Cambrian Ridge on the RTJ Trail

by | Apr 20, 2022 | Where to Play

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Cambrian Ridge

Avid golfers know Cambrian Ridge in Greenville (just 40 miles south of Montgomery) as one of the most beautiful and most challenging stops on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Featuring twenty-seven holes of full-length golf and a nine-hole short course, Cambrian Ridge is one of the most popular and acclaimed courses to play on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. For that reason, it is well worth the ride for any golfer looking for some incredible and challenging golf holes that will leave you wanting to play it again (and again and again).

Cambrian Ridge Overview

The individual course names reflect the major natural features found on the site. For instance, the Giant loblolly pines dominate Loblolly Nine. The Canyon Nine winds through a canyon, and Sherling Nine plays around Lake Sherling.

Tree-lined fairways and fast well, maintained greens are the norm. To score well, you will need to handle plenty of carries and execute shots from tilted lies. Cambrian Ridge is a true test of your game. However, like most RTJ Trail courses, the multiple tee boxes will challenge the best golfers in the world, yet at the same time, allow for an enjoyable round for the high handicapper or beginning golfer.

The Canyon and Sherling nines combine to create the best 18 holes on the property. Golf Digest named this routing as the 3rd best new public course in America when it opened in 1993. Other accolades include being listed 13th by Golf Digest in their list of America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses and one of the nation’s 40 Super Value courses “Places to Play”.

Every hole is unique and memorable although each of the closing holes play similarly. The view from the desk of the clubhouse provides an incredible view of both fairways and the 50-yard-wide gorge with ochre boulders that splits the two. Both finishing holes are short par fours that are effectively longer than the scorecard indicates as they climb uphill back towards the clubhouse. 

The Courses

Sherling Nine

The Sherling Nine is the most scenic of the three nines.  In addition to the dramatic views from the highest point in Butler County, the course plays along Sherling Lake for holes 4 through 7. Concluding with the final hole, a visually stunning par-4 that climbs back up the Cambrian Ridge featuring ochre boulders that frame the fairway.

Canyon Nine

The Canyon Nine is a thrilling stretch of target-style golf. Since this nine was carved from a former hunting area where deer blinds can still be found in some of the trees. The first hole will both inspire and intimidate you. A long par-4 that drops 200 feet from the tee to the fairway requires two good shots to reach the putting surface. And that’s only the beginning of the adventure.

Loblolly Nine

The Loblolly Nine with cathedral-like pines and water-fronted greens, exudes a stately, Augusta-like quality. In addition, The Loblolly Nine also has less elevation changes and gently rolling fairways and massive bunkers.

Short Course

The Short Course Nine features trees with Spanish moss as it traverses downhill and around the lake. However, water comes into play on five of the nine holes with several of the greens fronted by ponds or the creeks that flow throughout the property.

Comeback Holes

Cambridge Ridge

Canyon – Hole #1

Cambrian Ridge has plenty of holes that will make you want to come back. These are the ones that above all are permanently etched in my mind.

Sherling – Hole #3 Par 4

From the tee situated on a natural bluff, high above the fairway you will have an incredible view of Sherling Lake. Play to the 150 yard marker off the tee to setup your approach to the elevated green. The green is protected by bunkers short, but do not go long because of a steep drop behind the green.

Sherling – Hole #5 Par 4

Your tee shot must favor the fairway’s right side to avoid the water. However, with water to the left of the green and a bunker and hills to the right, there is not much room for error.

Canyon – Hole #1 Par 4

A straight downhill drop from the tee (200 feet) with a creek splitting the fairway. Since, the length will require two solid shots to reach the green, let The Big Dog Hunt. Grip it and rip it.

Canyon – Hole #4 Par 4

Do not miss right off the tee. A steep drop will carry an errant tee shot away from the fairway and leave your approach blocked by trees. Due to the slopes in the fairway and elevation changes, the hole plays shorter than the yardage.

Final Thoughts

Cambrian Ridge offers some incredible views and challenging play for golfers of all skill levels. In addition, the well-groomed fairways and greens keep Cambrian Ridge difficult yet friendly. The dramatic elevation changes, numerous water hazards, and memorable shots will make you glad you played Cambrian Ridge.

In summary, it’s easy to see why Cambrian Ridge is one of the best stops on the RTJ Golf Trail. You won’t be disappointed with this stop on the trail.


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Alan Darty</a>

Alan Darty

Alan is the founder and publisher of Golf One Media and the former publisher of eSouthernGOLF—a second-generation Florida native who loves all things Florida. You can usually find him with his wife, watching their two daughters coaching volleyball at Oviedo (FL) High School or Mississippi State University when he's not golfing, hunting, or fishing.