SBD/March 6, 2013/Facilities

Change Would Do You Good: Trump Plans Drastic Modifications For TPC Blue Monster

Trump says changes will include an amphitheatre at holes 9 and 18
Players in this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship "have been gushing about the glorious condition of the TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral," but course owner Donald Trump is going to "blow it up" when he begins renovations on the course Monday, according to Steve Waters of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Trump before last year's tournament said that "major changes would take place after this year's tournament." But "even Trump, who is an avid golfer, didn't realize just how many changes were in store when he first sat down with course designer Gil Hanse." The signature 18th hole "will be left alone, other than getting new grass." Trump said that the changes will "create an amphitheatre at 9 and 18." He also plans "lots of mounding to give spectators a better view of the players." Golfer Justin Rose said, "We play a lot of resorts. Sometimes after 20, 30 years, they need a bit of an update and I think this golf course will benefit from it" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/6). GOLFWEEK's Bradley Klein notes Hanse's new design "will add length, make the par 5s more challenging, widen the practice range, bring water more into play, introduce more risk-reward elements, improve drainage and expand greens to recapture long-lost hole locations." Hanse credits Trump with "coming up with the idea of creating a common viewing area for spectators to take in the action on the panorama provided by the 18th green, ninth green and 10th tee." But when it "came to a proposed island green, Hanse balked" (GOLFWEEK, 3/1 issue). Trump Organization Exec VP/Development & Acquisitions Ivanka Trump said the renovations "will be fully comprehensive." She said the PGA Tour is "very excited about our renovations for Doral, to take an already great resort and just bring it to the next level" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 3/5).

TIME FOR AN UPGRADE: Golf Channel's Todd Lewis said Doral is a "great course in a sense, but it really is very old and tired and probably not up to snuff in terms of the way the players are hitting the balls now.” Donald Trump said the course is going to change from “not fan-friendly to extremely fan-friendly." Lewis said the planned renovations of course will “alter every hole on this golf course” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 3/5). Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella said it "should be exciting to see what the end result is here” following the $200M renovations. Ginella: “Hopefully this is more Hanse-heavy in the renovation and less Donald Trump. I don’t want any of the waterfalls and stuff like that.” Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman said, “It needs a makeover simply because I think golf courses need more than one or two memorable holes” ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 3/6). 
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