When you think of Alabama, the first phrase that comes to mind is probably “Roll Tide.” And with good reason. Nick Saban and his football teams have been the most dominant in the modern era. Besides college football, things like the Bible, BBQ and hot, humid summers are easily associated with this great state in the Deep South.
What you might not realize is that Alabama is also home to some of the best golf courses around. The best part is a lot of the best courses remain largely undiscovered. That means reasonable rates and light crowds on some truly spectacular tracks.
Choosing the best courses in this state was difficult but we came up with our top ten below.
Cider Ridge Golf Club
Nestled in the Talladega National Forest with the impressive Talladega Mountains as the backdrop, Cider Ridge is an experience you won’t soon forget. Designed by Bill Bergen, the front nine is a traditional parkland layout with the iconic Choccolocco creek meandering through. The back nine features magnificent elevation changes, breathtaking views, and plenty of natural water features that will eat up errant shots.
The practice facilities are first class and the Cedar Ridge Grill has plenty of scrumptious menu options to satisfy any appetite.
Timber Creek Golf Club
If you find yourself in the Mobile area, Timber Creek Golf Club is well worth the stop. This 27-hole facility offers players of all abilities the chance to enjoy great conditions, plenty of challenge, and a memorable experience.
Designed by Earl Stone, the generous fairways at Timber Creek are framed by centuries old Magnolias, Dogwoods and whispering Pines. The experience is further enhanced by natural wetlands and elevation changes that are teeming with wildlife.
When you check in for your round at Timber Creek, you’ll be greeted with the hospitality you’d expect in the Deep South and your experience is sure to be one you won’t forget anytime soon.
Situated on a secluded piece of property just outside the city of Gulf Shores, Kiva Dunes is a golf experience unlike most any other in Alabama.
Designed by major champion, Jerry Pate in consultation with Jim Edgemon, Kiva Dunes is classic lowland bayou golf. You’re not going to find big elevation changes here but, there’s still plenty of trouble awaiting wayward shots.
Because of its strategic location between Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, the wind can come from all directions. This makes each round at Kiva Dunes different from the one before.
While you’re out on the course, your significant other can take full advantage of the spa, beach club, and exquisite dining.
There’s no shortage of activities at Pursell Farms. Everything from Orvis endorsed hunting and fishing, to horseback riding, to UTV experiences will keep your family busy for your entire stay.
Don’t forget about the golf though. This resort layout meanders its way through tall pines and rolling hills that make the entire experience serene and tranquil.
During your round, be sure to take note of the historical significance of each hole. You’ll learn about everything from illegal bootlegging, to the exploration of Hernando De Soto, to Civil War stories. Combined, these tales shaped the town of Sylacauga.
When you come to Pursell Farms, plan on staying for a while. The accommodations are world-class, the food out of this world, and the activities endless.
Goose Pond Colony Lake Course
The Lake Course at Goose Pond Colony Resort was designed by George Cobb and opened in 1971. Views of the Tennessee River from every hole make this one of the most picturesque courses in the whole state.
A parkland style layout, this course is right in front of you, but demands quality shots from tee to green.
The practice facilities are first rate and there’s plenty of other amenities to keep the family entertained at this luxury resort.
Championship golf meets great value at Limestone Springs in Oneonta, Alabama. Located just 30 miles north of Birmingham, this course sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
When you make the trek to Limestone Springs, you’ll get Alabama’s best taste of mountain golf.
Elevated tees will make you feel like the king of the world but be forewarned. Even though the fairways are spacious, errant shots will have you reloading the clip on your way to a big number.
The locals say this course was created by nature and designed by Jerry Pate. Sure, there was some earth moved to create 18 holes of great golf but, the prominent natural features remain largely unchanged.
If pure putting surfaces are what you’re after, the bent grass greens at Limestone Springs are some of the best in state.
In short, this course is a must play – both for the experience and the value.
Gulf Shores Golf Club
Gulf Shores Golf Club epitomizes everything that is southern golf and hospitality. The elegant clubhouse provides you with a warm and gentle welcome before you make your way to the first tee of this plantation-style layout.
Shot making is the name of the game on this track as dense forests and water hazards are waiting to penalize poor shots. With that being said, everything is right in front of you and birdies can be found if you’re on your game.
For a relaxing, southern-style round of golf, it doesn’t get much better than Gulf Shores Golf Club.
Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club
Situated on the quaint Morgan Peninsula, an experience of quiet luxury is what you’ll find at Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. Three separate nines allow golfers of all levels to mix and match layouts for a truly unforgettable experience.
The neighboring Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve offers frequent sightings of the area’s abundant wildlife. Don’t get too distracted though. The fairways are tight, and precision is required if you’re going to play well.
If you’re looking for a place to call home for a few days, be sure to check out the stay and play packages at this great property.
Dogwood Hills Resort and Gardens
Built on the northern tip of Sand Mountain in Jackson County, Dogwood Hills is an easy drive from most any city in the tri-state area.
Golfers rave about the true bent grass greens and the fairways are narrow enough to keep you on your toes.
The infamous gardens that are interspersed throughout the golf course and cabins are a sight to see.
Consistently ranked as a Top 10 Golf Course in Alabama and Top 25 Value in the Country by Golf Digest, quality meets value at Dogwood Hills.
Goose Pond Colony Plantation Course
The open fairways at the Plantation Course at Goose Pond Colony can lull you into a sense of comfort, so be forewarned. Plenty of penalty areas await to swallow up crooked shots.
Recently renovated, this course is manicured from wall-to-wall. Called the “Choice of Champions,” the MiniVerde greens have been met with rave reviews.
If you just want to work on your game, the practice facilities are to die for.
No one’s going to argue that Alabama is home to white churches, college football, hospitality like you’ve never imagined, and some of the best BBQ around. Spend just a few days in this Queen of the South and you’ll quickly see why.
The state’s also home to some truly spectacular golf. While the courses on our list are must-plays, there are plenty of others that make for an unforgettable experience. Just ask Nick Saban… Roll Tide’s kindred son carries a three handicap and is sure to take your money should you encounter him out on the links.