Capitol Hill – The Senator course – Sweet “Golf” Home Alabama

The Senator Course

After a 90-minute drive down from the Ross Bridge Golf Course we arrived at The Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Prattville the night before our first of two rounds at The Capitol, with its 3 separate courses, The Judge, The Legislator and The Links Course.

Great suggestions and advice

Although the hotel does not have the resort features of the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa our room is every bit as nice with an amazingly comfortable king size bed and 60-inch flat screen TV. Pam at the check-in counter was very helpful and friendly and we decided to go have a burger in The Grill before heading to our room for the night.  The food was delicious and it was nice to see they have our favorite non- alcoholic beer, cold O’Doul‘s.

Looking back shadows on the move darken the green on Number 1

We awoke Sunday morning to clear blue sunny skies but that did not guarantee that heat would be warm. Even for a hardy Canadian guy like me it was bitterly cold because of a very brisk north wind.

We teed off and it was only about 44°F and in Canada we talk about the wind chill factor.

Looking down number 2 a typical great links Par 4

It felt like with that factor it was in the low 30s at best. Our starter Dennis originally from Ohio look like he was about to enter in the Iditarod sled dog race the way he was dressed. He actually said to us “I just want to go home” and we replied “well we just wanted to set off and get the heck out of here.” The three of us laughed at each other.

Approach shot views on links courses are typically like this

Whoever was in charge of the design of the course certainly did their homework when it came to replicating the style of mounds you would see on a true links course. Like a links course the greens were also quick with a very short nap to the grass.

Looking down to the green on number 5

Having lived in St. Andrews Scotland and also northern England for six years I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to playing links golf and critiquing the experience of playing links golf. I would say the one the detraction from true links golf other than not be located next to the sea is there is no Bermuda grass in the UK and balls hit off the angled mounds would not be slowed down and caught up so much. They would have a tendency to roll down off the mounds and into play on to the fairways.

Now heres what makes my juices flow, lots of beautiful bunkers!

What they have achieved with this links course is introducing a reasonable facsimile of what one can expect travelling over to Great Britain as far as the look of a links course goes. Especially today with the windy conditions.

Links golf courses are often somewhat difficult to enhance through photography.  Typically, an aerial view or flyover of a links course would give a person a better indication of how a given hole looks. I never enhance any of my photographs by altering the color. What I have done in the photos you see is just dial down the lighting slightly to give you a better indication of the undulations on a links course.

Looking across from a tee box to other golfers, some wearing woolen toques.

Once Myra grasped onto the concept of playing her ball along the contour of the fairway to the green she finished very well on the last three holes of the front nine.

From years of experience playing links golf and the severity of the wind I used my driver numerous times without teeing it up. It is a shot I have perfected and I must say it was very effective today.

As much as we wanted to play the full 18 the icicles forming on our ears was a good enough reason to finish after nine. It was also enough holes for me to effectively review the golf course accurately.

Looking up fairway to the front nine finishing hole 9th

Tomorrow we are back with warmer weather forecast and play The Legislator a classically designed Parkland style course which we know we will both enjoy very much.

Tonight’s it baseball and football for Myra and I all cozied up in our room here at the very comfortable Prattville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center conveniently located with all 3 golf courses just two minutes away, situated right on site.


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Bill Flower

Bill Flower is a passionate golfer and lover of the game who lives on Vancouver Island in Parksville, BC. He has played the game since the age of 10 and has spent many years in the golf business ranging from full time teaching pro to part time professional caddy, golf tour operator and golf writer. He loves to travel with his wife Myra throughout the US and Canada playing and reviewing golf courses of all styles. To date he has reviewed over 125 golf courses.

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