The Shoals Golf Club - Schoolmaster Course

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Ratings Index
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3.8
16
5 Stars
8
4 Stars
5
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.6
Amenities
4.3
Conditions
3.6
Value
4.6
Layout
0
87.8%
Recommend this course
13 out of 16 reviews
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Ratings Index
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3.8
16
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.5
Conditions
3.5
Value
5.0
Layout
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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Golf Advisor Icon
Ratings Index
Tooltip Information Icon
3.8
16
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Staff Friendliness
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.3
Conditions
3.7
Value
5.0
Layout
4.3
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Par 72
Length 7971
Slope 143
Rating 78.0
Type Public
Book a Tee Time at
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals
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Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Black 72 7971 yards 78.0 143
Purple 72 7294 yards 74.7 134
Orange 72 6778 yards 72.2 128
White 72 6160 yards 69.1 124
Teal 72 5249 yards 70.3 121
Scorecard for Schoolmaster
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Black M: 78.0/143 453 238 477 632 472 265 459 509 681 4186 226 589 618 455 417 447 197 443 393 3785 7971
Purple M: 74.7/134 421 196 450 568 452 231 400 445 645 3808 202 559 568 424 390 414 157 409 363 3486 7294
Orange M: 72.2/128 382 178 421 549 409 208 366 406 604 3523 168 521 527 402 368 395 146 390 338 3255 6778
White M: 69.1/124 W: 73.0/127 337 135 393 504 373 178 339 369 562 3190 147 489 501 353 333 347 135 347 318 2970 6160
Teal W: 70.3/121 311 131 337 478 315 158 268 325 488 2811 122 381 479 307 265 267 101 283 233 2438 5249
Handicap 13 17 7 3 9 15 11 5 1 16 4 2 6 12 8 18 10 14
Par 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 4 5 36 3 5 5 4 4 4 3 4 4 36 72

Course Details

Year Built 2005
Fairways Bermuda Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Roger Rulewich (2005)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Teaching Pro Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Dress code Collared shirt, no cutoffs, denim allowed.

Reviews

3.8
16

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
19th Hole Scenic Views 1
Patio Dining 1
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 1
Forced Carries 1
Water Hazards 1
This course/club is great for:
A Weekend Splurge 1
Advanced Golfers 1
Beginners 1
This Course's Location is:
In the 'Burbs 1
Worth the Drive 1

Reviewer Photos

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On 06/22/2018
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Excellent
Played On 03/16/2018
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played

Par 3s stand out

This review is for the Fighting Joe course. Healing of the greens from recent aeration has been hampered by cooler than normal temperatures. Greens were very bumpy. Putts habitually bounced. You will make some putts you should miss and miss some you should make. Overseeded fairways were very good. Bunkers have too much sand in them. Sure, they are supposed to be hazards, but too many plugged lies in bunkers. The strength of the course is the collection of par 3s. When the wind is howling, these holes - particularly the fifth and ninth - are difficult to club and present great challenges. Tip: Buy a $4 yardage guide in the pro shop if it is your first time playing. There are a couple of tee shots that can fool you if you aren't familiar with the landing areas.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Fair
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Average
Played On 11/17/2017
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Autumn golf at its finest

One of the best autumn golf courses I have ever played. Back nine this time of year it as good as it gets. Fairways were not lush - looks like they decided not to overseeded the fairways - but weren't thin either. Greens are superb. Bent has come in and they are rolling good. Will only get faster. Bunker renovation looked good.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Excellent
Played On 06/02/2017
2.0

Very disappointing. Not worth the money.

Use to be well maintained. Fairways not cut. Course looks Jd like a farm. Use to like visiting here. No more!!
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Fair
Off-course amenities Average
Course Conditions Poor
Value for the Money Fair
Course Layout Average
Played On 03/24/2017
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Fighting Joe falls short of hype

This review is for the Fighting Joe course, which is ranked by Golfweek in the Top 5 public courses in Alabama. The course is a better-than-average public track, but in my honest opinion, it wouldn't make my top 5 Trail course list. I've tried hard to fall in love with this layout, and it has its moments, but I just don't understand the hype. The Schoolmaster is a better course in my opinion. I'm not sure the 15-handicapper is going to enjoy this course. Who this course will appeal to is a scratch to 6 handicapper that isn't afraid to play it from the back with the wind blowing. The Fighting Joe plays 8,092 yards from the tips and 7,126 from the purples. That length, combined with an ample breeze, is really the course's only defense in my opinion. Though windswept, and mostly void of trees, this is not a links style layout. You cannot run shots into greens. What this track does have going for it is a brilliant set of par 3s, including the 5th and 9th, which reside on peninsulas a stone's throw from each other in a lake in the center of the property. These are interesting holes, especially given the 15-mph winds that were encountered today. The 18th is also a par 3, and is not only the Fighting Joe's signature hole, but one of the Trail's marquee holes as well. It is a short-to-medium length one-shorter framed by the clubhouse and the Tennessee River. Combined with the risk/reward par-5 17th, it is truly a spectacular finish to the round. What I think leaves this course a bit lacking for me is the number of similar par 4s, particularly on the front 9. They resemble each other but for the water hazard juxtapositioned left or right. One thing that is challenging about this course is laying up on the par 5s. Other than No. 17, which I was able to reach in two shots, cross bunkers and water hazards pinch the layup zones, so beware! The greens were aerated about two weeks ago. Though they haven't fully recovered, it wasn't much of an issue, as I only had one putt that was definitively redirected by a plughole. The greens aren't severely undulating, and slopes were gentle. Bottom line: Fighting Joe makes for a good pairing with its sister course for buddies trips to the Shoals area, but I don't believe the lofty ranking it receives is warranted. If you have bug one round to -jay at the facility, play Schoolmaster.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Average
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Average
Played On 01/14/2017
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Among the best closing nines on the Trail

It's sister course, the Fighting Joe, seems to get the better rating, but The Schoolmaster is among my top 3 favorites along the RTJ Trail. In my opinion, The Schoolmaster's holes have more character than FJ's, and the back nine that plays through hardwoods after a mostly open front nine is as fun a closing stretch you'll play. The overseeded fairways propped balls up nicely and the bent grass greens, while not overly slippery were rolling as good as I've seen. They were not pockmarked, so a tremendous "well done" to the course superintendent and his staff. This course is among the longer tracks on the Trail as well. I generally prefer to play 6,200 yards and my skill level and enjoyment are compromised once the 6,500-yard barrier is breached. That said, the normal orange tees play a toothy 6,700 here. The tips are a touch under 8,000. I went with the 6,100-yard white tees and found it to be very enjoyable, while still providing a worthy challenge. Fairways are very generous, particularly on the front nine. Greens are rather expansive as well, providing multiple pin locations. Much more elevation change on the back nine than the front. There are numerous water hazards on the course, but they are not front and center and don't dominate tee shots and approaches. They are more present to penalize a very poor shot. Picturesque par 3s are a highlight. The par-4 14th hole is among my favorite holes anywhere. The piece of land it rests on was made for a golf hole. The 18th, while rather short, caps the round with a view of the Tennessee River.
Staff Friendliness Good
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Course Layout Excellent
Played On 05/01/2015
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Sand & Water Everywhere

Enjoyed playing this course. Arrived for a 7 am tee time and there was light play through the morning. Greens and tees were cut, fairways in good shape, bunkers raked up, May 1st and there was some dormant grass remaining. All in all, the course was in great condition. Each hole was a Trent Jones challenge with plenty of sand and water, by 9 am the wind picked up and made the par 3's make you think about where to aim. If you can stay in the fairways and hit greens you can score on this course. The greens are not the biggest I have played, I'd call them medium sized. The greens are quite fast and run true. Pin placements were mostly challenging, a few centered on the green, some close to hazards, some that took guts to shoot for the pin. I came in high to all greens and the greens held shots very well. Friendly, helpful staff. Nice clubhouse. I will play this course again, it was fun.
Staff Friendliness Good
Quality of food & beverage Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent
Played On 05/02/2014
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
4.0
First Time Playing

Good course but not good value

The staff was great. There is no GPS on the carts. I thought for the price of the course GPS would be an included amenity. I have also played Ross Bridge which was a much nicer course. Ross Bridge had no GPS but the course was much nicer and seemed more worth the money
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Quality of food & beverage Excellent
Pace of Play Good
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Average
Played On 04/08/2014
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great course and early-season conditions.

Enjoyed again the Trail. We like all the sites we've played, and this is par for our expectations.
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Excellent
Off-course amenities Excellent
Course Conditions Good
Value for the Money Excellent
Played On 10/29/2013
Handicap 25+
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great course

Beautiful course. Played on a Tuesday and it felt like we were the only foursome on the course. Lots of water - and sand, but I enjoyed it. The views from some of the holes were spectacular. Trees were just starting to turn :)
Staff Friendliness Excellent
Pace of Play Good
Course Conditions Excellent
Value for the Money Excellent

Stay & Play Offers

$110 Starting price
Valid dates: Aug 13, 2018 - Dec 31, 2019
The Penn Ohio Golf Trail consists of courses mainly in Western PA and Northeast Ohio. What sets us apart is that we offer 29 different courses; including 4 private, members-only country clubs, 2 former LPGA courses, and many of the top courses in Ohio and Pennsylvania (including Pennsylvania’s #1 public course – Olde Stonewall). We offer 4 Mansions (for groups of 2 to 36), 10 hotels and customer service beyond any major resort. Our Mansions feature large common areas, pool tables, poker tables, big screen TV’s with the luxury of the entire group together in a large home setting.
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