DORAL great course whatever the tournament is called

Doral Blue Monster

Doral Blue Monster

This week’s WGC-CA Championship at Doral will be a great tournament because in spite of all the “improvements” done to Dick Wilson’s superb design, Doral Blue is the perfect Florida course. In fact, most of the so called improvements have been tossed aside and Doral is closer now to the original grand design. Dick Wilson took 200 acres of everglades and designed a true test – one of the best flat courses in the world. Too much water for some purists but Florida golf requires water, they have to dig out lakes to use the fill for fairways and green sites. Next door to the Blue is the newest revised White Course, the Great White Course. It’s one of Greg Norman’s poorest designs, but he was limited to less acreage. The original White course was better in my opinion, but didn’t get much play as it didn’t have a celebrity name attached.

I’ve played the Blue Monster more than 100 times over the years – luckily I got to work there a few weeks in the winters helping coordinate IBM incentive groups. One winter I managed 6 straight weeks, and since every day we had a 1:00 shotgun for the IBMers it meant the course was ours in the mornings. Do you know how many holes 4 pros with 4 carts can play? too many. I remember playing the 18th hole (the real blue monster) 8 times in a row! 8 times in an hour! that’s a few balls.

Anyway, Camilo Villegas will probably win his second PGA Tour event in a row. The Columbian, playing both the European and PGA tours has the whole game and can read the greens since they are in Spanish. Not sure if you noticed but when he won last week he probably made only five conventional swings in four rounds, every shot was a different form of required punch, knock down or worm burner, brilliant! How would you club fit a player like him – the stiffest possible shaft but every swing is different.

Phril will be back to defend, and he might be the top American threat. Otherwise I see a lot of European tour players cashing in. It must be making Cory Pavin nervous as he thinks about the thrashing his Ryder Cup team will take in the mushy 2010 course in Wales. Of course, it’s a long time until September, could get worse. They say Cory is talking to the Olympic committee to see how fast he can get Camillo, VJ and a few others US citizenship. Oh, I just read you can’t pull that Olympic stuff in golf, not yet anyway!


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Gary Slatter

Venerable Canadian golf pro Gary Slatter discusses his opinions on the state of golf, golf course design and construction, teaching and more, based on a lifetime in the business.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hey Gary, love the blogging, keep on writing!. Where are you going now Raffles has left Canouan, anywhere exciting?

  • hey Pro yes I also remember those 1 hour and 45 minute 18 hole rounds…..and the beating you and Pro smith would put on Jeff Bob and me…..we always paid but in margarita’s at Penrods… the way the Doral Blue Monster should be a must for everyone….fantastic track and great experience

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