Donald Trump

‘Drastic’ changes on the horizon for Doral golf course

 

Special to The Miami Herald

Donald Trump, a golf aficionado and a more-than-decent player of the game, pretty much summed up on Wednesday night his thinking on what he will do with one of his newest acquisitions, the Blue Monster golf course at Doral.

“What was a monster 25 years ago isn’t a monster anymore,” Trump said. “The Blue Monster has had many mini-makeovers, but now is the time to do it right.”

So, Trump gave what he called the good news first: For the WGC-Cadillac Championship beginning Thursday, Trump said, “I’ve been told the course is in the best condition in 25 years.”

OK, there’s a caveat to that statement: “The bad news is we’re blowing the course up on Monday after the tournament,” Trump said. “No party, just a funeral. I was going to say it was going to get nuked, but I refuse to use that expression.”

The bulldozers will actually move in about two weeks after this tournament’s end.

“It will be massive construction,” Trump said. “It will be completely done two months before next year’s tournament — it better be.”

He said the other four courses at Doral also will be revamped, but only after the Blue Monster, Doral’s signature course, has received its makeover. “We won’t start work on the others until the Blue Monster is done,” Trump said.

With seemingly complete conviction, he added, “We’re going to do Doral right.”

Trump bought the Doral complex, some 800 acres including buildings and golf courses, for $162 million. He plans to put $250 million into rebuilding the resort, golf courses and everything else in the complex.

“We have 800 acres in the middle of Miami, what’s better than that?” Trump asked.

How drastic will the changes be in the golf course. In two simple words, he gave the answer, “Very drastic.”

An example is the first hole, traditionally the easiest hole on the course, a 551-yard par-5 that often yields birdies and way too often eagles.

Enjoy it this year, Mr. PGA pro. Next year it will be lengthened by 100 yards and a lake will be added.

Much of the course will also be redone to allow better spectator viewing. “It’s basically a flat course now, and that makes it difficult for fans to see,” Trump said. “We’re going to create mounds and amphitheaters so the fans can get a good view.” Turning it into more of a stadium course is a big part of Trump’s vision.

The name of the resort has already been switched to Trump National Doral. Don’t act surprised that Trump’s name is in there. You knew it would be.

Trump concluded: “I knew the Blue Monster could be something amazing, and it will be.”

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