DORAL GOLF RESORT AND SPA (305-592-2000)
Jim McLean Signature Course
Florida Golf Course Review
The Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral Golf Resort & Spa is the only course off property at this wonderful resort - guests are treated to a 10 minute
shuttle ride from the starter booth to the clubhouse at the Silver. You do not have to back your bags or drive your car, as everything is taken care of. The
clubhouse is actually part of the Doral Park Country Club, and the course winds its way through a luxurious residential community. The McLean Course
was purchased by Doral in the late nineties and the pro shop, which features spacious locker rooms with showers, is leased by Doral. Guests and the
golfing public can also drive directly to the clubhouse and pay their green fees there, and all are invited to use the facilities' lounge and restaurant, which
are part of the private club.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
This layout was originally designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge, and was renovated in 1998 by Jerry Pate. On property are a putting green
and a hitting net for warming up - for full practice you will have to use the range at the Doral Resort. There are great advantages to playing here, however.
The silver is the least played of the five Doral layouts, and boasts the best putting surfaces. Conditions from tee to green were in fact, exceptional on our
visit. On a mid-June morning, we had the entire course to ourselves. I must make mention that we were initially a bit hesitant to schedule our Florida
reviews in June - with the hot, humid weather and the specter of monsoon season creating doubts in our planning. After spending four nights and playing 6
1/2 rounds here, our reservations, and recommendations to you - are lifted. Play early or play late, and you have a chance of avoiding daily rain showers,
and the heat and humidity is not so stifling. And the off season pricing is right! The courses are incredibly green, and in top notch condition. With reduced
play, you can expect some very quick rounds.
The McLean Course is an extremely pretty layout, with ample water hazards (on 16 of the 18 holes), finely sculpted bunkers, and beautiful tropical
landscaping. You will be presented with a great variety of shot selections, as the course winds its way through the upscale Doral Park residential
community. The greens are often flanked by huge mounding, and the usual Bermuda rough is complimented by a hearty St. Augustine grass, which seems
to be more in play here than on the other Doral courses. At 6557 yards (131 slope) the Silver will challenge experienced golfers. The three remaining tee
boxes measure 6197 (128 slope), 5589 (123 slope) and 4738 yards (117 slope). The average golfer will probably choose the blue tees (6197), which are
quite playable. Resort golfers and high handicappers might want to opt for the whites, as the frequent water hazards, rolling mounds and a few long par
fours from the second set might make the course a bit too difficult.
As with all five Doral layouts, the McLean 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. Each tee box has yardage posted
to the center of the green. 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 initial hole will give you a good indication of the environment you will encounter throughout the layout. A short carry over water leads to an ample
fairway with green-side mounding and bunkers. The undulations near the putting surface can create some uneven lies for chips and pitches. Number two
presents a longer carry, with more mounding and deep sand traps near the green. Par is a great score on the number one handicapped third, which
doglegs right. Staying on the fairway is important here - don't get too greedy in attempting to cut off distance. This is one monster golf hole from the tips
(469 yards). A simple par three with plenty of room and a short par five follow - both are good scoring holes. The sixth is a pretty par three that is nearly all
carry over a pond. It is best to error long here. A narrow fairway with water right and residences left greet you on the 7th tee. The approach is very
demanding, as the hazard juts out towards the fairway immediately in front of the putting surface. There is bail out room left on this lushly landscaped hole.
The par four 8th is one of the most straightforward and score-able holes on the course, and precedes another relatively easy mid range four par. The tee
shot on nine presents ample room, but the approach over water is a bit more challenging. Anything hit near the 125 yard marker is in great shape. The hazard comes into play about 70 yards out.
A wide fairway with a canal running all along the right side is featured on ten. There is one pond short left and another just past the putting surface. Eleven
is a good test for a par three, and plays nearly a full club uphill. The 12th is the number 18 handicap, and is followed by the #2 handicapped par four 13th
.Both the tee shot and approach are tight, and the fairway is quite rolling. The water hazard on the right sneaks precariously close to the green on the
short side right. The island green on 14 makes for a small target - about 20 yards in diameter. There is no room for error here. A narrow fairway with water
right and residences left leads to a raised green on 15. This is a tough approach. Number 16 is also demanding off the tee, with water right and out of
bounds left. A good tee shot is necessary to set up a good angle to a green that features an intrusion into the fairway in front of the putting surface, by the
pond on the right. Number 17 is tough - The fairway is initially generous, but tightens considerably and plays to a raised green with another water hazard
short right. The closing hole affords an opportunity for a strong finish. Grip it and rip it as you carry the pond in front of the tees. There is plenty of room
although left center on the fairway will set up the easiest approach. Be wary of going long as the slope past the green leads quickly to a pond.
The McLean 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 Jim 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.