Architect Hanse brainstorming Doral redesign


DORAL, Fla. ' As the affable Gil Hanse unrolls the plans for a redesigned Blue Monster he cautions, That (7,600-yard) number is not going to happen. Im not sure 7,500 (yards) is going to happen.

Hanse, who will begin reworking the aged south Florida layout back into shape following next years championship, met with officials and players this week to talk about the makeover and solicit ideas.

Although the initial plans have room for a course that could be stretched beyond 7,600 yards, Hanse stressed there are no plans to do that. In fact, after a conversation with Hanse early Saturday at Doral, GTC was encouraged by his less-is-more approach.

There will be additional yardage, most notably on the par-5 first hole, which ranked 904th in difficulty out of 918 holes last year on Tour.

Hanse plans to move the green 100 yards back on the other side of an existing creek and shift the tee box on the second hole to the left for a better angle into that green.

Other potential highlights include a peninsula green for the par-3 15th hole and shifting the 10th hole to the left to make room for a larger driving range that will also bring a large pond left of the fairway into play more off the tee.

Hanse, who was hired by Dorals new owner Donald Trump, also plans to expand almost all of the Blue Monsters greens to their original dimensions and create a greater variety of pin positions and larger driving areas.

Its originally a Dick Wilson golf course, and I think he's one of the most under appreciated architects, certainly of his time and maybe in all of golf architecture, Hanse said. We wanted to look at the plans, really sort of understand, digest what he had tried to accomplish here and how that has changed, how things have deviated from the plan; what was relevant to today's game, today's players, and then take that and sort of incorporate it into our own design thoughts.