J. Trump, along with esteemed Olympic course architect Gil Hanse
and David Pillsbury, President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties,
all three hit ceremonial first balls at the official opening
ceremony of the world-famous Blue Monster golf course at Trump
National Doral Miami, one of the newest additions to THE TRUMP
Hanse and his
business partner Jim Wagner spent a year working with Mr. Trump
redesigning and rebuilding the championship course which is now
open and receiving rave reviews. They also designed the new Red
and Gold courses.
2/6/2014 - Olympic course
architect Gil Hanse, Donald J. Trump and David Pillsbury, President
of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, at the opening ceremony of
the newly redesigned Blue Monster.
Blue Monster, which is known as an icon in the golf industry
and a host to the PGA Tour for over 50 years, underwent a total
transformation and features all new turf, greens, traps, fairways
tees and even lakes that are bigger and better than ever before.
In addition to creating a brand new updated course for players,
many changes have been implemented to specifically benefit the
Over a million
cubic yards of earth was moved in order to not only enhance the
strategy and beauty of the courses undulating topography,
but also to enhance the views for spectators. So now, every year
in March, the fans can easily watch the greatest players in the
world at the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship.
The Trump Hotel
Collections continued commitment to cater to all of their
guests needs, players and spectators alike, is perfectly aligned
with their dedication to provide personalized service on every
the major changes we implemented on the Blue Monster, said
Mr. Trump, was raising various aspects of the course to
make it a better experience for the fans. Before our redesign
there would be 25,000 people following Tiger Woods up the fairways,
hoping to see him sink a putt, and they couldnt see a thing
because the course was so flat. Improving the fan experience
was just as much of a priority for us as anything we did, and
I think the more course owners and Tour executives put fans first
there will be a surge in ticket sales, merchandise sales, sponsorship
Gil Hanses comments on redesigning
The Blue Monster:
When asked about
the challenges involved in redesigning The Blue Monster at Trump
National Doral Miami, world renowned golf course architect Gil
Hanse was quoted as saying, I think anytime youre
dealing with an iconic venue thats been on television for
50-plus years like Dorals Blue Monster has, youve
got to look at that with some level of sensitivity as you approach
the design changes. And so at first we looked at how we could
retain the full value of Dick Wilsons contribution here
in the golf course.
we got further into the project we really began to appreciate
the scale of the property. Its a massive 300-plus acres
devoted to one 18-hole golf course. And as the scale unfolded,
as we started to open the golf course up, Donald Trump came to
us and said, Hey, lets just make this bigger and
better. And at that point in time we started to look at
a lot of other opportunities that came up.
I think we started
with a restoration in mind, but for this one golf course to have
so much space provided us with ample opportunities to move some
things around.We made some significant changes and alterations
within the original corridors of Dick Wilsons routing to
the point that now we think of it as a brand new golf course.
Golf course owner, Donald J. Trump, hit the first ball at the
official opening ceremony of the redesigned Blue Monster at Trump
National Doral Miami on 2/6/2014.
Trumps take on the redesign:
Gil Hanse said, Donald's vision had a lot to do with the
major changes in the redesigning of the Blue Monster. He was
the one who suggested we turn the ninth and 18th holes into an
Originally, the golf course redesign started out as more
of a restoration. focusing on Dick Wilsons design
and what he actually built back in 1962. But as we got more into
the scale of this huge project, I said, to Gil, "If you
guys want to expand the scope of this, I'm all for it. I'd like
to make this golf course as dramatic as possible and all-new
would be fine for me."
Donald J. Trump and his daughter
Ivanka Trump are seen here on the job site during the renovation
and redesigning of The Blue Monster golf course at Trump National
said Mr. Trump, I asked Gil, What if we create a
stadium effect around nine and eighteen, and if we move it around
can we make the driving range much bigger? And that in
turn unlocked a lot of dominoes that just started falling into
place. Thats how this project went from a golf course restoration
to a redesign.
we already had a great golf hole in the 18th, so our focus was
how do we make the theatre bigger. So basically, what Gil and
I talked about was, "Okay, we've got the corporate hospitality
area and the spectators all around the back side of the 18th
green, what if we look at shifting the ninth green over closer
to the 18th and therefore open up the possibility of having a
huge amphitheater around two greens. So now the stage as you're
coming in is not only set for 18, but also for nine, and ten
New Royal Palms line the right side
of the teebox of the 614 yard, par five 10th hole of the newly
redesigned Blue Monster at Trump National Doral Miami.
chain of events opened up a lot of possibilities, said Trump.
By moving the ninth green over next to 18th green, it left
enough space to move the 10th tee, thereby making room to expand
the practice range for the players and the resort. Plus, now
the 10th hole is more like a true Cape hole, allowing the players
to bite off as much as they can handle with their tee-shot over
a Cape hole, asked Florida Golf Magazine editor, Joe Stine?
Trump thought for a moment and then began a lesson in golf course
architecture saying, Legendary architect Charles Blair
Macdonald is generally credited with designing the original hole
named Cape in 1911, which was the 14th at National
Golf Links on Long Island, but basically any hole with a diagonal
drive over a hazard can be called a Cape-style hole.
his impromptu dissertation Trump then said, Another key
component of a Cape hole is usually the fairway width. In general,
by choosing the shorter and safer route over the hazard you risk
hitting the ball through the fairway, whereas a more direct angle
toward the green deepens the effective landing area.
the challenge is deciding how much risk youre willing to
take. More risk taken off the tee earns an easier shot to the
green, provided you successfully execute the drive. A good Cape-style
hole challenges your mind, your heart and your swing. And thats
what golf is all about.
ninth green was shifted over, we started looking at the angle
from the ninth tee and then decided to put the ninth tee where
the 8th green used to be and shifted the new 8th green to-the-left,
said Mr. Trump.
moving the ninth green to make a stadium around the 9th and 18th
greens caused a domino effect that also allowed us to improve
holes 8, 9 and 10 and the driving range...a sort of miracle.
Hole #1 of The New Blue Monster
Made longer and tougher, the 1st hole of the newly redesigned
Blue Monster is a 572 yard par five with a large bunker in the
middle of the fairway up toward the green.
asked about his thought process while redesigning the opening
hole of the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral Miami, architect
Gil Hanse said, When Jim Wagner (Hanse business partner)
and I were looking at the golf hole we were talking a lot about
making it so difficult that all theyre going do is lay
up. Nobody wants that. You want to still see that drama. You
want to make sure that it has to be what we like to call an exceptional
It was one of
the easiest holes on Tour. I think stroke average-wise it was
just near 4.1 or 4.2. It was basically a guarantee birdie when
the pros stepped on the tee.
So we looked
again at the scale of the property and how we could move some
things around and it became apparent that there was some ground.
We added a little more than 80 yards to the hole, so it can now
play well over six hundred yards which downwind for some players
will still be reachable.
Here, early morning dew can
still be seen around the large fairway bunker that guards the
approach of the 572 yard, par five, 1st hole of the Blue Monster.
Just past the huge fairway
bunker is this beautiful landing area in front of the green of
the 572 yard, par five 1st hole of The Blue Monster at Trump
National Doral Miami.
we had to reposition new fairway bunkers correctly because they
were out of scale and most golfers were driving over them, and
then create an interesting thought process for the second shot
for the golfers who are going for it. Obviously its a very
challenging green, very long and narrow and set right up against
the pond on the right hand side with a bunker on the front left.
For the golfers
who are going lay up getting the desired angle to play their
shot into the different hole locations is really important. With
the penalty to the right side of the green being so harsh, a
water hazard, we felt we needed to give a little bit of room
to the left and the perceptive golfer will be able to figure
out, okay here's my miss I can use this bank if I miss it, it
will bounce and maybe kick onto the green. If I miss it wide
left now I've got a little perched downhill shot to a green that
is running away from me towards the water, so it's not a gimme.
As an architect you're always trying to find just the right balance.
So we tried to strengthen the golf hole, but still make them
have to think about options, and coming out of the blocks on
number one we think that golfers will be immediately hit with,
wow, okay this is a different ball game.
The Most Exciting Changes To
15 is a par three that now is 20 yards shorter but has a carry
over water to a peninsula green, and 16, is still a reachable
par four but now 30 yards shorter, with more risk in the form
of water down the left side of the hole.
of the biggest and most exciting changes made at Trump National
Dorals Blue Monster are at the par three 15th hole and
the par four, 16th hole. The 15th, a par 3 that now has a carry
over water to a peninsula green. The 16th is still a reachable
par 4, but with more risk as water can be found down the left
side of the hole.
had those holes designed as they are now as part of our original
design proposed to Mr. Trump, said Gil Hanes.
going to be the dramatic corner of the property where we felt
like we could make some positive contributions by making the
finishing stretch a little bit more exciting.
Where we really
started to expand the envelope was up around the clubhouse, eight,
nine and ten, the driving range, those areas. Thats when
the scale of this project really came out.
Hole #15 of The New Blue Monster
Pictured here, the 153 yard
par three 15th hole of The Blue Monster is a formidable peninsula
green. The new 16th hole can also be seen here in the distant
regard to the 15th hole of The Blue Monster, Hanse said, This
is a short par-3, which we think is important for the overall
balance for the golf course. The green actually stayed in the
same location as the old green; we just moved the water in and
expanded the pond. I think it is a very dramatic part of the
finishing stretch. The tiered green itself is almost like three
greens within one green, creating a lot of different hole locations.
to create a bit more drama to the finish we brought the water
dramatically into play on this hole. It was always off to the
side and never really part of the design. And so by pulling it
all the way across the golf hole it is definitely part of the
overall strategy that players will have to face. So from that
standpoint we think we've created a more dramatic piece of property
for the golf course, we've created a more dramatic golf hole
for the fans, and we think especially on Sunday when that pin
gets tucked over to the left, it will be more of a challenge
for the golfers as well.
par three its actually a pretty large putting green,
said Gil. As far as the toughest pin position on the green
I think the front left hole location is the most difficult because
it juts well out into the lake.
And I think even
with a short iron in their hands golfers will be still a little
bit jittery to go after that hole location, but when you' do
get up on the green youll see we built something into the
contour of the green where they can actually aim away and still
funnel or feed the ball down toward that hole location.
looked at the original 15th as a solid golf hole, but nothing
spectacular or really that exciting. But now I think its
one of the more exciting parts of the golf course.
Hole #16 of The New Blue Monster
The drivable 341 yard, dogleg left, par four 16th hole of The
newly re-designed Blue Monster.
Strategic bunkering around the green of the drivable 341 yard,
par four, dogleg left 16th hole.
though Hanse made the newly redesigned 16th hole 30 yards shorter
than it used to be, the water he added on the hole makes it still
trickier for the Tour players to drive the green like they used
to. Hanse said, Technology had made this hole more drivable
players were just hitting over the trees even though they
couldnt see the green complex. Now its back to a
point where we opened up the hole and brought water into play
off the tee if they want to make that carry into the green. If
they lay up into the fairway, the wedge shot will be very demanding
because we have some dramatic undulations to separate the hole
locations. You have to be very precise with that iron shot.
Hole #17 of The New Blue Monster
The 17th is sneaky tough.
The green is enormously deep (40 yards) and a miss-judged approach
shot could very likely cause a three-putt on this hole.
The Forward tees of the 425 yard par four 17th hole of The Blue
Monster at Trump National Doral Miami.
17th hole of The Blue Monster has been rebuilt as a classic Dick
Wilson par 4, touched up with more intricate bunkering by Gil
Hanse and Jim Wagner. The 430-yard hole calls for a left-to-right
shaped tee shot, followed by a distinctly opposite-shaped right-to-left
approach shot. It's a Wilson trademark, and this subtle mix of
rewarding different shot shapes within the same hole appeals
to those players looking to test all facets of their games. The
17th is sneaky tough. The green is enormously deep (40 yards)
and a miss-judged approach shot could very likely cause a three-putt
on this hole.
When asked how
come the 17th was the only one of the four finishing holes without
water in play, architect Hanse said, Jim Wagner, my design
partner, and I think that the 17th really sets the stage for
the 18th which is one of the strongest finishing holes on the
PGA Tour, and from that standpoint to have a golf hole immediately
before it that competes for any sort of attention, I think doesnt
really fit into the pace. And I believe Dick Wilson knew that
when he designed it. He was setting up the stage for that grand
Seen here is the 17th green of the newly redesigned Blue Monster
with the 18th tee and the clubhouse in the distant background.
Hole #18 of The New Blue Monster
The 18th has water on the
left and a bunker complex and trees on the right, and then an
approach over water into a narrow green that slopes toward the
par four 18th is Dick Wilson's most famous hole. The closer has
always required two perfect shots: a tee shot that avoids water
on the left and a bunker complex and trees on the right and then
an approach over water into a narrow green that slopes toward
the hazards. The Blue Monsters 18th hole has long been
known as one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour.
design of the new 18th to Dick Wilsons original design,
Gil Hanse said, I think for the most part, everything is
in the same place. But as we went through the entire property
we had to look at not only balancing the design and the esthetics,
which I think most people notice right away, but also practical
aspects of the course, like drainage, and trying to get the soil
structure right from a maintenance standpoint.
golf course has basically been lifted up in place, continued
Hanse. I think probably the most noticeable aspect of the
18th is that it feels like it sits a little higher on the ground
now. So when youre standing on the tee, that bank on the
left hand side that the longer hitters try to carry now looks
a little more daunting and a little bit more forceful in its
is pretty much still in place. Its a great enough challenge
for the Tour players let alone the resort guests. But now I think
the fans experience a much better tournament to watch.
Pages 26 - 35 - Summer 2014 Florida Golf Magazine ©Copyright
2014, All Rights Reserved.
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