Bulldozer driver Carlos Rivera, 62, knows his task is special.
“I know it’s famous,” he said of the course, “but you have to make it better. That’s what we’re doing.”
billion — give or take a few hundred millions — is never one to lack an opinion, and he is transforming the course to what he envisions is a better future.
But will the fans agree that it’s being made better? There’s a lot of sentiment attached to The Blue Monster, similar to, if not nearly as widespread, as there was for the Orange Bowl before it was turned into rubble to make way for Marlins Park.
“We’ve been coming out to the tournament [the WGC-Cadillac] for many years,” said one fan in the gallery at this year’s event .“It’s sad what is going to happen, but we’re hoping it will be better. We will be back next year.”
Some of the major changes anticipated, but not finalized, in The Monster’s makeover:
• Making the short par-5 first hole, considered to be too easy, some 100 yards longer and adding a lake to the right of the green.
• Turning the par-3 15th hole into a peninsula green.
• Creating mounds throughout the course to give fans a better view.
• Changing the ninth hole so a structural fan amphitheater can be built.
• Making greens larger, enabling the pin placements to become more difficult.
The biggest non-change will be leaving No. 18, the course’s signature hole, basically untouched.
Although The Blue Monster will be shut down for at least six months, Doral will continue regular play on its three other courses — the Red, Gold and McLean.
“Just because the Blue is closed, we don’t want the general public to think they can’t come out here and play golf,” said Cari Farinas, the resort’s marketing director. “We don’t want people getting the wrong idea.
“Any golfer can come out here and play,” Farinas added. “We’re open to the public, and we want the public to come out.”
Will The Blue Monster be ready for the next WGC-Cadillac Championship in March 2014?
Trump, not a patient fellow, gave a quick and definitive answer to that question.
“It will get done,” Trump said, making his words sound more like a demand than a statement.
Then Trump added, “It better get done.”
That definitely was a demand.