tougher, significantly longer, and more dramatic than ever before
With legendary architect Gil Hanse at the helm, the historic Blue Monster Course has undergone a complete redesign and has become a new golf course thus reaffirming its reputation as one of the most challenging and spectacular golf courses in existence.
Already renowned the world over and rich with history, The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral is tougher, significantly longer, and more dramatic than ever before. Restored to its past grandeur in mid-2014 thanks to the vision of The Trump Organization who acquired the hottest golf course architect, Gil Hanse, to meticulously re-sculpt every hole. The 7,590 yard course features a series of strategically placed deep bunkers, long flowing fairways, interesting undulating greens, deep Bermuda rough and a challenging assortment of water hazards – all of which combine for a course that requires both length and finesse to score well.
The famous 18th hole is traditionally ranked as one of the most difficult on the PGA TOUR. It is no surprise that virtually every great name in golf has had a moment of personal triumph on this world-class course (Jack Nicklaus won twice, Greg Norman three times and Tiger Woods four).Nor is it any surprise that it has been host to the PGA TOUR for 55 consecutive years.
With one of the longest runway tees ever designed (70 yards) flowing right from the edge of the practice green, this heart-stopping par 5 requires a strong opening tee shot. If you take on the bunkers on the right off the tee, you’ll be rewarded with a better angle for your second shot. Note how the green is long from front to back (fully 50 yards) and extremely narrow, protected by water on the right. So keep your layup second on the right side of the fairway, and you’ll have a wider angle of green to play your pitch or short-iron third. And select your approach club carefully—distance control is all-important here.
When viewed from the tee, this is an intimidating hole. But it doesn’t have to be. To have the best angle into the green of this medium-length par 4, aim your tee shot at the right-hand bunker and draw it back into the right side of the fairway. Pay keen attention to the undulations on the green. A small hump on the left part of the putting surface keeps the short game interesting.
This sweeping dogleg right around a large lake requires a bold tee shot. There is really no place to bail out because two bunkers guard the left side of the fairway. The more you hug the water off the tee, the better your angle for your approach shot. Once you get your drive into play, the fun just begins. Take enough club, especially when the pin is back right, because it’s easy to drown your approach if it’s not struck solidly or played to the left side of the green.
This is one of the prettiest—and most memorable—holes on the course. Remember that your tee shot is all carry to the elevated, half-moon green of this long par 3. Check the depth of the pin position carefully. It’s a three-club difference from the front of the green to the back.
This dogleg-left par 4 requires you to hug the left-side bunker off the tee. Do that, and the green will open up for your approach. But be wary of that left-hand fairway bunker and also the deeper one by the green. And take care not to hit over the green, where water swings around behind it and can grab an approach played too agressively.
The ideal tee shot here calls for a left-to-right ball flight. Aim at the left-hand bunker and fade the ball back into the fairway (a draw for left-handers). This opens up a better angle into the green. The green gets deeper the more left you go. So play close attention to the distance of a back-left pin. Also, watch out for the hidden, gaping bunker behind the putting surface.
You’ll want to drive the ball at the short right-hand bunker and draw it into the hill in the fairway. Most balls will kick to the right side of the fairway for a flatter lie. Be sure you take enough club for your second shot, which is deceivingly long. The undulating green is receptive if you carry your approach over the water, so consider firing at the flag if you have your “A” game. This hole plays as one of the hardest holes on the course.
In contrast to Hole No. 7, this hole plays as one of the easiest in relation to par but it is a true risk reward par 5. The smart play off the tee is to hit to the left side of the fairway, short of the water. Then you have options: Long hitters can go for the green in two; short hitters can lay up to the right. You must stay out of the bunkers short of the green, unless you enjoy playing the long explosion, considered one of the hardest shots in the game. The lay-up shot is not easy and leaves you with a tough approach with bunkers in front and water tight against the back of the green.
With more than six sets of tees, you have lots of options here. The conservative play is to aim at the left-hand bunker and be a little short. Then rely on your chipping game for an up-and-down par. If you’re feeling daring, fire at the flag from the tee. But remember, anything short of the green will roll back into the water.
This very long par 5 with water down the entire left side of the fairway is the toughest tee shot on the course and requires clear thinking and strong shot-making. Consider challenging the water on the left from the tee, then hug the bunkers on the right for an easier approach. From there you’ll have only an 80-yard pitch onto the green and a good possibility at birdie.
This split-fairway par 4 has more sand than any other hole on the course with a huge cross bunker at an angle going away from you from right to left. So the farther left you hit your tee shot, the longer the carry. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine. The fairway on the left runs out at 290 yards from the back tee. Play to that side to open up an angle to a left-front pin. If the pin is on the right, you might choose to play to the right fairway. It’s 250 yards from the back tee to carry the bunker on the right, but if you’re a long hitter, that’s the better strategy.
This hole is all about your second shot. After a solid drive into the fairway, steer clear of the bunker on the right and stay short of the bunker on the left with your next shot. The left side of the fairway opens up the green. There are three distinctive pin positions: Front left, back left, and back right. Hit a precise approach shot and pay attention to your distance control; otherwise you’ll be playing from greenside sand.
This is the longest par 3 on the course. Unless you are an accomplished player, you might be better off thinking of the hole as a par 4, laying up in front of the bunkers. Aim at the right edge of the left-hand bunker and use a club that will keep you short, playing for a chip or pitch and a one-putt par. If you want to be like a tour player, you’ll need a full carry over the right-hand bunker, hitting a Jack Nicklaus-style high fade.
The ideal tee shot on this long par 4 is a draw at the far bunker. Only the longest of hitters can possibly get to this bunker. Into the green, stay away from the deep bunker on the left. This hole features a 10,000-square-foot green, the largest on the course, so depending upon the pin position, your club selection is key, as is your feel for distance with your lag putting.
This is the shortest par 3 on the course, but whatever you do, don’t let up. The peninsula green requires a pinpoint iron shot to keep your ball dry. There are two distinct elevation changes on the green, so try to put the ball on the correct level. This requires not only accurate distance control on your approach shot, but once you’re on the green a precise feel for distance rolling the ball.
Tour players might try to drive the green of this short par 4, but average golfers should stay right of the massive fairway bunker and then have a wedge or short iron into the green. The four bunkers surrounding the putting surface might be pretty to look at with their fingered designs, but they are deep and tough to play from. This is certainly a birdie hole, but be careful. A mis-hit drive or approach shot can wreak havoc with your score.
A medium-length dogleg right, the 17th gives you a bit of a breather before you tackle the famous 18th. Nevertheless, you need to hit a strong tee shot. Carry the left edge of the right-hand fairway bunker for an optimal angle into the green, which is longer from front to back than even the first hole. It’s a four-club difference from the front fringe to the back edge of the green, so use your range-finder well or listen carefully to your caddie.
The famed 18th hole is recognized as one of the toughest on the PGA TOUR , perhaps because it is the site of numerous collapses and heroic shots. You must keep the tee shot to the right side of the fairway, then hit an approach to the right side of the green. Even the right rough is not a bad option off the tee, but then you’ll likely need to lay up short of the green to keep from risking a pull-hook into the lake that lurks just off the edge. It’s tempting to bail out into one of the bunkers right of the green, but beware, a sand shot with the water staring at you from across the slick green is no bargain.