Auburn University Football & Jordan Hare stadium
I had never been to an Auburn University (ranked #3 in the nation) football game and with their tradition so widely-publicized for this game against Louisiana State University (LSU was ranked #6 in the nation coming into the game), I was very excited to see what SEC rivalries were all about.
What I discovered was a way of life by football fans in the southern U.S. and and that hospitality was evident everywhere I went. There is no way a person cannot get "wrapped up" in the football fever.
Some interesting facts about Jordan-Hare stadium:
It is the nation's eighth-largest on-campus stadium and has hosted the Auburn Tigers for 65 years.
On football Saturdays in Auburn, Jordan-Hare Stadium becomes Alabama's fifth-largest city.
More than 75,000 season tickets have been sold to Auburn home games in each of the last 11 years Seating capacity is officially 87,451 but there's more when SRO (standing room only) is considered).
Equipment: Bring suncreen, a hat or visor, sunglasses and seat cushion and possibly even some earplugs.
The sun can be extremely hot and unforgiving. Several people were treated for heat exposure at the game. Lots of sunscreen and skin & eye protection is important as you may be exposed for up to 4 hours.
General admission seats can be hard and/or hot so a cushion makes it much more comfortable.
The crowd's roar inside the stadium can be overwhelming at times and if you happen to be near a loud contingent of fans, earplugs may be helpful.
Bring a big fan attitude because football fever will be present everywhere near Auburn and you will either have it or want to have it.
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Test your skill
The Robert Trent Jones Trail (RTJ) in Alabama is series of really magnificent golf courses. There are 11 locations around the state comprised of 24 courses. I have played in 4 locations and they are all good but Grand National at Auburn/Opelika is my favorite and home to an annual outing for me and a group of old friends. The course is almost always in excellent condition, it is beautiful, the staff is extremely helpful and friendly and the grill even serves really good food.
There are two regulation 18 hole courses and a challenging 18 hole par 3 course. They are all fun (some days more than others :-)
Equipment: Bring plenty of golf balls. These are not easy courses. They have 4 tee boxes and have rated them by handicap. Believe them. I have never seen anyone play from the back tees. We played one time from the second furthest and the guy who suggested it was throroughly trashed. That was the only time in 7 years.
Their story is interesting. In the late 1980's the CEO of the Ala Retirement Systems took a page from the movie "Field of Dreams" and began the construction of 324 holes at 7 locations around the state in order to strengthen the pension fund and also make Alabama a more attractive to tourists. It was the largest single golf construction project ever - anywhere. The Trail opened in 1992 and have, in the words of Golf Magazine, made "Alabama into one of the nation's top golf destinations."
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