The land that Hidden Meadows Golf Club occupies was originally a sod farm... a great spot for a golf course, especially when that sod farm is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills near Tuscaloosa, outside Northport, Alabama.
Designed by Mike Young, the course first opened in 1996, but closed after only a few short months in business. Then, in July of 1997, Billy Prickett and two partners purchased the course and spent almost 6 months reclaiming this unique and special golf property. They reopened the course as Hidden Meadows Golf Course in November of '97.
Prickett, owner of textile companies in Anniston, Alabama and in Oklahoma, at first viewed the course as a part time endeavor, but soon the project gained his full attention as he worked to rebuild the greens and cut down the chest-high grass in the fairways. Over time, Prickett's partners left the business and today it's family-owned and operated, with Billy's son, Will, serving as the club's Golf Pro and daughter, Lacy, managing the operation.
The facilities at Hidden Meadows are good, but not fancy. There's a simple golf shop and a good snack bar. The practice range sits down the hill from the clubhouse and has plenty of room. The carts are in good shape and the paths are worn, but completely serviceable. The course itself is very appealing, with some wonderful transitions from elevated tees to bottomlands and back up into the hills. There's water, but very little sand. The only problem I've noticed is that the fairways can get pretty boggy when it rains. To their credit, the Pricketts have improved the drainage significantly on the front nine and are working on the back. And actually, unless there has been significant rain very recently, Hidden Meadows' fairways are just fine.
I've been to Hidden Meadows Golf Course, in Northport, Alabama, three times. Each time, I encountered very different weather conditions and I've enjoyed it on each occasion. On my first visit as I was driving down the 8th fairway, rolling black clouds, high winds and driving rain crashed over the hills to the west very dramatically and drove me off the course. Weather radar in the clubhouse indicated the storms would stay in Alabama all day and into the next, so I left the area, returning in mid-May to complete my GolfBuddy survey. Both times, I was very impressed with the layout and the quality of the course, but I didn't really look at it closely until I returned to photograph the course in November. Hidden Meadows is a beautiful golf course, in a rough-hewn sort of way, with a fascinating combination of good quality fairways, great greens and wildness around the edges that creeps out into the fairways here and there.
Most of the play at Hidden Meadows is from locals or golfers driving up from Tuscaloosa. It's just 15 minutes off I-59 and I-20, north of Tuscaloosa, but it's not exactly a drop-by course. You won't just stumble onto this one without specific intent. It's a course you'll find very interesting and challenging, though, and I'm betting if you play it once you'll be back for more.
|Number of Holes:||18|
|Length - Slope / Rating
|From Black Tees:||6828 - 133 / 72.7|
|From Yellow Tees:||6462 - 130 / 70.9|
|From Blue Tees:||6069 - 122 / 69.1|
|From White Tees:||5599 - 118 / 67.7|
|From Red Tees:||5118 - 107 / 65.4|
|Hours of Operation:||8am - Dark|
|Head Professional:||Will Prickett|
|General Manager:||Lacey Prickett|
|Superintendent:||It's a team effort.|
|Address:||13000 Old Cove Road, Northport, Alabama 35476|
|Best Feature:||There's a wildness about Hidden Meadows that is very appealing. It's a beautiful property and a fine golf course, but there's also an unrefined edge to it that makes a round of golf here very interesting.|
|Rates, Weekdays:||Standard, $32 - Walking, $20 - Seniors/Students/Military, $29 - Twilight - $22|
|Rates, Weekends:||Standard, $40 - Seniors/Students/Military, $35 - Twilight, $27|