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|The Blue Monster at Doral is a must-play for golfing buddies looking for action. (GolfPublisher.com)|
For a buddies' golf weekend, when time in the clubs is as much as a priority as time on the courses, Miami is the perfect destination.
The city isn't long on quantity when it comes to golf courses, so that means you won't feel pressure to get in as many rounds as possible or waste time arguing over where to play. But a lot of what is here is world-class (two words: Blue Monster).
And off-course, the options are limitless. From excellent restaurants and bars to clubs where the action runs all night, Miami has all the nightlife you can handle. Here are our recommendations for what to do on and off course on a bachelors' golf trip to Miami.
Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort & Spa: It's simple: If you're heading the Miami to golf, you have to hit Doral. Located within earshot of the airport, the Blue Monster is one of the most recognizable courses in America, having hosted PGA Tour events for more than 40 years.
This 7,125-yard course has many strategic bunkers, long fairways, undulating greens and some seriously thick rough, the most formidable feature of the track. And don't let your buddies talk you into playing it from the back tees like a tour star.
"Many first-timers try to play the Monster 'like the pros' - that is, they blast off from the tee," Tim McDonald wrote in a recent GolfFlorida.com review. "Think again. Doral's difficulty lies in its thick Bermuda rough and bunker- and water-squeezed landing areas. You must be long and accurate or - like the pros - wily."
In 1945 it was slated to be chopped up for a subdivision, but the citizens of Miami shelled out a cool million to save it, some donating royal palms and other trees to fill barren spots in the track. Today La Gorce measures 6,802 yards from the championship tees and 6,458 from the tournaments.
Miami Beach Golf Club: This historic course opened in 1923. Nearly 80 years later it got a $10 million facelift from the team of Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates. The group gave the course a thorough overhaul, even constructing a new clubhouse from scratch. The result is a pleasure to play, with its lush green fairways and stunning water features.
Shula's: Owned by legendary former Dolphins coach Don Shula, this is a great place to get a steak. TravelGolf.com national golf editor McDonald gives two reasons why Shula's Steak 2 is a must-visit restaurant for golf-trip guys: the 48-ounce porterhouses and all the football players you'll see there.
Bungalou's Bar & Grill: If you and your crew do tackle the Blue Monster, you probably won't have much energy left after the round. Bungalou's, located at Doral, is a perfect place to refuel after battling the big blue, serving up delicious food in a casual Caribbean atmosphere.
Club Deep: Party into the wee hours at one of the oldest clubs in South Beach. Deep boasts a 2,000-gallon aquarium dance floor. And don't worry if it's not to your liking; just spill out onto the streets of South Beach, one of the most dynamic, action-packed stretches of seaside property in America.
February 1, 2007
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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