Muscle Shoals - Florence Golf Guide
Situated in the "Shoals" area in northwest Alabama along the banks of the Tennessee River, Florence is a small pretty town of about 37,000 folks who stroll leafy trees lined by period lighting. Here there is a banquet of things to do including golf, fishing - bass is big here, boating and art and music festivals
Although the RTJ Shoal Golf Club's courses have a high profile, there are other excellent tracks in Florence as well like the Joe Wheeler course designed by Earl Stone and located inside a game sanctuary. Fairways and greens are over-seeded for winter play and you can't beat the price of green fees from $17. On site is a 75- room resort lodge and cabins on Wheeler Lake where nightly rates are from $62. Cottages are great for golfing groups and start at $175 per night. Ask about all -inclusive packages.
Blackberry Trail Golf Course, a Steven Plumer design rolling through wetlands may be a muni, but it's a winner. It's more links-like and features large, sweeping bunkers. It's a fun play.
The Shoals Golf Club on the RTJ Trail, includes Fighting Joe and the Schoolmaster courses. Fighting Joe, named among the top 10 new courses by Golf Magazine and Travel + Leisure Golf, is one of the more robust Trail courses playing 8,092 yards along links-style fairways. The green fee of $39-$44 won't leave a dent in your wallet either. Schoolmaster cut through trees with some elevation changes, is the more traditional of the pair.
The 200-room Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa overlooking the Tennessee River and historic Wilson Dam, has an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, spa and internet. Part of the RTJ Trail Resort Collection, Marriott Shoals is a short distance from the Shoals Golf Club.
If you're lucky you may be in Florence during one of its colorful festivals like the Alabama Renaissance Faire, held each October, as well as Arts Alive, Frontier Days Celebration, the Freedom of America Celebration on the fourth of July, an annual Trail of Tears Celebration, and many others.
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The Shoals Golf Course
The Shoals lies between the Wheeler and Wilson dams on the Tennessee River. Wheeler Dam is named in honor of General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler - the only Confederate General to attain the same rank later in the United States Army. General Wheeler's intense desire to show that Southerners could be counted on as citizens of the U.S. prompted him to volunteer, at age 62, for service in the Spanish-American War.
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