June 26, 2017
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The course originally named The Silver Course,  was designed by Bruce Devlin and Bob Von Hagge in 1984, years later in 1995 was purchased by Doral Resort and later (2009) remodeled and renamed after his re-designer and famous golf instructor Jim McLean.  Its characteristics have remained the same through the years like narrow fairways, moguls and uniquely elevated target greens that will challenge all levels of championship play.

The Jim McLean Signature course at Doral presents a variety of challenges that include three very difficult starting holes, a series of phenomenal par 3s, and The Bermuda Triangle of the 13th through 15th holes with its signature 14th hole island green . All in all it has sixteen holes that play to water and five sets of tees to let golfers decide how difficult they want the course to be. This is one of the very few golf courses in South Florida where we openly recommend not to play from the black tees (unless you’re a 2 handicap or better)

Key Holes

Hole #3 Par – 4 (490 yards)

Positive attitude plays a big factor when you arrive at this mammoth dogleg right. By then, you should have gauged how well you have been hitting your driver because this hole is a real test.  Out-of-bounds from tee to green right and a large water hazard left will complicate things even further. This hole faces east so 95% of the time will play into the wind.  Today I hit a hot and straight driver that was practically swallowed by the wind and landed just inside the fairway. Did I mentioned to you folks not to play this course from the black tees? I was facing a second shot from 210 yards out (middle of the fairway) but my view was partially blocked by trees around the dogleg to the right. I hit a natural draw so I’m now in uncharted territory. In this particular day and based on the wind direction I decided to lay up to 10 yards in front of the green. Although I was unable to go up and down from that position for a par I still feel it was the correct choice as the out-of-bounds area right and deep behind the green could have complicated things to an exponential level. If you play from the Blue or White tees you should aim left center of the fairway to have a clear shot to the green, I’m happy taking my bogie as there are great scoring holes in this golf course.

 Hole #10 Par -5 (559 yards)

The second par 5 of the golf course and 14th in difficulty faces west and usually plays down the prevailing wind. A large and generous fairway greets golfers with a smile! Take full advantage of this hole and score it well. My drive landed between the 250 – 225 makers and I’m eagerly waiting my turn at the bat but I know I have to be careful. Water guards the left side of this green and around the back as well. Because this green slopes front to back balls can easily roll over the green. Make certain to remember this as you plan shots to the pin (never recommended). Also, a very nasty and deep pot bunker is located at the back right corner of this green. My decision today was to hit my 4-iron to the entrance of the green, I’m blessed to see that my ball rolled up and stayed on the green. Two putts later and I just carded my 200th birdie on this hole…yes, this hole is that easy!

Hole #13 Par-4 (477 yards)

I have played this hole on many occasions and this back tee is definitely a challenge; according to reliable sources the tee box was created for a possible Web.com Tour event that never materialized. This is another monster hole facing east and clearly “unplayable” with today’s wind.  From this tee to a desired second shot area you have about 270 “all carry” yards over water. Tunnel vision is a must! Water from tee to green (right) and out-of-bounds from tee to green (left) just to spice things up. A large sign alerts players they are entering the Bermuda Triangle. Seriously? any more distractions. The hole runs parallel to 58th street so you will have the not needed extra noise to go along a gorgeous view of the lake on your right.  Against the wind you must hit a driver but if wind is not a factor or if you are playing down wind (almost never) a 3-wood will help you where accuracy is a necessity. My low teed drive found the right side of the fairway. I always set up aiming to the right side of the fairway to avoid the bunker. My desired landing area will be somewhere right and short of the fairway bunker.  My second shot was 195 yards and I aimed way right and short. A low second shot to the tongued twisted green (short rolls to right and long rolls to left) lead to a nice par. Do not expect any miracles, pars are few and far apart.

Summary

We are unable to mention some other great holes like the picturesque Hole #4 and Hole #14th island green, at the Jim McLean Signature Golf Course at Doral. Jim McLean has done a remarkable job and since its remodel in 2009 the course is considered one of the premier golf courses at the Doral Resort & Spa together with the TPC Blue Monster and Greg Norman’s Great White Course. If you are visiting Miami this is definitely a must play!

Pros

  • Knowledgeable and courteous staff
  • Great 19th hole facility and clubhouse
  • Course kept in immaculate conditions year around

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No driving range

 

 

 

 

I am Fernando, Editor and Publisher of South Florida Golf. My goal will always be to make sure you have a great time while visiting our website or reading our digital magazine. I'm an old school guy happily married with 35+ years of serious golf under my belt. Former mini-tour player, Florida Atlantic University Grad... I follow Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Panthers and anything related to South Florida .. Contact me at fs@sfgmagazine.com or @SOFLAGOLF

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