One of eleven Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail facilities in Alabama, the 54-hole Oxmoor Valley golf complex occupies former U.S. Steel mining land, with the tree-lined Ridge course featuring some of the best par five holes on the Trail.
My home course, or one of the two 18-hole courses that comprise the Oxmoor Valley RTJ site. Greens are bent, though this is probably the one RTJ site that has not redone its greens (at either course) with new turf - they really need to redo the greens here as they are probably the original ones from 25 years ago, though they are usually in at least very decent condition. The Ridge is more fun than the Valley course, with easier driving holes, a touch less yardage and easier approach shots. It's a touch more scenic than the Valley, with plenty of elevation changes, up/down holes and greens that are more often than not in very good shape, though they are exceptionally soft and subject to ballmarks from a 10 yard chip. The 2nd and 3rd are par fives, with the 2nd being a par five that most people don't give a moment's thought. The fairway bends to the left, though the left side will render an uphill stance to a downhill green, while the right side, being more flat, is guarded by a bunker and a steep fall off into the woods. Very tough driving hole to really nail. The 3rd hole is scenic, but because it cuts off in your drive by a lake, and the 2nd shot is to an uphill, elevated green, the hole doesn't offer much strategy on any shot. The 6th hole is a very nice dogleg left par 4, with a drive over a ravine, to a green that has two distinct tiers and quite a bit of slope on the right side. The 9th is a touch similar, with a drive that must stay right, with an elevated green guarded by fall offs and bunkers. Most greens on the Ridge have fall-offs on at least two sides, with rough, so there is some thinking that should go into the approach shot. The 10th and 11th are essentially the same hole, and the 12th is a short, downhill par 5 that offers a short iron into the green if the drive is ripped with a draw. The 17th is nice, long par 4 uphill, and the 18th is a very good par 5 that requires a serious decision on the lay-up as the fairway is pinched in by a ravine on the left, requiring a very precise lay up if you want an 80 yard pitch. The green slopes hard to the left and can be more treacherous than at first glance, which is true of several greens on the course. It is not a great course, but it is a solid course, and certainly worth playing if you're in the area. And it's open all year round.