Great White Course, a desert paradise in the middle of Miami….
The Great White Course at Doral, a Greg Norman Signature Course, is a 7,171-yard, par-72 marvel situated in the heart of Miami just minutes away from MIA (Miami International Airport). The Great White Course is the only golf course of its kind in the Southeastern United States that utilizes coquina — crushed shells — as the primary design element on every hole. In designing the Great White, Norman blended strategically demanding fairways with hundreds of palm trees. He then laid out the course in a manner where water comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes, which makes for a challenging, but picturesque Great White Golf Course. Host to the PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout in 2000, and the US Qualifier for PGA Tour Latinoamerica in 2012, the Great White has to be considered one of the best golf courses in South Florida.
Keeping up with the changes on December 2011, Doral Golf Resort & Spa unveiled additional modifications including the addition of state of the art Tiff Eagle greens. The course also received new landscaping, as thousands of native grasses were planted around the course. I had the honor to play this beautiful track since its inaugural day back in 2005 and I can tell you that the shape and condition we encountered last week was by far its best shape ever.
The Great White Course at Doral is not your typical resort golf course where a tourist can come, play, score well and go home happy. Make no mistake about it! The course, like the great white shark, has very sharp teeth and can snatch a good round in a matter of seconds. With very little vegetation to protect it from the perennial easterly winds, and 14 out of 18 holes where water comes in play, the golf course becomes the ultimate golf challenge man vs. the elements.
Key playing Holes
Most difficult Hole #5 Par-5 (572 yards) The real test starts here, a long par-5 playing west to easterly direction and always against the wind demands a long a straight tee shot. Depending on the wind direction your second shot should be left of the marsh area that starts about 125 yards from the green. The very narrow fairway will force you to layup just right of the bunker. A demanding third shot is required to a narrow and long green well guarded by bunkers to the left and marsh area to the right. Par is a great score here!
Most difficult Par 3 Hole #11 (203 yards) This long and narrow par-3 demands a gentle right-to-left shot. Water tee to green left, large royal palms right and always against the wind just makes things very interesting. Today, I pulled out my Adams Super hybrid and I was able to hit a gentle draw aiming to the right bunker. My ball landed inches away from the green and I was able to convert to a nice par.
Most difficult and scenic Par 4 Hole #9 (434 yards) This magnificent par-4 greets players with a smile, is a beautiful hole to finish the front nine. Players will need to carry water to some extend by picking a place in the wide fairway to land. Although is considered a very difficult hole we must remember that it plays east to west and most often downwind. Greed is your worst enemy here! pick a reachable spot down the fairway and commit to the shot. Your second shot will be aided by the easterly wind to a narrow green guarded left by the lake and right by 2 small bunkers.
We encountered a golf course in pristine conditions here at Doral. Our sincere congratulations to Donald Trump and his staff for keeping this gem in excellent playing conditions. Our entire foursome was in agreement that The Great White Course at Doral was one of the best golf courses we have encountered this year. I must remind our audience that Trump Doral is a private resort and the green fees are much higher that any other local destinations in Miami. Furthermore, our only draw back in this review is totally irrelevant to the golf course as we found the driving range closed due to a huge remodel involving the Blue course. If you like a gorgeous golf course manicured to perfection, with fast and undulating greens and very adjacent to your office… The Great White Course at Doral is the place to be!