Cambrian Ridge is the best and worst of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
It’s a brutal site with steep slopes plunging into lakes and gullies and holes that begin on one level, play to another and finish on a third. There’s little connection between fairways and greens—much less one hole to the next—with water, streams, field bunkers and sunken depressions frequently standing in the direct and only line to the hole. If you like that kind of thing, this place is awesome.
The other side of the coin is that you’ve got 27 holes here in a quite lovely setting that shows you sights not normal for south central Alabama. You may cross paths with some unexpected wildlife and the foothills provide some strange, target golf.
Cambrian Ridge pushes the RTJ trail design of truly difficult course venues even harder but the holes here feel like they’re attacking the most challenging parts of the terrain rather than finding interesting ways around them.
Of the three nines, the Canyon course, in particular, is hopscotch bordering on the ridiculous. It’s full of rugged elevations and daunting carries into semi-blind greens. It’s hit and pray golf—like a drive that starts in the right side of the fairway and then ends up 50 yards away in the left rough simply from the terrain. You need trust something will be there when you come down the fairway.
Date: August 01, 2020