an exciting course for golfers of all skill levels
The spectacular Red Tiger golf course, given its name by the late, great Jackie Gleason, just may have undergone the most dramatic change of any of the course renovations at Trump National Doral.
Due to the talents of the Gil Hanse design team, the Red Tiger is an exciting challenge for the average golfer but also a surprising test for the more expert player. Set on just 120 acres, its primary design resembles a New England style course but the different varieties of palm trees throughout gives it its distinctive South Florida personality. While the goal of every tee shot should be to take advantage of the gently contoured fairways, the undulation of the small scaled greens requires accurate shotmaking.
A gentle enough start to your round, this slight dogleg right requires a solid tee shot and then a smart layup to the left side of the fairway to avoid water on the right. The elevated green shape is long and narrow, moving away from the golfer from left to right, so make sure you take enough club if the pin is positioned on the right side of the green.
Because the green is elevated slightly, you must be sure to fly your approach shot all the way to the putting surface. You can avoid the multiple bunkers on the right by favoring the bailout area on the left.
This might be a shortish par 5, but don’t be lulled to sleep. Water lurks the entire length of the fairway on the right. And even if you keep it in play on your first two shots, your work has just begun. This is perhaps the smallest green on the course, and it features lots of undulation, plus a false front. Weak shots can roll back down into the water.
This is a classic risk/reward, drivable par 4. A canal cuts diagonally across the fairway, moving away from the golfer from right to left. So it’s a shorter carry on the right side. The savvy play is to lay up with a long iron or hybrid then, then hit a short-iron approach onto the green.
This sweeping dogleg is one of the most beautiful on the course. Aim no farther left than the ficus tree. And beware of the Scottish-style bunker in the middle of the fairway at the layup. The green is virtually an island, and checking the pin position is important before you lay up. If the flag is on the left, lay up to the right for a better angle, and vice versa.
Aiming at the bunker on the right is a good play. That will avoid the steep face on the left. The green on this hole is very large so be sure to know where the pin sits on the green and select the correct club. The green and surround slopes from right to left and will push shots hit to the right closer to the hole. Shots to left will not be so lucky as the lake awaits close to the greens edge.
On this medium-length par 4, guard against the water on the right with a conservative tee shot. The bunker short of the green on the left is deceiving. There is actually 30 yards between the front of the bunker and the putting surface. The oak tree behind the green is pretty to look at, but you don’t want your ball to go over the green and under the oak. It’s better to hit to the front of the green than risk going over.
This is a classic Redan-type hole, with a green moving away from the golfer from right to left with a canal along the left side of the green. The farther left the pin is positioned, the longer you must carry your approach shot to get to the green and avoid the canal. There is also a hump in the middle of the green and a bunker hidden behind the putting surface. Unless you are a low handicapper or pro, try to land your ball short right of the green and let it trickle on.
With a canal running down the left side of the fairway and two bunkers short right of the green and behind the green, accuracy is very important on this short par 4. The average player can roll the ball onto the left side of the green while the better player might opt to hit a shorter but riskier shot off the tee (perhaps with a hybrid or long iron) to have a better angle into the green.
This is a long, uphill tee shot near the spa, keep your driver swing nice and smooth. After placing a good shot into the fairway, you’ll need to lay up left of the water for the best angle into one of the larger greens on the course. Water also beckons any shot that misses on the right, so favor the left side of the green.
A huge undulation in the left front of the green provides some tricky pin positions here. Yes, you can bail out short right, but beware, there are bunkers just beyond and any shots missed to the right will be left with a downhill chip toward the lake on the left side of the hole.
This shortish par 5 with a wide fairway looks docile off the tee. It’s anything but, however. A winding canal up the entire left side of the hole runs into a beautiful pond framed by a giant ficus tree. The hole bends to the left around that tree. It’s a classic risk/reward strategy on your second shot. Go for the green in two if you’re feeling adventurous. Or you can play conservatively to the right of the bunkers that guard the right side of the green.
With water both left and right off the tee, a straight drive is imperative on this medium-length par 4. The elevated green requires a high fade to clear the deep bunkers and hold the putting surface. Don’t be fooled by the first bunker. It’s a full 20 yards short of the green.
The distinctive feature of this long par 3 is the bowl-shaped green with bunkers like footprints surrounding the green. First, you must carry the gaping bunker in front. Then, depending on the pin location, you must be on the correct side of the bowl to have a makeable putt. Any shot that doesn’t quite make it to correct level may end up at the bottom of the bowl.
You need to be on your “A Game” for this hole. With water left and a deep bunker right, there is no bailout on the tee shot. The second shot is all carry over water to the green, which has no bunkers. In fact, there are only two bunkers on the entire hole, yet it is one of the toughest on the course. Tip: A conservative approach is to aim right of the green and have the ball roll off the mounds and onto the putting surface.
Yes, this is a very long hole, but don’t worry. There is plenty of room on the right to avoid the water and bunkers on the left. The smart play is to aim right and pitch on for a one-putt par.
This is a deceptively tough hole. It’s short, but trouble greets the errant golfer. Be careful if you try to fly the bunker on the right: A small pond is hidden just beyond. And water lurks on the left if you hit it through the fairway. This hole looks benign from the tee, but a fairway wood or hybrid is a smart play. Then you’ll have a short iron into the green. There is also a collection swale short-right of the green and a bunker back right.
This is a beautiful hole that plays back toward the spa building and the resort. Avoid the bunkers both right and left off the tee and there is a chance to go for this green in two. Beware, there is a lake behind the green so any balls that go even just a few feet over the green will end up in the lake. The smart play is to lay-up to the right which leaves just a wedge into the long green and a shot at birdie to end your round.