Review – Country Club of Miami – West
(Review July 2012)
The Country Club of Miami is comprised around two beautiful public golf courses (East – West) both built by famed golf course designer Robert Trend Jones back in 1961. For trivia lovers its first Golf Professional was The King himself Arnold Palmer. Comedian Jackie Gleason played host to celebrity golfers including Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Jack Nicklaus played his first professional tournament and Lee Trevino won his fourth professional at the club. The West Course has been home of many important golf tournaments and qualifiers as recently as the 1990’s Doral Ryder Open.
Today the course has lush fairways and newly re-grassed greens (2010-11) in all 36 championship holes. The West Course, a 7,017-yard par-72 course with a slope of 132, hosted the 1991 Senior PGA Tour National Qualifying School. Its treacherous bunkers, lush fairways, and rolling greens offer a challenging adventure. The course was the original site for the former National Airlines Open. The East Course, a 6,353-yard par-70 layout with a slope of 124, requires shot placement and strategy from both the novice and serious golfer. The Country Club of Miami also features one of South Florida’s best training facilities in the county featuring a lighted driving range and a pitch and chipping developing area. Larry Levow is the PGA Director of Golf Instruction and he is assisted by his wife Heather Levow, CPGA.
West Course Key Holes
Hole #2 Par-4 (416 yards)
Having a difficult hole (5th handicap) early in the game sure gets our blood pumping. This scenic Par-4 has been the collapse of many of my rounds. It takes patience and concentration as the large body of water (right) and the fairway tilted to the (right) and the perennial easterly wind to the (right) will mentally block you and push you to… you get the picture! In addition, there is an out-of-bounds left (tee to green) lurking, just in case you wanted to bail out.
Concentrate and play with the elements; the hole is not that big and the fairway (although is tilted to the right) is wide and the wind will usually help you in most cases. I have learned to conquer this hole by hitting my 3-wood and using that wind to get an extra carry. My landing area is just past the 150-yard marker. The second shot is to a huge green just guarded by a tiny bunker front and right. In most cases pulling driver in this hole will be a costly mistake as it will bring the houses (left) in play and out-of-bounds and most humans can not carry the lake right. Play smart, take your par and continue the journey.
Hole #11 Par-3 (175-yards)
Key holes in our reviews are designed to pinpoint either a hole that plays very difficult and may not be ranked as such in the score card or holes that appear difficult but they are not. Hole #11 at Country Club of Miami is a very easy hole that appears complicated. One thing you will notice as you stand on this tee box (shaped like a cove) is that you do not feel any wind. The hole faces north and in most typical days the wind will blow balls to the large collection area left. Also, the hole plays a lot shorter (1/2 club) if you hit a draw.
Aim to the center-left of the green and trust your swing; this is one of the easiest holes in the golf course and you will get rewarded based on your confidence.
Hole #16 Par-5 (523 Yards)
Take advantage of this short Par-5 late in the game and score it great. From the tee box you have 3 distinctive options. 1. Lay up short to the fairway traps and then hit your second shot long into the wider portion of the fairway, short wedge to the green. 2. Hit your driver straight between the bunkers, but be aware that any shots over the left bunker (out-of-bounds) and right bunker (water hazard) spells disaster… If successful, your second shot will be in the neighborhood of 215-230 yards to a big and receptive green. 3. If you are playing from the blue tees and you are a low handicapper (4 or better) you can also hit a high draw to the 13th fairway (275 – 290 drive) and then you will be facing a shorter second shot (190 – 210 yards) to the green. Keep in mind that this is a very high risk-reward option as any mistakes will turn this sweet hole into a nightmare..
I have been a loyal customer of the Country Club of Miami for over 20+ years and as of lately I don’t think people give the credit it deserves; the facility is run by the county and they do a tremendous job with a small budget. It is conveniently located near major intersections and it is easily accessible from either Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. It has a great ambiance and the 19th hole has the best chicken wings south of Orlando.
- Fast and receptive greens
- Courteous and knowledgeable staff
- Great training facilities and range
- Outstanding rates all year around
- Better conditioned in winter
- slow pace on weekends
Overall Rating 8.0/10