Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster) – Played 2016
- Rankings: Golf Digest Public #84, Golf Magazine Public #100
- Location: 4400 N.W. 87th Avenue, Miami, Florida
- Year: 1961, 2014 (Update)
- Architect: Dick Wilson (Original), Gil Hanse (Update)
- Course Access: Resort
- Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 7,590 yards, Par 72, 77.4 Rating/146 Slope
- Gold: 7,034 yards, Par 72, 75.0 Rating/140 Slope
- Blue: 6,698 yards, Par 72, 73.5 Rating/139 Slope
- White: 6,334 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/139 Slope
- Red: 5,463 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/138 Slope
The final course of this trip was to be The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral. The course is now the former host of the WGC Cadillac Championship on the PGA Tour. It has been around since the 1960’s, but had lot some of its original luster. I wasn’t really sure where this property was located from watching on TV. I was surprised to learn that it is in a pretty industrial area with a lot of business around it. Then you make a few turns and boom you are there. It is also very close to the Miami airport.
The firebrand Donald Trump bought the property a few years ago and The Blue Monster underwent a complete redesign from Gil Hanse. The property also has 54 other holes as well as the Jim McLean Golf School and a hotel. I can’t really go into much on the hotel since I didn’t stay there, but I can show you some pictures of what surrounds the course. Below is the clubhouse, understated right?
I played the blue tees at just under 6,700 yards. There were five people ahead of me on the entire course. I was off as a single. Here we go. The first hole eases you into the round with a good bit of room off the tee.
This hole isn’t overly long, but there is plenty of sand to get you. An accurate tee shot is needed.
Below is a look at the hole markers.
This is an intimidating tee shot. The water lurks on the right all the way down the hole. The left side is pinched in by bunkers. If you can work a small fade away from the bunkers you will set yourself up in the fairway.
The first of the short holes is a tough one. Water all in front to the right and behind. An accurate tee shot is a must here.
This is a hole that fits my eye. It bends to the left and favors a draw. Depending on how far you hit it you can go with less than driver.
Here we have the first par 4 over 400 yards. You will need a good drive here out between the bunkers. I’m sure some of the pros just carry the one on the left.
This hole is a tough one. You need to bust it off this tee. A good line is over the right tee marker of the red tee box.
This was one of the holes I wish I had a caddie on. The line is tough to pick out. A little left of the American flag is a safe line.
The difficult par three trend continues here. It is a long shot with a smaller green. There is some room out to the left to bail if you fight the miss right. Obviously the water is the biggest obstacle here.
This tee shot is a tough one. If you are a long hitter you can go further left. I was confined to a line up the right side of the water hazard.
This hole gives the longer hitter some options. You can definitely go for the green. You can see the flag in the middle of the photo. The lay up here actually requires more thought.
I don’t have 300+ in my bag so I hit long iron off the tee and was left with the shot below. This is a wedge at most. Having the shorter club for precision is beneficial because there is plenty of sand.
This is a brutish par five. This one reminds you that you are at a PGA Tour venue. All I can say here is hit is as good as you can.
Man, again? These one shot holes are beastly out here. This one doesn’t have any water at least. An accurate long iron shot is what you need here. You can run one up on the front left side.
This hole has a tighter landing area than some of the others. The trees in the middle of the photo are the line. Longer players can take on the bunkers on the left.
Whew, finally we get a little breather on the par threes. This one should require only a short iron or wedge. There is plenty of water to avoid, but with the shorter club it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
This one gives the pros a choice. They can definitely get to the green, but there is plenty of water to carry. The more sensible play is out to the right with a shot of 200 yards.
This hole bends slightly to the right. Not too much going on with this tee shot.
Here she is! This is where the Monster get its name. This is a tough tee shot in my mind because of the depth perception. It was tough to see exactly how far the water goes.
The approach doesn’t look all that tough, but you may be forgetting about the water that fronts the green. It extends well out to the left to gobble up any pulls as well. In addition, this is a shot of about 180 yards. Luckily, the green has some room to the right.
Wow! Regardless of what you think about it’s owner, this resort is something else. This was one of the best conditioned courses I have ever played. They definitely make you pay a premium for that. It is a treat to play a course in this kind of shape every once in a while. It’s also fun to play the shots the pros play. Overall, it was a wonderful experience that I would highly recommend.