The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail gives golfers plenty of options throughout the state of Alabama, but my favorite destination for a ‘stay & play’ is the Grand National Golf Club at Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort  & Spa. If you are visiting Alabama and unsure of where you should play and stay, this is your best bet and you will not be disappointed.

Built around the 600-acre Lake Sougahatchee, Grand National Golf Club boasts 54 holes of championship golf laid out in a pristine natural setting just minutes from the Marriott. Robert Trent Jones Sr. was noted to exclaim that the property was the single greatest site for a golf complex he had ever seen. Having played the RTJ Golf Trail, it is absolutely my favorite of the 11 locations of 468 world-class holes of golf.

The Lakes course has twelve holes hugging the shoreline and is one of the most scenic layouts in the whole state. The quartet of extraordinary par threes is as good as it gets in the nation. The 12th, a 522- yard par five is a definite spot for a Kodak moment. The signature hole is the 230-yard fifteenth with an island green to hit with typical swirling winds to confound even the best in the game.

The cornerstone of Grand National is the demanding Links course which is without a single weakness. More parkland style than links, the fantastic design does not return after the outward nine and has some water hazards to avoid. The par four eighteenth is without a doubt one of the strongest finishing holes on the Trail.

You do not want to miss the opportunity to experience the par three, 18 holes Short course. It is simply a thing of beauty with more than half the holes touching Lake Sougahatchee. This complex of one-shotters might be the finest in the country. Both the Links and the Lake courses were in the Top 10 of Golf Digest’s list of “America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses” and all three at Grand National are listed the nation’s Super Values by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play”.

On par with the nation’s most distinctive resort hotels, the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa is nestled on 2,000 acres of lakefront countryside and is the area’s premier golf and business resort. Just 12 miles from the airport, the Resort has 221 updated and comfortable rooms with exceptional service throughout. The pool complex is a thing of beauty-with an all adult, indoor and featured pools, served by a friendly staff providing light fare and refreshments from the Splash pool bar. Hospitality abounds at the Southern Oak Cafe & Bar for a before-tee-time nourishment or refueling after a round of extraordinary golf. Fine dining is right next door at Southern Oak where an array of enticing American classics cover the menu. Sink your teeth into a succulent steak or freshly prepared seafood in the charm of Opelika’s best in an inviting atmosphere.

Other activities at the Resort including hiking, biking, tennis and just relaxing. The conference center has over 15,000 square feet of event space and can accommodate meetings up to 500. For whatever your next visit or adventure in Alabama is, book your getaway and settle into modern accommodations and ultimate comfort at Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa.

Plan your next trip at