole is one of the toughest finishing holes on the Trail, and much more difficult than its counterpart on the Lake. It is truly a shame that this hole can't be used in the tournament. There is a generous landing area in the fairway, but you must contend with a large fairway bunker that creeps in from the right. The left side is guarded by trees - and should you overcook a tee ball, water. The approach is all carry over water and rocks to a green that resembles a dragon's tail. The green runs more than 100 yards horizontally and is comprised of five distinct tiers. Second shots will range anywhere from 150-200 yards for most players, so it is a daunting shot. And while long is dry, balls will feed down into a sunken grassy collection area making for tricky up-and-downs. Tip: Buy a yardage guide in the pro shop. There are many blind approaches and hazards that require extreme accuracy to carry/avoid and you will be glad you have some real numbers to work with, especially on the par 5s. Bottom line: The Lake is more fun, but the Links is a tougher track. I'm not sure if I'd put the

Links in Alabama's Top 10 public rankings as Golfweek did, but it is in the discussion.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"a great top on your RTJ trail adventure"


toothysaw2's avatar
Top 50 Contributor
Texas Advisor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/30/2017
First time playing Used cart Wet weather

Reviewed on

the lake course at grand national is a fun course! it was the first stop on a recent trip to 5 alabama courses (4 rtj, 1 not). the only previous RTJ course i'd played was magnolia grove, and this course was a step above.

there is great variety on the holes. the large number of fairway bunkers create very strategic tee shots. it's definitely not a bang and driver and go find it kind of course... which i really appreciate.

there are a few blind tee shots and it's really helpful to have some course knowledge... for example, on 6 the water is very reachable and you have to stay short of the bunker.

overall, it's a fantastic course situated around a lake. the last half of the back 9 is all along the lake and it's quite scenic. the price was super reasonable and the staff was very friendly. this is definitely a worthy stop on your trail journey, but it was probably my least favorite course of the 4 we played this time (and that's saying a lot).


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Good course but didn't live up to expectations"


RavensGolfer's avatar
Top 250 Contributor
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/28/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

After years of reading about the RTJ Trail, I was eagerly looking forward to my first visit. In fairness, I have to say I've never been a great fan of RTJ courses, for some reason they don't seem to fit my game, but the continuous rave reviews convinced me to give them a try.

The par 3 third is the signature hole in my mind. Very few other holes have retained even faintly in my memory.

Bag drop staff, Snack bar staff and food was great.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Beautiful"


u000008064830's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/23/2017
First time playing Used cart Windy weather

Reviewed on

Absolutely beautiful course! Very reasonably priced and staff was fantastic!

Thank you for such a great experience!!!!!!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Great course"


pigdoc's avatar
Top 250 Contributor
Age:  65+
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/10/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Played in afternoon in mid March, they put me with three other guys. Play was slow, but conditions were great. Layout was very challenging. I'd play again for sure.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Best course on RTJ golf trail"


Keith0709's avatar
Top 25 Contributor
Georgia Advisor
Age:  65+
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/25/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

I played here in a four ball tournament and man, what a golf course. First of all the PGA tour holds the Barbusol championship here every year. The course was in fantastic shape and the clubhouse was huge and spacious. The food was also good and the guy at front desk was attentive.

The practice facilities were good and liked the putting green. And enjoyed the fact there where no mats on the range and only hit of grass. The course itself was great and loved 15,and 17 two great par 3's. I liked all the par 3's and the holes on lake sugarhatchee are great. The bridge from 9 to 10 is massive and can be a distraction on 17.

Overall the course was great and the whole expierence is hard to soak up!


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Dormant"


BrandonWebb's avatar
Top 25 Contributor
Birmingham Advisor
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/26/2016
Previously played

Reviewed on

Played here many times, and it is an excellent course. My review today is based simply on today's experience. We've had a very dry fall and the course was a little fatigued from it. That combined with the dormant rough and fairways didn't allow the course to shine like it normally does, but that didn't detract too much. The stars of the Lake Course are the greens and routing. These greens, like all on the a Trail, are large, so hitting them in regulation doesn't mean much unless you are on the right level or finger. Just tee it up on No. 1 being prepared to 3-putt at least once during the round. And if you do it once, you'll probably do it a minimum of three times. The greens are grainy Bermuda so pay attention to the cut of the holes. Downgrain putts were lightening quick despite being a tad hairier than normal. The routing of the back nine around the lake stands out, although the front nine may be the better side in my opinion. The first hole is one of the most memorable openers I've ever played. It requires a 180-200-yard tee shot to fit it into the bowl between the start of the fairway and the large bunker that dissects the fairway. Playing to the right of the bunker with more club is an option, but will actually result in a longer second shot to a double green guarded by a pond. One thing you will notice fairly early is that fairway bunkers really squeeze you off the tee. Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 18 require precise tee shots to avoid the sand. Finally, the drought I mentioned earlier rendered several holes visually less intimidating. The par-3 third and 15th are simply different holes with the water receded. Likewise, the par-4 second and 16th lacked their usual teeth without the watery graves looming.


Pace of Play: Average

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Average


I recommend this course


"Great golf and better views"


TOROMESS's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/23/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

The Lakes course was in great shape! The staff was very helpful with pairing me with some better players. We were allowed to play from the tips without slowing down the groups behind us. The course has some amazing views and I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy them. Overall I had a great experience and will be telling all my friends that this is a must play. Not he only recommendation I would make for people playing the course for the first time, buy one of the yardage books for $8 in the pro shop. It was a stroke saver!!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Great Experience"


u525792656's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/11/2016
First time playing Used cart Good weather

Reviewed on

Overall the course is beautiful and in great shape. The par 3 course was a fun challenge and I look forward to going back to play the regulation courses. Range was nice too. Student discount a plus.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Beautiful but challenging."


u000003088134's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  20-24

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/25/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

The course is in great condition but one of the most challenging courses around. The greens were super fast.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"This place is great"


spurifoy's avatar
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Female
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/10/2015
First time playing Played as a single Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

A superb course in design and playability. Well maintained and ready for the Barbasol Open in July 2015. I can't believe how many whiny people there are in golf these days. Driving range is closed for 2 hours. Slow play when I booked my tee time at 1:30. Call the whambulance. The RTJ Golf Trail is the best value in golf in the USA.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Disappointed"


atpennell's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/28/2014
First time playing Used cart Excellent weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

We had high hopes for playing the links course earlier this week; unfortunately, those were not realized!<br/> First, the good things: The course is beautiful and in great shape! Facilities are nice and the cart service was friendly and adequate. Jim, one of the marshals on the course, stood out and was responsible for salvaging our day. Thank you, Jim!<br/> Now, the other things: Our tee time was at 1:30. We arrived a few minutes after noon and the place is packed! We check in and are greeted with a semi- warm response. We ask for some range balls as we arrived in plenty of time to warm up and are informed that the driving range is closed in the middle of the day on Tuesdays… We are disappointed because that offers us no chance to work the kinks out after driving 3 hours to get to Opelika. The person checking us in barely offered us a smile. Not what I expect from a pro shop employee at an expensive golf course (or any golf course for that matter). Oh well, we go to the bar and have one beer, them mosey down to the putting green which is nice. The views are beautiful. We go to the 1st hole we find out that there are two outings being played that day (a Tuesday). Unfortunately, our tee time placed us directly behind one of those outings. The starter hopes that we are not in a hurry as it is going to be a long afternoon. He is right. Two hours later, we are on the fifth hole, after having to wait for every shot. We are about to quit because the pace is so slow. That’s when Jim shows up and asks if we would like to move ahead of this outing, play the course out of order but not have to wait! Yes! We skip ahead and play #15-18, then drive to #6 and catch up with the group again on #12. The outing had not completed 12 holes in over 4.5 hours. We quit playing at that point, but at least got to play 15 holes (thanks to Jim). The pro shop should not schedule tee times that close to an outing!<br/> Even if the pace had not been so painfully slow, I did not really enjoy playing the course. It is very hilly and the majority of approach shots are severely uphill, leaving you with a blind approach. The greens are large with several levels and in good shape but often surrounded by large mounds so missing the green by 5 yards might result in a 30 yard pitch after the ball bounces hard away from the greens. The course plays very long, even from the white tees!<br/> After we quit and passed the outing in front of us, we were surrounded by a group of guys waiting on us to finish. Almost before we can stop the cart, a young man is behind us placing our head covers on clubs, etc. Please let us get our, keys, wallets etc. out of our bags without having to reach around you! I hate when that happens! He never said hello, asked about our round, or anything. The only thing he said was when he asked if we wanted to carry our bags to our car or if he should leave them at the bag drop. We tipped him and got the car, only to find that he had not even bothered to clean our irons. Wow!<br/> Overall, a big disappointment! Things seemed to be more about getting our money than us enjoying our experience. This was my first time at one of the R.T. Jones trail courses. Not sure I will ever try another.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Poor

Value for the Money: Fair

Quality of food & beverage: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I don't recommend this course


"Bad Experience at Grand National"



1 1.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/28/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

We booked an early afternoon t-time on a Tuesday. We arrived early to have time for lunch and practice range. We were informed that the driving range was close on Tuesday from Noon-2pm (our t-time was 1:30). We also became aware there was a large group outing. In fact there were two large groups our t-time followed one of them on the Links Course. A twosome following a scramble event is miserable. The only positive experience of the entire day was when the starter (Jim) came and found us finishing the 4th hole (1.5 hours into our round!!). He offered to take us to a hole on back nine that would place us in front of the group and we could circle back around and hopefully complete 18 before dark. It worked great until we caught up with the group again when we circled back around and were only able to finish 15 holes. What made this disappointing day worse was the poor customer service and bad attitude of all staff members with whom we interacted except for the starter (Jim). From check-in (being informed about the closed driving range and oh, by the way, you're behind a group outing) to our lunch in the grill, to our unloading our bags at the end, no one exhibited friendly or customer service oriented attitudes. It is a great course, but based on the poor customer service, I would not go back and do not recommend Grand National to any of my golfing friends.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Poor

Value for the Money: Average

Quality of food & beverage: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I don't recommend this course


"Pace of play is not a priority"


htodd33's avatar
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

2 2.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/23/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

Fine course, complex, and lodging close-by (Marriott) as you would come to expect from any RTJ trail facility. Pace of play ruined our experience last weekend. It was a problem in each of the 3 rounds we played. Each was a 5.5 hour experience. Usually stacked groups on every tee box. Very little to no marshal involvement. When we did see a marshal in our final round they told us the pace of play issues were caused by a large group of 20. They could not ask them to speed up or skip a hole because they had been there since Thursday and had spent a lot of money. Not what you would expect from a resort course. Very disappointing.


Pace of Play: Poor

Course Conditions: Average

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Fair

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I don't recommend this course


"A nice course"


Groundhog34's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/02/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

Challenging course though not a true links layout. The greens were excellent the fairways had been punched earlier in the week so they were not a their peak. Lots of bunkers, tough undulating greens. First time playing adds 7-10 strokes.


Pace of Play: Fair

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Great Day"


crazydale's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/28/2014
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Really was impressed with the facilities, friendliness of the staff and outstanding course conditions. Thank you for the beautiful day.

Dale

ps: See you again next year!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



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