The Monster Awaits

A fixture on the PGA Tour for five decades, Doral’s TPC Blue Monster is ready to challenge the Copa de las Americas field


Doral's Blue Monster should provide the 2013 Copa de las Americas competitors plenty of challenges. (Courtesy Doral Resort & Spa)
By Hunki Yun, USGA
December 19, 2012

Florida attracts millions of golfers from around the world, drawn by the quantity and quality of the courses, as well as the warm winter climate. And one of the most popular golf destinations in the Sunshine State is the Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami, host of the 2013 Copa de las Americas.

For 50 years, the resort founded by Doris and Al Kaskel has been a mecca of Florida golf, for both vacationing golfers and the best players in the world, who annually test their games against the TPC Blue Monster course. The most difficult of the resort’s five courses, the Blue Monster adds to its championship legacy with the Copa de las Americas.

RELATED CONTENT
Hole by Hole Description Of Blue Monster
Doral was the site of a PGA Tour event in 1962, the year it opened, and the Tour has returned every year since – the resort now hosts the World Golf Championships’ Cadillac Championship. A demanding test of golf, the Blue Monster has produced an impressive roster of winners, including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.

Designed by Dick Wilson, the Blue Monster tests players with plenty of sand and water. Both types of hazards are prominent features of the 18th hole, which consistently ranks among the most difficult holes on the PGA Tour. In 2012, the 467-yard hole played to a scoring average of 4.539, the second-toughest par 4 of the year.

During the Copa, the finishing hole will play at 388 yards for the women, 450 yards for the men. The difficulty of the hole is often exacerbated by a crosswind, which effectively shrinks the landing areas.   

The Blue Monster’s tough finish will likely dictate players’ course management as they look for birdie opportunities on the closing nine.

“Because 17 and 18 are pretty challenging coming in,” said Phil Mickelson, who won at Doral in 2009, “you want to take advantage of the birdie opportunities on 15 and 16, so you have to get aggressive.” 

Donald Trump, who bought the resort in 2012, has hired Gil Hanse to renovate the Blue Monster. Following the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship, the course will be closed so Hanse can make design changes intended to emphasize the strategic options provided by the layout.

“We are obviously making some significant changes to golf holes, but I think within the spirit of Dick Wilson, we'll try to recapture some of the stylistic elements,” said Hanse. “We’ll try to recapture some of his exciting green shapes, hole locations. 

“We’ll try to create a golf course where angles are relevant again and where it’s important to get to a proper side to score as opposed to just hitting it as far as you possibly can. If we can do some things that can hopefully enhance the interest and character in the course, that’s really our first and foremost goal.”

While he renovates the Blue Monster, Hanse will shuttle between Miami and Rio de Janeiro, where Hanse’s firm has partnered with U.S. Women’s Open champion Amy Alcott to design the course to be used during the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Rio Games will showcase golf’s international growth, especially in Central and South America. Three years earlier at Doral, the Copa de las Americas will offer a glimpse into the development of players from many of these emerging golf countries.

Hunki Yun is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Contact him at hyun@usga.org.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image