The trail encompasses 468 holes on 26 courses at 11 sites scattered throughout Alabama.
The dream seemed alien then: help the state’s economy by improving the tourism industry with golf.
In short, give folks traveling through Alabama a reason to stop and stay awhile. And spend some money. And, oh yeah, golf may be a good way to recruit economic development clients.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which started as a gamble, is celebrating its silver anniversary. The trail encompasses 468 holes on 26 courses at 11 sites scattered throughout Alabama. It opened in 1992 with seven facilities, the brainchild of David Bronner, chief operating officer of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. Bronner chose Robert Trent Jones Sr., the famed golf course architect, and his company to design the series of courses.
“Back 20 to 25 years ago, there was a funny feeling around Alabama,” said Bronner. “The natives would say ‘Well, Alabama has great potential, but it never does anything.’ So, we thought about how you change an entire state. Changing a town is one thing. You bring a new factory in and you’ve changed a town. But, if we created something in the state of Alabama that the rest of the United States doesn’t have, that being the trail, could we get tourism and industry to look at us and come to us that wouldn’t otherwise?
“Our vision was to change the whole state, similar to how President Eisenhower changed our entire country after World…
click here to read more.