DORAL GOLF RESORT AND SPA (305-592-2000)
GOLD COURSE (Raymond Floyd - Designer)
Florida Golf Course Review
The Gold Course at Doral was originally designed by Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin in 1968, and was renovated by Raymond Floyd in 1995. It is
one of three layouts at Doral that winds its way through a beautiful residential community - the Doral Estates. The course ends with a striking par four,
which demands a tremendously challenging approach to an island green - one of the most memorable holes at the resort.The entire course features
beautifully landscaped grounds, with tall coconut palms and tropical foliage lining many fairways and surrounding the mildly undulating greens. High
quality white sand bunkers are strategically placed greenside on all holes except the 18th - which needs no additional hazards. Water comes into play, in
varying levels of difficulty, on 16 of the 18 holes here.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
Four sets of tees provide an opportunity for golfers of all abilities to play to their skill level. The blue tees, measuring 6209 with a 124 slope should be the
choice for the average golfer, though mid handicappers may elect to stretch their game and play from the tips - at 6602 with a 129 slope rating. From the
championship tees however, there are 8 par fours at 397 + yards, with 6 of them on the front nine. And keep in mind - there is much water and 62 sand
bunkers to contend with. The white tees play to 5747/120 and the forward tees measure 5179 with a 123 slope rating.
As with all the Doral layouts, the Gold Course is amply marked, with yardages posted on the cart paths and on yardage blocks in the fairways. The Kirby
measuring system provides measurements to the center of the green every 25 yards from 200 in (from 250 on par fives). Daily hole locations are plotted
on pin placement cards, and a yardage/hole diagram booklet is also available for a nominal fee in the pro shop. All carts at Doral provide highly effective
club covers, which help keep your bag and clubs dry during inclement weather. This was much appreciated on our visit - during the June monsoon season, when daily rain showers were consistent.
The front nine on the Gold plays nearly as long as the Blue and White courses at Doral - 3437 from the tips. It is wonderfully designed in that the three
opening holes are very score-able doglegs, with a short par five sandwiched between two mid-length par fours. The first bends to the right, and the
second leads towards the opposite direction, with a water hazard creating a measure of difficulty. The green is well bunkered, but if played as a 3 shot
hole, should present a good approach and reasonable chance for birdie. Number 3 presents a tight fairway with more water left and bunkers right, and is
followed by the number one handicap - the 440 yards par 4 fourth. This hole is banana shaped around a water hazard, and is very difficult to reach in
regulation from any of the tee boxes. A shot to the left side of the fairway will cut off a bit of distance on five, which is handicapped as #3. The sixth and
seventh are relatively simple holes and very score-able, presenting a reprieve from the round's toughest two-hole stretch. A good way to play the par four
eighth is to drive to the 150 yards marker, and play an approach over the water hazard. The green here sits precariously close to the waters edge, and is
quite undulating. The 17th handicapped par three ninth is another simple hole, affording an opportunity to close strongly.
Making the turn we find a challenging dogleg that bends nearly 90 degrees left near the 150 yard marker. Water hazards on both sides creep into the
fairway about 100 yards out, but should not have an effect on the approach. The water on the right sneaks closer into play as you approach the putting
surface on the long par 5 11th. Stay left center and par or better is possible. The twelfth is a par three that is all carry to a wide putting surface with water
on three sides. There is bail out room short right. After an easy par four, the 14th will challenge with a tight, tree lined fairway featuring strategically placed
sand traps on both sides. There is also more water far left. The fifteenth is a gorgeous par three that features lush landscaping around the green and
throughout the nearby residential buildings. The water left should not come into play here. A short par five (517 from the tips) and mid range par three
follow - both are good scoring holes. The finishing hole is a beauty. Length off the tee is necessary here, as the approach is over a formidable water
hazard, to an island green - very little room for error on this hole. You definitely want to reach the putting surface with a high arcing (preferably short iron)
shot here. This hole is the highlight of a fun and challenging round of golf- a great resort golf experience.
The Gold Course 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 - with golf 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.