International Golf Club also has the most spectacular collection
of par threes of any golf course in Florida. As editor of Florida
Golf Magazine, I came to this realization, New Years Eve 2010
while standing on the back tee of the 228 yard par three, 5th
hole at Trump International.
The back tees of the long
228 yard, par three 5th Hole at beautiful Trump International
Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
is the view, looking back from left of the 5th green, on the
par three 5th Hole of the Championship Course at Trump International
three golf holes are an integral part of every golf course design,
but at Trump International Golf Club theyre more than that
much more. The first par three at Trump International is
seldom mentioned in brochures or magazine articles. Perhaps this
is because its overshadowed by the reputation of the mountainous
2.5 million dollar waterfall on the par three, 17th. Yet, as
I looked out at the superbly designed green complex of the distant
5th Hole, it was obvious to this editor that this beautifully
ornamented Par 3 could pass as the starring signature hole anywhere
else in Florida.
warning, who should pull up totally unannounced; but none other
than the golf course owner himself, Mr. Donald J. Trump. Trump,
the self-made billionaire and host and co-producer of the mega-hit
reality show "The Apprentice" is an avid golfer with
a real passion for the game. He started playing golf while he
attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance.
His handicap has been as low as one, but because of the time
constraints of his hectic schedule, he now plays to a four handicap.
He doesn't drink or smoke, but its fair to say that he very much
has golf in his blood. His mother was born and raised in Scotland,
the home of golf so he comes by his love for the
game quite honestly.
to him in his golf cart was his four year-old son, Barron. Looking
very much like a team in a father-son tournament, they were dressed
in matching golf apparel; white pants and shirts and red ball-caps.
Hi fellas, Trump said to my golf partner, Dr. Gary
Wiren and me, Are you guys having fun? Oh yes,
answered Gary, it turned out to be a beautiful day.
Then, just like
a normal father, Trump introduced his four year-old son with
the greatest of pride, saying, Joe, this is my son Barron.
Can you say hello, Barron? Then, with a wee bit of an Austrian
accent that he picked-up from his grandfather, four year-old
Barron spoke right up, saying, I saw a helicopter, with
spinning blades! Beaming, and looking quite serine, Trump
concurred, Thats right son.
I grabbed my tiny digital recorder and then, addressing our gracious
host, I said, I love this long Par three, Mr. Trump, but
something seems different about it since we played it last year.
Mr. Trump grinned and then kindly pointed out, Thats
because since then the tees have been reshaped slightly and I
had the back tees moved to the right and made significantly larger.
We did that because the trees on the left side of the hole had
grown so big that a large part of the golf hole was obstructed
from view from the old back tee. Now, the hole looks and plays
much better from the back tees. Theres also more room now
to move the tee markers around, which is always nice on a par
Trump went on to say, I like the balance in the par threes
on the original 18 holes here at Trump International because
they give you tremendous variety. With #5 being 228 yards, then
#7 is 191, and then #11 is 171 yards and of course #17, the signature
hole is 215 yards, so we have a nice balance. You get to use
four different clubs on four different par threes, which is a
good test of course design.
of design, I said, Jim Fazio did a nice job designing
this course didn't he? Trump answered, Jimmy did
a wonderful job, hes an artist and Trump International
is his proverbial Mona Lisa. Trying to be funny, I then
quipped, Since you have more money than the Pope, I would
say that Jim Fazio was more like a Michelangelo than a De Vinci,
and Trump International was his proverbial Sistine Chapel.
Not amused, Trump remained stoically silent. He didnt even
Donald Trump is a very involved golf
course owner, and is seen here directing his golf course superintendant,
Trump is a lot of fun to play golf with, but he doesnt
joke around a lot. He is however a very personable guy and is
also very generous with words of encouragement to his fellow
golfers. Built like a linebacker, at 6 foot 3 inches tall he
can and does drive a golfball 280 yards with very little effort.
Like a lot of people, he spends a good part of the winter playing
golf in Florida, and there is truly no finer golf course to play
in Florida than the Jim Fazio designed, 18 hole, par 72 course,
nor the New Nine at the ultra-private Trump International
I then said, You're pretty much a hands on kind of guy
as far as working on the golf course is concerned, aren't you,
Mr. Trump? Trump replied, You know, the thing is
I really love doing it. This golf course is so beautiful and
Im very proud of it. This is fun for me. With that
said, the billionaire Scotsman and his wee bairn laddie
said their good-byes and left us to finish our round of golf.
After my golf
partner, Golf Teacher Hall of Famer, Dr. Gary Wiren eagled the
next hole which was the reachable par four, 335 yard, dog-leg
right 6th Hole, we came upon the second par three at Trump International,
the very challenging and beautifully ornamented 7th Hole. Precariously
guarded from the back tees by a 191 yard carry over water, the
7th seemed progressively more spectacular than the previous yet
much longer par three 5th Hole.
The view from the forward
tees of the par three 7th Hole at Trump International Golf Club
par threes are very much a reoccurring theme at Trump International
Golf Club, and as we continued on, playing all of its 27 holes
that day, Dr. Wiren very graciously explained for me and the
readers of a later to be published issue of Florida Golf Magazine
the intricate strategies entailed in the design of each of the
world class par threes at Trump International Golf Club.
one point during the our round that day, Dr. Wiren explained,
The real trick in golf course design is being able to execute
the aesthetic beauty without taking away from the true golf experience."
Upon hearing those sage words from the 75 year old PGA Master
Professional, it became crystal clear to this editor why Trump
International is Florida Golf Magazines 2011 Editors
Choice for Floridas Best Golf Course.
Florida is and
always will be a great golf destination, and there is certainly
no shortage of great golf courses here, nor great architects.
But, it is also equally true that there is no finer golf course
to be found in the Sunshine State than Trump International Golf
Club in West Palm Beach, nor is there one that exemplifies a
more pure golf experience.