Mar
5
2014
Hole-by-hole overview of the course changes at the Blue Monster
By Stephanie Wei under Architecture
The one thing that hasn't changed, the 18th hole
The Blue Monster is now officially called Trump National Doral. Almost immediately after Tiger Woods finished hoisting the trophy in the winner’s circle last year, Donald Trump brought in the bulldozers and tore apart the old course.

Trump hired architect Gil Hanse to execute the renovations. A year later, the course, which plays host to this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, is familiar and somewhat recognizable, but it’s certainly received a nice facelift.

Here’s a list of the modifications that were completed:

General
  • Rebuilt and recontoured all greens in spirit of Dick Wilson original plans and repositioned several
  • Rebuilt and repositioned all bunkers
  • Rebuilt all tees and repositioned several
  • Rebuilt all fairways and regraded landing areas
#1 – 572 yd par 5
  • Shifted green +/- 40 yds back to #2 tees across canal
  • Filled in canal and created pond right of green
  • Redesigned 2nd landing area and green complex
#2 – 448 yd par 4
  • Shifted tees back left
  • Shifted green back right and filled in canal behind green for spectators
  • Created pond left of green
#3 – 436 yd par 4
  • No significant changes
#4 – 203 yd par 3
  • No significant changes
#5 – 421 yd par 4
  • Shifted green back right
#6 – 432 yd par 4
  • No significant changes
#7 – 471 yd par 4
  • Eliminated tee across service path
  • Shifted green back right adjacent to lake
  • Removed trees between lake and fairway
#8 – 549 yd par 5
  • Shifted green left against lake behind #9 tees
  • Created spectator mounding at old green site
#9 – 200 yd par 3
  • Shifted tees right behind old #8 green site
  • Shifted green right against lake opposing #18 green
  • Filled in canal behind green to create space for hospitality and spectators
#10 – 614 yd par 5
  • Shifted tees left closer to #9 green to accommodate practice tee expansion
  • Filled in canal separating #9 green from #10 tee
  • Shifted green back right +/- 60 yds closer to #11 tees
  • Second landing area now at old green site
#11 – 422 yd par 4
  • Shifted tees back +/- 20 yds
  • Expanded center fairway bunker to re-create carry over bunker to right fairway
#12 – 601 yd par 5
  • No significant changes
#13 – 238 yd par 3
  • Raised back ½ of green
  • Created spectator mound behind green
#14 – 484 yd par 4
  • Shifted green back left and expanded canal behind green into a lake
#15 – 153 yd par 3
  • Shifted tees forward
  • Created a peninsula green by expanding lake into old fairway and behind the green
  • Created spectator mound right of green
#16 – 341 yd par 4
  • Created options on teeing ground for a drivable par 4
  • Expanded lake into left side of fairway and opened view into the green
  • Filled in canal behind the green for hospitality and spectators
#17 – 425 yd par 4
  • Shifted green right and expanded canal into a pond right of the green
  • Created mounding for hospitality and spectators left of the green
#18 – 471 yd par 4
  • No significant changes

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“Historically, it’s one of, if not the most difficult finishing holes on Tour,” said Hanse, who was selected to design the golf course for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “From that standpoint we felt there was a lot of quality here, let’s just leave it alone.  It’s provided year-in and year-out a dramatic finish for the golf course so we really didn’t think it needed any changing.”

Added Trump: “We actually lifted the fairway about a foot and a half of sand, and we moved the green over just slightly.  But it’s an identical green, moved over slightly, it’s actually a little bit longer.  We moved it over slightly because we didn’t like seeing cinderblock holding up the green.

“So we moved the green over because now, if you notice, one of the things that a lot of the players are saying is that they have never seen grass that goes into the water so beautifully.  Well underneath you have shale, but they didn’t have any shale there, or they knocked it out probably during construction many years ago.

“We have a hole that’s essentially the same hole but much higher quality in terms of grassing in terms of weather.  If it rains, you can see the same thing as I told you about before.  It’s going to hold up beautifully.  But essentially it’s the same hole but it’s really beautified.”

(Getty Images/Scott Halleran)