DORAL GOLF RESORT AND SPA (305-592-2000)
BLUE MONSTER GOLF COURSE
Florida Golf Course Review
The Blue Monster at Doral is home to the PGA Tour's Doral-Ryder Open, and is the most well known of the five championship layouts at this resort. The
PGA Tour event is that is held each year in February has to be one of the pro's favorites, as the amenities here are remarkable. For the golfing public, it is
a treat to be able to stay here and play courses frequented by professional players - and to enjoy the first class service afforded all guests. Besides the 5
championship courses and practice facilities, the Doral Resort provides first class accommodations, a full service spa, swimming pools, workout facility,
fine and casual dining, children's programs, and other top notch recreational opportunities and amenities. Once here - you will not need your car! For
more info, visit our detailed page for the resort with direct link to their website by clicking here
The course is aptly named, because of the treacherous water hazards and deep Bermuda rough - that literally eats balls. Keeping the ball in the fairway is
of utmost importance - anything landing past the initial cut creates difficult up and downs. The rough presents a great spectrum of lies - from those of the
fluffy variety (that require a flatter swing plane - as if hitting off a tee), to those completely buried (and difficult to find). It definitely takes some getting used
to. Generally, the wild Bermuda will grab the club face and create pulls or flatly hit shots. Land on the fairway, and scoring well becomes infinitely easier.
Accurate approaches are most often rewarded with good putting opportunities on high quality, true rolling greens. There are only six holes with water
hazards in play, but all six require accurate iron shots, and are even more difficult if the wind is up. A total of 95 sand bunkers require attention as they are
placed in strategic locations along the fairways and green side.
The Blue Monster has four sets of tees, measuring 7125 total yards. The tips play to a 130 slope, while the blue tees measure 6701 yards with a 125 slope
. As the 118 slope rating indicates, the white tees, at 6281 yards, provide a good option for mid to high handicappers and resort golfers. From these tees,
the par threes are very playable, and there are no par fours over 390 yards in length. Forward tee players receive a significant break from the few forced
carries, as the reds measure 5392 yards, with a 124 slope.
A key to scoring well here is to play well on the par fives. Three of the four are reasonable in length (between 475 and 507 yards from the white tees), with
the twelfth covering 563 yard from these tees.
The course utilizes the Kirby marking system, with yardage plates on the fairways every 25 yards between 75 and 200 yards out (250 on par fives).
Sprinkler heads are also measured to the center of the green, and the markings on the cart paths at 100/150/200 are a much appreciated feature. Hole
locations are indicated on daily pin placement cards.
The first tee is located just in front of the gorgeous and expansive clubhouse and terrace which is an ideal spot for a quick breakfast or lunch. As opening
holes go, this is a great introduction. At 529 yards from the tips, this par five is reachable in two by long hitters, although the uphill approach to a heavily
bunkered green complex requires accuracy. Number two presents one of the best birdie opportunities of the round, if you can again avoid the numerous
sand traps. These two holes are a good warm up for the #1 handicapped par four third. This is a dogleg right that demands a left to right shot shape,
followed by a well placed mid iron to a tight green complex with water all along the right. Bunkers left and more water right help the par three 4th earn the #
3 handicap - which is quite unusual for a three par. At 236 yards, this is one tough hole from the tips. Numbers 5 and 6 bend slightly to the left, provide
ample fairways, and are good scoring holes. There also is plenty of room off the tee on seven. Avoiding the fairway bunkers is vital to scoring well on these
three holes. The eighth presents a risk/reward opportunity for long hitters, who may elect to attempt to reach this short par five in two. For the average
golfer, a lay up on the second shot to the 75 yard marker is the safe play. If the wind is up, the ninth is quite treacherous. The putting complex slopes off
towards the water hazard - long is preferable to short here.
The back nine plays quite long - 3614 from the tips, 3405 from the blues, 3200 from the whites and 2756 from the forward tees. The tenth bends sharply
left, and is quite score-able if the water hazard along that side can be avoided. The # 18 handicapped eleventh is intimidating at first look, with a huge
bunker complex sitting in the middle of the fairway. There is ample room on both sides however. Land anywhere on the fairway and an approach for birdie
is a good bet. Twelve plays to 603 yards from the tips, and is a true 3-shot hole. The generous fairway is well bunkered. The longest par three of the
layout is next (245 from the championship tees) - and is the number two handicap. This precedes a tough par four which bends left but is difficult to cut
because of fairway traps on that side. 15 plays to a raised green with a deep bunker in front, and is followed by another dogleg left four par with plenty of
bunkering. A tee shot placed over the right edge of the left fairway trap should leave an easy approach. The 17th is also score-able, though the fairway
and greenside bunkers have to be negotiated. By this point in the round, most golfers will have had numerous experiences playing in the sand, which on
many occasions is preferable to playing from the surrounding rough. The closing hole is an extremely challenging par four. Long hitters may be able to
carry the waste bunker along the left, cut off some distance, and approach the green over water. A more prudent drive will land on the fairway past the
right edge of the large trap. From this point, a challenging approach must carry the edge of the water and avoid the greenside traps just past the putting
surface. If the wind is up, this is a difficult proposition. Reaching in regulation requires two great shots on this hole!
This is a fine layout, with excellent conditioning from tee to green, and will require a concentrated effort to score well. It is also quite beautiful with
numerous palms and abundant tropical foliage. The Blue Monster is one of 5 championship courses at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. Upscale
accommodations and resort amenities including a full service spa, swimming pools, workout facilities, and fine and casual dining are available on the 650
landscaped acres. A double ended driving range and 3 putting greens, a sprawling and well-stocked pro shop, as well as the John McLean Golf School are
also on property. You will have to look long and hard to find a resort featuring 5 courses and facilities of this magnitude - right outside your door.
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf Detailed Information page with a link to this course's web page (if available).
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf information page on the Doral Resort.