Sunday, December 25, 2005

Golf - last round for the year...

On Wednesday, December 14, 2005 I played my last round of golf for the year. While in southern Florida for a business meeting at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa I was fortunate enough to play the Blue Monster which has been host to a prestigious annual PGA Tour event for more than 40 years; currently the Ford Championship at Doral. The course features long fairways (totalling 7,125 yards for the tournament tees) with undulating greens and plenty of water hazards, bunkers and very deep bermuda rough. The famous 18th hole (pictured) with its signature fountain is one of the most recognized symbols in golf.

The Doral Resort consists of five excellent eighteen hole courses; I have now played the Gold Course, (one year ago) and the Blue Monster. The five courses are:

PGA Tour legend Raymond Floyd recently redesigned the Gold Course to follow a traditional Florida layout, incorporating gently contoured greens, strategic bunkering and water surrounding 16 holes. The course also features narrow, tree-lined fairways and finishes with a dramatic par 4 island green on the 18th hole. This course hosted the 1999 PGA Qualifying School finals.

The Great White Course was designed by three-time Doral champion Greg Norman. It appears to be quite challenging, and the feedback on the Great WhiteCourse from those I spoke with the day I played were very positive. I plan to play the Great White Course next time I am in the area and time permits.

The Blue Monster was a joy to play; with permanent, fixed television stands on nearly every hole, you indeed know you are on a championship course when playing - the course also presents perhaps the most interesting and challenging layout of sand bunkers I have ever experienced.

The day was absolutely georgeous with not one cloud in the sky. The temperature was in the 70's the entire day with full sun. I could not have picked a better day or time of year to play Doral; and especially the Blue Monster which I have wanted to play for years now. While I won't disclose my score, I would like to make it known that I parred the 15th hole (a signature hole par 3) and it made my day!