DORAL GOLF RESORT AND SPA (305-592-2000)
Florida Golf Course Review
The Red Course at Doral was designed by Dick Wilson and Robert Von Hagge. On our June visit we had the opportunity to play with some members of the
club, and learned that many local folks consider the Red course to be their favorite layout at Doral. This may not be true with heavy hitters, as the Red
Course measures just 6146 yards from the tips. What is appreciated however is the wonderful variety in design, with an equal number of holes shaped to
the left and to the right, and the incredibly beautiful landscaping that is consistent throughout the layout. The six par threes here are gorgeous mid-length
holes, each with protective bunkering and 3 with water hazards in play. The four par fives are very interesting, and are ranked as the one through four
handicaps. This par 70 layout features water hazards on 14 holes, and also has 68 sand bunkers spread out along the fairways and near the putting
surfaces. The Bermuda greens here run true - with mild undulations, but are noticeably small in size, creating the need for accuracy in iron play. 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
A key to scoring well here is to manage the par fives, avoid penalties on the par threes, and to "light up" the par fours. Only one (number 18) plays over
400 yards from the tips, and the average length of the par fours from the blue tees (6058 yards) is 367 yards. The white tees measure 5596 and the
forward tees 5096. The slope ratings are relatively stable at 114-121. This is one course where the average golfer can play with the big boys, and tee off
from the championship boxes. Ladies, seniors and juniors and resort golfers will especially find this course to be user friendly. The fairways are generous
enough that driver can be used more often than not - but location and placement off the tee is of prime importance. As with the other four courses at Doral
- the Bermuda "grass gone wild" rough is a challenge to play out off, whether pitching or chipping greenside, or attempting to recover from an errant tee shot.
As with all five Doral layouts, the Red 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 opening hole is one of Doral's prettiest - but it certainly has some teeth for an initial hole. At 561 yards (556 from the blue and 510 from the whites),
length is needed off the tee here more than any other hole on the course. Add a formidable water hazard on the right, and a raised green well protected
by bunkers, and you have a challenging beginning. You get your first taste of the small greens on two, which is a simple par three. Sand traps along the
right fairway and green-side dictate an approach from the left on the third, which precedes another mid length par four - one that doglegs gently right. The
short par five fifth is the course's number one handicap. A long and well placed drive over the corner of the water hazard may afford an opportunity to
reach in two. The right side of the fairway is the place to be here. Number six is a pretty par three over water to a raised green. Pay attention to the pin
placement, as this putting surface is two-tiered. There is a narrow opening between two trees off the tee on seven. Land on the right side of the fairway
and this is an easy approach. The eighth is a simple par three that plays into the prevailing wind, and is followed by a short four par, with a large bunker
crossing the fairway just 30 yards in front of the green. Holes 6 - 9 present a good stretch of scoring opportunities.
The back side begins with another challenging par five. A water hazard that juts into the fairway before the green along the right side may make long
hitters think twice about attempting to reach in two. The 11th demands an iron shot placed below the hole on a double tiered green, and is followed the
course's number two handicap. A pond left of the green that comes into play 100 yards out, and a well bunkered putting complex provide the challenge
on this dogleg left par five. The 13th features water short right and all along the left side, which creates the need for an accurate approach. The water
along the right should not come into play on the par three 14th, but a deep front bunker must be avoided. A drive to the left center of the fairway leaves a
good angle to the green on 15. The hazard in front and left of the green is formidable. From this photo, you can appreciate that the Miami International
Airport is just 5 minutes away from the Doral Resort...how convenient is that? A high arcing iron shot that lands on the putting surface without hitting a jet,
is in demand on this hole. If the wind is up, this one is tricky. A tee shot that misses the bunker on the right and lands safely 125 yards out is the required
play on 17. A good score here will elevate your confidence for the longest par four on the Red, which completes an enjoyable round. This rolling fairway
plays slightly downhill on the approach to a well bunkered green complex.
The Red 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.