Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Oxmoor Valley and Ross Bridge#7 in Best Things To Do in Birmingham
One of the largest golf course construction projects ever attempted, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail showcases a collection of public courses throughout the state of Alabama, including two courses in the Birmingham area, all designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Oxmoor Valley offers three courses: the Ridge with heavy tree cover and big elevation changes, the Valley with scenic lakes throughout and the Short course, which features 18 one-shot holes. The other local course, Ross Bridge, is one of the longest in the world and features two large lakes connected by a stunning waterfall.
Visiting golfers love both Oxmoor Valley and Ross Bridge, although many note that Ross Bridge is not only visually stunning, but also more challenging. Most reviewers complimented the excellent service at both courses and noted that one of the benefits of playing on RTJ courses is that the tee boxes vary to accommodate players from novice to expert. Experienced golfers preferred the diversity at the Ross Bridge course and said that it's in great shape, while some described the Oxmoor Valley course as "tired." Many golfers loved playing in November, when the weather is still fairly warm.
You'll find Oxmoor Valley 14 miles southwest of downtown Birmingham. Ross Bridge is located in Hoover, about 11 miles south of the city. Green fees at Ross Bridge start at $120, while Oxmoor Valley's fees begin at $65 for the championship course and $18 for 18 holes on the short course. Check the website for specials and golf events.
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#1 Civil Rights District
To learn more about Birmingham's role in the civil rights movement, plan a visit to the Civil Rights District. This six-block area in downtown Birmingham encompasses several historic sites, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the A.G. Gaston Gardens and the Fourth Avenue Business District, among other points of interest.
Perhaps the most significant site is Kelly Ingram Park, which played host to civil rights rallies, demonstrations and confrontations in the 1960s, including the Children's Crusade. You can take a self-led walking tour through the park to learn about the notable protesters and the significant incidents of this turbulent time in the city's history, detailed by markers along the Freedom Walk route. The park is also home to the Four Spirits statues, which honor the four African American girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. To fully experience the walk, you can access a free audio tour from your cell phone by calling 205-307-5455.
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