Doral Resort & Spa: Not under Donald Trump's golf umbrella yet

By Jason DeeganNovember 11, 2011, 1:27 am

MIAMI, Fla. -- The Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort, should be ready to party, showcasing its 50th anniversary in 2012.

Instead this iconic 693-room resort, with five courses in south Florida, is operating under the cloud of bankruptcy. It received a jolt of publicity when it was reported that Donald Trump wanted to purchase Doral and four of its five courses (the Great White reportedly wouldn’t be included). But it’s hardly a done deal.

Paige Koerbel, Doral’s general manager since January, said nothing official has been signed. He said Trump is in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to the negotiations. He doesn’t expect anything final before February, 2012.

“He says he owns it but that’s premature,” Koerbel said, as we talked about the potential sale in the Bossa Nova Lounge last night. “He could walk away right now and not a nickel would change hands.'

Morgan Stanley’s CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. pulled the plug on five golf resorts, including Doral, the 780-room Grand Wailea resort in Hawaii and the 739-room Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, in January when a billion-dollar bond came due. Doral has been operating in bankruptcy protection since February.

Today, the resort was hopping with several large groups, including one that brought in Raymond Floyd for a clinic. I’m sure other resorts wish bankruptcy looked so good for the bottom line.

Koerbel was cautious when talking about how Trump might change the resort should the purchase go through. He declined to talk about the TPC status of the famed Blue Monster course, home of Doral’s World Golf Championship event in March. The three-year contract expires next year. Whether Doral remains under the Marriott flag would also be in question. 

But Koerbel did say Trump could be good for the resort. It has been reported that Trump has committed to invest $150 million in Doral. Trump owns and/or operates nine other golf properties.

“In all likelihood, Trump would be good for the courses,' said Korbel. 'He’s a golf nut. He would love to be a part of the PGA Tour.'

Doral, built in 1962, has experienced many upgrades to its rooms, spa, golf courses and restaurant scene in recent years. Yet there’s much more to do. One guest I was interviewing brought up how the property looked “aged” without me even broaching the subject.

Darrin Helfrick, the resort’s golf general manager, said Doral has a bright future.

”Everyone (who has offered to purchase Doral) has talked about $30 to $35 million dollars in upgrades. That’s rooms, golf, hotel,” he said. “Either way, we are excited for the sale to happen.”

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: