Capitol Hill Golf Course - The Judge Course Review
Awaiting A Jury of Golfers
By Mike May
Very few golf courses have a first-tee experience which has true 'shock & awe' value and can then maintain that standard of excellence throughout the round. One of those courses is on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Trail. It's The Judge Course, located in Prattville, on the outskirts of Montgomery. The Judge is actually one of three 18-hole courses at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Capitol Hill. The other two are The Legislator and The Senator. The Judge, The Legislator and The Senator are top-notch venues which are attractive and affordable destinations for golfers planning their next stay-and-play getaway. And, with Alabama's state capital being in nearby Montgomery, it's easy to understand the thought process used to name those three courses.
The opening tee shot at The Judge has 'shock & awe' value because it features a 200-foot drop from the back tees down to the fairway. You have to see it to believe it. A well-struck tee shot at the first seems to drift forever and will create a visual memory that you will draw upon for the rest of your golfing life.
Once you find your opening tee shot, your approach to the first green is also influenced by water, as the Alabama River borders both the back and right side of the putting surface. While birdies at the first are more common than one would imagine, securing a par at the first is a perfect way to begin one's journey at The Judge. From that point on, The Judge gives you everything that you can imagine and then some: a par three featuring an island green (the 6th); strategically placed water hazards, which impact play on six out of the first seven holes and 14 in all; a handful of doglegs; memorable short par fours; meandering par fives; many well-bunkered greens; fairly generous fairways; and views of the surrounding countryside which are delightful and serene. It's easy to see why GOLF magazine has ranked The Judge as one of the 10 public golf courses in America which could host a U.S. Open.
Many golfing pundits who have traveled up and down the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail feel that The Judge may well be the finest overall test on the Trail. When The Judge was designed, the overall goal was to create a fun and, at times, challenging course. It appears, though, that the overall expectations were exceeded. It's actually a classic golf experience that will never go out of style. Simply put, if you love to play golf, you will love to play The Judge, regardless of your handicap. When you compare the playability of The Judge to the greens fee, it's safe to say that golfers continue to get the best deal.
When you approach the green on the short par four 18th hole, it's a refreshing visual image: a raised green, flanked by a series of small waterfalls that serve as terraced 'stepping stones' for a bubbling brook, which is complemented by many blooming shrubs and flowers. It truly is a beautiful end to a memorable round on a sensational golf course. It was for me and I know that it will be you, but you get to be the ultimate jury and the judge.....when you play The Judge.
Revised: 06/29/2016 - Article Viewed 18,746 Times
Written By: Mike May
Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
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