The Legislator Course
After a well-deserved day of rest and relaxation, mostly in our room watching football and baseball we packed up our gear and said adios to the Prattville Marriott.
We still have a little work to do in this area as 18 holes on The Legislator Course at Capitol Hill awaited us. Although we had an 11:20 am tee time we were poised and ready to head out early. Chris and Jacob up in the pro shop accommodated us by radioing the starter and getting us out a full hour early.
Our warm-up consisted of two or three quick putts on the practice green and a few stretches. After some warm welcoming words of advice from Michigander, John the Starter we figured “pitter patter let’s get at ‘er”.
The no warm-up routine seem to be beneficial as Myra and I both started off by piping our drives straight down the middle on the opening Par 5 first hole. if your reaction to the photo of number one is the same as ours was when we gazed out at this beautiful fairway then you will know what is to follow. Numerous stimulating photos of incredible golf holes described as the best I can to entice you to come and play this beauty of a track.
Tongue in cheek more than one staffer warned us about the eighth green like it was some kind of gargoyle waiting to jump out at you from high above the trees. Perhaps during the construction of this green the boss was not in the best of moods or someone dared him to put in a roller coaster like putting surface. Both Myra and I from the left side of the green made quality putts only to see them meander all the way off the green past the apron onto the fairway. I think it was Robin Williams the comedian who once said “gravity, what a concept”.
Expect a three putt, pray for a two putt and rejoice with the hallelujah if you make a one putt. Whatever, do not let it have a negative effect on your golf round though; it is one minor glitch like a scratch on the paint job of a collectable sports car.
The course has an extensive amount of bunkering, but a premium is placed upon putting and a precise short game. I advised Myra on this course to employ the “bunker avoidance policy.” Not a strong part of her game, but oddly enough for me the area of my game that has improved the most this year. Although she looks great in a bathing suit, she says she really doesn’t like the beach.
I was in greenside bunkers on the first three holes and my August bunker lesson with noted Semiahmoo teaching pro Jeff Coston again paid dividends as I holed out from a difficult position in the bunker on the par 3 3rd for a really great birdie. With Myra making an awesome par, we knew purchases in the pro shop awaited us. The course has almost 3 different layouts within 18 holes, the front nine is played on the upper part of the huge 54 hole complex.
The back nine dropped down into a forested area with Spanish moss hanging off the trees that were growing in areas of swamp; it displayed what we called an “Old South” look. One could imagine a scene from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven being set there. The 10th tee box was accessed via a long wooden trestle bridge down towards what is called Cooters Pond, with the sun reflecting off it and water lilies floating on top. Holes 10 through 15 had a completely different look, much tighter with the trees framing the holes beautifully this was as good as it gets with clear sunny 72° weather and very smooth steady pace of play. What a fantastic golf course. We spoke with Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones and commended him and his colleagues on the fine work, maintenance and some of the on-course improvements we witnessed while playing.
We then climbed up a steep incline back to the original elevation we started on to finish the final three holes 16 through 18.
As these holes bordered the adjacent links course, The Senator, the right side of the holes had large mounding down them and the left side was treed, quite a unique and unusual look.
It did not detract from our play and Myra and I both part the parred the 16th and I rolled in a 20 footer on 18 to finish par,par,par. I had back to back 41s for an 82 that I was quite proud of considering I had 5- 3 putts.
Myra rewarded me with a very cool red, white and blue Capitol Hill golf hat for my birdie on number three and she asked me to credit her for the two par threes she made for a future purchase. I have a feeling another really sharp Robert Trent Jones Trail golf shirt is in the offing for her.
We said our thank you‘s and farewells to the pro shop team and with the assistance of the very friendly bag drop attendants, we were loaded and ready to head off to the Marriott Auburn Opelika Hotel and Conference Centre which awaited us. Two days at The Grand National to finalize our seven days of Trail golf had us very excited with anticipation.
It seems to be quite typical that golfers coming to play the trail make it a seven day experience and unless you were going to do a backbreaker playing 36 holes a day you can’t play all of their magnificent courses in one trip. What this means is you do as I do, you play a selection of them and then you return one day to play the ones you didn’t get to the first time. If you feel a trip to The Trail will be a one off I would highly suggest you put The Legislator down as one of the seven courses you select.
Oh yes, and you can curse the eighth green under your breath no one will mind.