DORAL, Fla. – Whatever it will be called, the refashioned Blue Monster that players will face when the PGA Tour returns to the South Florida staple in 2014 will be dramatically different.
“It needs a lot of work. It’s a little tired, but that’s OK,” said Donald Trump, whose organization purchased Doral for $150 million last month and plans a $200 million renovation of the entire property, including the golf course and resort.
The centerpiece of that makeover will be the renovation of the famed Blue Monster, which has hosted the south Florida Tour stop since 1962.
Gil Hanse, who was awarded the bid to design the Olympic course in Rio for the 2016 Games on Wednesday, will lead the redesign effort, which will begin after the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Among the highlights of Hanse’s proposed redesign is additional length across the 7,334-yard layout and the creation of a peninsula green at the par-4 16th hole.
“What we thought to do was to stretch it to its maximum distance, which would be about 7,600 yards,” Hanse said. “We’ve talked to Tour officials who have talked to Tiger (Woods) and Geoff (Ogilvy). We’ll try to talk to Phil (Mickelson) today to get an idea what they feel is appropriate.”
The Blue Monster was built by Dick Wilson in 1962 and was renovated in 1996 by Raymond Floyd and 1999 by Jim McLean.
Once considered one of the Tour’s most feared layouts, Doral has ranked among the easiest courses recent years, posting under-par scoring averages the last two seasons. Doral’s 18th hole, for example, ranked 904th last year in difficulty out of 918 holes with a 4.42 scoring average.
“Doral can be the absolute best,” Trump said. “The bones of the place are phenomenal. It was laid out brilliantly.”
Trump also said he plans to almost double the size of the current driving range and is considering a plan that would combine the land from the adjacent Gold and Red courses to build another championship course.
As for what the property will be called Trump said Doral will always be a part of the name. “It will always be Doral,” he said. “When we’ve spent the money to make it world-class place then we will make a decision.”
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