Golf | Trump National Doral

Donald Trump raves about revamped Blue Monster golf course in Doral


Donald Trump, owner of the Blue Monster, played the revamped course and told a gathering of the media and dignitaries he is thrilled with it.

Donald Trump shows off his updated course by the hitting a ceremonial tee shot off the first tee at Trump Doral on Thursday February 6, 2014.
Donald Trump shows off his updated course by the hitting a ceremonial tee shot off the first tee at Trump Doral on Thursday February 6, 2014.

Special to the Miami Herald

The new golfer in town was in all his glory.

That would be Donald Trump, who on Thursday officially unveiled his newest business venture, which also happens to be one of his favorite places to be, the Blue Monster golf course at Trump National Doral.

There were television cameras. There were photographers. There were political and golfing dignitaries. Everything that Trump likes. And to make it better, amid all this, Trump got to play golf. He didn’t even have to pay. Makes sense, since he’s the owner.

Trump has played the revamped Blue Monster before, but this time he was giving insight to the changes that have been made.

He is extremely happy with the re-do on the Blue, and expressed his feelings about that. But, before doing that, he went back in time to recall one of his first visits to the course.

“Many years ago, I would come to Doral with my father, Fred Trump, and we would play golf,” Trump said. “Who would have ever thought that the Trump family would own this 800-acre parcel of land? He was referring to his purchase of the Doral Resort & Spa, which includes numerous buildings and ownership of four golf courses, all in the heart of Miami. The price for Trump: some $150 million, making it a bargain basement purchase.

The soul of the Doral complex, however, is the Blue Monster.

And Trump is well aware of that. Everything multibillionaire Trump owns is branded — usually, with his name. And, as a smart businessman, he knows the Doral complex also has one unique brand name, and that would be the Blue Monster So, it is that golf course where he has concentrated much of his energy.

“When we bought it, we decided to do it right,” Trump said of the entire Doral project. “We just stood out there and looked at the land and decided we were going to do the whole thing right.

“We’re trying to do something good for golf,” Trump said of the Blue Monster. “We could have just put up a couple of palm trees and it would have been acceptable, but it would not be the right thing to do. Do we just fix it up for $2, or do we do it really right?

“When it is completed, which will be very quickly, this will be the greatest golf resort in the world.”

Helping him reach that goal is Gil Hanse, who is one of the greatest golf course architects in the world.

“Mr. Trump provided the opportunity to do something spectacular,” Hanse said. “Now we have a brand-new course in beautiful condition. He kept telling me along the way it has to be bigger and better.”

Hanse said he paid particular attention to the fans, to give them a better view. He has built mounding to provide sight lines. “We’ve worked outside the ropes rather than inside the ropes,” Hanse said.

Other key changes include much more water, with shots on extremely hard greens sliding off and quickly creating ripples.

The course appears to be slightly tougher than the old Blue Monster. Holes 8, 9 and 10 have changed dramatically, becoming considerably more difficult. Hole No. 1, previously considered almost a sure birdie for the pros, also has been lengthened to toughen it up.

Hole No. 15, a par-3, now has a peninsular green and errant shots will be getting a bath.

Hole No. 18, a 473-yard, par-4, long considered the Blue Monster’s signature hole, has not been changed much at all, except for the drop-off into the water on the left being a little steeper.

However, don’t expect scores to automatically go soaring. The wind has always been the biggest factor in playing the Blue Monster.

The new-look course is in excellent condition heading into one of the world’s premiere tournaments, the WGC-Cadillac Championship on March 6-9. However, construction on some of the resort’s buildings is still ongoing, and it appears nip-and-tuck whether that will be completed in the next few weeks before the tournament.

Trump didn’t seem to be worried. “We’re plus-10 in building, that’s what we do,” he said.

When they arrive for the Cadillac Championship, the world’s best professional golfers will definitely be more concerned with the course rather than the buildings.

Trump, who flew in and flew out on his helicopter parked near the ninth fairway Thursday, summed up by giving his opinion of the Blue Monster:

“It’s just a beautiful golf course,” he said.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

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  • LPGA - Canadian Pacific Women's Open Preview

    Thursday, August 21st through Sunday, August 24th Course Info Site: London Hunt and Country Club, London, Ontario, Canada Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr (1959), Rees Jones (2000 - redesign) Par: 72 Yardage: 6,656 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,356 Yds 1 - Par 4 404 Yds 2 - Par 3 167 Yds 3 - Par 4 383 Yds 4 - Par 5 482 Yds 5 - Par 4 434 Yds 6 - Par 4 400 Yds 7 - Par 5 550 Yds 8 - Par 3 152 Yds 9 - Par 4 384 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,300 Yds 10 - Par 5 529 Yds 11 - Par 4 373 Yds 12 - Par 4 391 Yds 13 - Par 3 171 Yds 14 - Par 4 402 Yds 15 - Par 4 361 Yds 16 - Par 5 513 Yds 17 - Par 3 183 Yds 18 - Par 4 377 Yds Tournament Info Year: 14th on LPGA Tour Television: Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 12-2 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 3-5 p.m. (et), - Sunday -- 2-5 p.m. (et) Champion: Lydia Ko Runner Up: Karine Icher Tournament Record: 265 (Lydia Ko, 2013) 54-Hole Record: 199 (Lorena Ochoa, 2007; Suzann Pettersen, 2009) 36-Hole Record: 132 (Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, 2013) Course Record: Total Purse: $2,250,000 Shares: 1st Place - $337,500; 2nd Place - $206,907; 3rd Place - $146,672 2013 Final Leaderboard Lydia Ko 265 Karine Icher 270 Brittany Lincicome 271 Caroline Hedwall 271 Stacy Prammanasudh 272 I.K. Kim 272 Suzann Pettersen 273 Caroline Masson 273 Gerina Piller 274 Three players at 275 Past Winners 2013: Lydia Ko (265). Runner up: Karine Icher 2012: Lydia Ko (275). Runner up: Inbee Park 2011: Brittany Lincicome (275). Runner up: Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie 2010: Michelle Wie (276). Runner up: Kristy McPherson, Jee Young Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shin 2009: Suzann Pettersen (269). Runner up: Momoko Ueda, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Angela Stanford, Karrie Webb 2008: Katherine Hull (277). Runner up: Se Ri Pak 2007: Lorena Ochoa (268). Runner up: Paula Creamer 2006: Cristie Kerr (276). Runner up: Angela Stanford 2005: Meena Lee (279). Runner up: Katherine Hull 2004: Meg Mallon (270). Runner up: Beth Daniel 2003: Beth Daniel (275). Runner up: Juli Inkster 2002: Meg Mallon (284). Runner up: Michele Redman, Michelle Ellis, Catriona Matthew 2001: Annika Sorenstam (272). Runner up: Kelly Robbins 2000: Meg Mallon (282). Runner up: Rosie Jones 1999: Karrie Webb (277). Runner up: Laura Davies 1998: Brandie Burton (270). Runner up: Annika Sorenstam 1997: Colleen Walker (278). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1996: Laura Davies (277). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Karrie Webb 1995: Jenny Lidback (280). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1994: Martha Nause (279). Runner up: Michelle McGann 1993: *Brandie Burton (277). Runner up: Betsy King 1992: Sherri Steinhauer (277). Runner up: Judy Dickinson 1991: Nancy Scranton (279). Runner up: Debbie Massey 1990: Cathy Johnston (276). Runner up: Patty Sheehan 1989: Tammie Green (279). Runner up: Pat Bradley, Betsy King 1988: Sally Little (279). Runner up: Laura Davies 1987: Jody Anschutz (272). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1986: *Pat Bradley (276). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1985: Pat Bradley (278). Runner up: Jane Geddes 1984: Juli Inkster (279). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1983: Hollis Stacy (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner, Alice Miller 1982: Sandra Haynie (280). Runner up: Beth Daniel 1981: Jan Stephenson (278). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley 1980: Pat Bradley (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1979: Amy Alcott (285). Runner up: Nancy Lopez 1978: JoAnne Carner (278). Runner up: Hollis Stacy 1977: Judy Rankin (214). Runner up: Pat Meyers, Sandra Palmer 1976: *Donna Caponi (212). Runner up: Judy Rankin 1975: *JoAnne Carner (214). Runner up: Carol Mann 1974: Carole Jo Callison (208). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1973: *Jocelyne Bourassa (214). Runner up: Sandra Haynie, Judy Rankin 1972: Not Held. Runner up: 1971: Not Held. Runner up: 1970: Not Held. Runner up: 1969: Sandra Haynie (216). Runner up: Marilynn Smith, Kathy Whitworth 1968: Carol Mann (213). Runner up: Judy Kimball 1967: Carol Mann (210). Runner up: Margie Masters 1966: Kathy Whitworth (213). Runner up: Mickey Wright Previously known as Ladies' Supertest Open (1966-69), La Canadienne (1973), Peter Jackson Classic (1974-83), du Maurier Classic (1984-2000), Bank of Montreal Canadian Women's Open (2001-02), BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open (2003-05), CN Canadian Women's Open (2006-13). Top Contenders Lydia Ko 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: Won 2013: Won Karine Icher 2004: 2005: 2006: T-28 2007: T-50 2008: mc 2009: T-55 2010: T-8 2011: 2012: mc 2013: 2nd Brittany Lincicome 2004: 2005: T-22 2006: T-50 2007: T-39 2008: T-38 2009: 63rd 2010: T-15 2011: Won 2012: T-60 2013: T-3 I.K. Kim 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-43 2008: T-17 2009: 7th 2010: 6th 2011: T-49 2012: mc 2013: T-5 Suzann Pettersen 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: T-10 2008: 7th 2009: Won 2010: T-2 2011: mc 2012: T-15 2013: T-7 Paula Creamer 2004: T-18 2005: 2006: 2007: 2nd 2008: T-8 2009: T-28 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-60 2013: T-10 Inbee Park 2004: 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-26 2008: T-21 2009: T-24 2010: T-28 2011: mc 2012: 2nd 2013: T-13 Mika Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-15 2013: T-13 Angela Stanford 2004: T-37 2005: T-3 2006: 2nd 2007: T-10 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: mc 2011: T-4 2012: T-26 2013: T-13 Na Yeon Choi 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-32 2009: T-24 2010: T-11 2011: T-6 2012: T-3 2013: T-17 Anna Nordqvist 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-8 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-6 2013: T-20 Cristie Kerr 2004: T-21 2005: 2006: Won 2007: T-50 2008: T-21 2009: T-18 2010: T-8 2011: T-4 2012: T-41 2013: T-20 Ai Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: T-2 2010: T-15 2011: T-16 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Lexi Thompson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Yani Tseng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-6 2008: 3rd 2009: T-33 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-35 2013: T-24 So Yeon Ryu 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: mc 2013: T-34 Shanshan Feng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-52 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: T-55 2013: T-38 Katherine Kirk 2004: T-40 2005: 2nd 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: Won 2009: mc 2010: T-37 2011: mc 2012: T-26 2013: T-41 Meena Lee 2004: 2005: Won 2006: 4th 2007: T-58 2008: T-10 2009: T-55 2010: T-21 2011: T-35 2012: T-26 2013: mc Karrie Webb 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-18 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: T-60 2011: T-45 2012: T-26 2013: mc Lorie Kane 2004: T-5 2005: T-27 2006: T-16 2007: mc 2008: T-38 2009: mc 2010: T-11 2011: T-63 2012: mc 2013: mc Stacy Lewis 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-40 2010: mc 2011: T-2 2012: T-6 2013: wd NOTES: The LPGA moves north of the border to Canada this week for the 14th annual Canadian Pacific Women's Open. The top four players in the world are expected to compete - Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen.

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