One of the most attractive stops on the Robert
Trent Jones Golf Trail, Cambrian Ridge offers golfers four 9-hole courses (one of which is a 9-hole short course) with
the Sherling and Canyon loops acknowledged as the premier 18-hole configuration.
Cambrian Ridge boasts three distinctive nine-hole championship layouts and an amazing par-3 design. Even though Golf Digest named the Canyon/Sherling combination the 3rd ‘Best New Public Golf Course in America’ in 1994, the original 27-hole facility went through a 3-year total renovation that was completed in 2016. Some of the holes were changed completely and several bunkers were removed. All the greens have been reshaped and seeded with the newest ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass. In doing so, they have now opened more views of Sherling Lake and made the course a little more player-friendly.
The Canyon course is carved out of a former hunting ground, and the first hole will both inspire and intimidate you. A long par-4 that drops 200 feet from the tee to the fairway requires two good shots to reach the putting surface. And that’s only the beginning of the adventure.
The 2nd hole is a shorter par-3 but the 3rd hole is a picturesque par-5 that will test your accuracy. This dog-leg right is all uphill and is guarded in front by two ominous bunkers. Target golf as its finest.
This dramatic design offers huge elevation changes, well defined tree-lined fairways, deep soft bunkers and large greens with swales around them to funnel any errand approaches.
What I truly liked about this design is that almost every hole has an elevated tee box, so you can see what you’re getting into or trying to stay out of.
The Sherling nine is very dramatic as it starts from the highest point in the county that swoops down and snuggles up against Sherling Lake for holes 4 through 7. The final hole is a visually stunning par-4 that climbs back up the Cambrian Ridge featuring ochre boulders that frame the fairway.
The Loblolly nine offers a lot less elevation changes with gently rolling fairways and massive bunkering to test your accuracy. My favourite maybe the 8th hole - a 366 yards downhill par-4 where your approach needs to clear the lake with a green surrounded by a corrugated steel retaining wall.
Another fantastic collection of par-3’s with water coming into play on five holes.
Cambrian Ridge is the least played facility on the Trail since there is no hotel on site and the town of Greenville only has a population of around 10,000 yet it is the still most requested by visitors. I can see why with four uniquely different layouts that will challenge every part of your game.
Dave Finn is our Canadian Correspondent. To read more about golf in Alabama visit his website at: