Trump's Doral vision includes tougher Monster
Monday, February 27, 2012
Donald Trump is about to acquire the Blue Monster.
The New York real estate magnate and golf course entrepreneur is finalizing the purchase of the 50-year-old, 650-acre Doral Resort and Spa near Miami for $150 million, two sources close to the deal told Golfweek. The expected purchase follows foreclosure proceedings on the preceding owner, Morgan Stanley, which had bought the resort for $501 million in 2007.
Golfweek also has learned that Trump has hired golf course architect Gil Hanse to undertake a dramatic renovation of the Blue Monster, the most famous of the resort’s five courses and home to the PGA Tour's annual World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship next month.
Hanse, whose work includes Castle Stuart in Inverness, Scotland, Boston Golf Club in Hingham, Mass., and a dramatic restoration of Los Angeles Country Club's North Course, has spent the past month studying the Doral site and Dick Wilson’s 1961 original design plan for the Blue Monster. The course subsequently was renovated, first by Raymond Floyd in 1996 and then by Jim McLean in 2003, but retains its original routing. The course has been a staple of the PGA Tour circuit since 1962, when it was home to the Doral CC Open Invitational.
Renovation work on the Blue Monster likely would not start until after the 2013 WGC-Cadillac. Preliminary plans including lengthening the course, with particular attention to moving six greens, and stretching out the opening hole, which is a short par-5. The driving range also will be expanded, all greens rebuilt, and a new turf cover of Bermudagrass will be installed.
Wilson’s plan for the golf course showed a 7,065-yard, par-72 layout, with dramatic use of bunkers on the inside of doglegs that featured turn points of 250 yards from the back tees. He also used a strong diagonal orientation of the greens to create strategy. Hanse and his design associate Jim Wagner will seek to reinstate those angles of play at distances more suitable to modern tournament play – all while making landing areas and greens more receptive for average resort goers.