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Blue Monster highlights golf options for a long Miami layover

By S. Adam Cardais,
Contributor
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The Doral Golf Resort & Spa and its famed Blue Monster course are only minutes from Miami International Airport. (Courtesy Doral)

If you travel a lot on business, odds are you've stopped more than once at Miami International Airport, one of the world's busiest hubs.

If you're also a golfer, it's one of America's best places for a layover. The airport is only minutes from several terrific Miami clubs, including the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, home of the Blue Monster.

Here's a bit more information about the spectacular golf options near Miami International Airport.

Doral Golf Resort & Spa: Only minutes from the airport, the famed Doral is home to five world-class courses, including perhaps the most famous 18 in America.

Designed by Dick Wilson design and later reworked by Raymond Floyd, the Blue Monster has been hosting PGA Tour events for more than 40 years. It reopened in September after a four-month renovation to ready it for the 2007 WGC-CA Championship.

"One of the true dynamic golf gems in the country," the 7,125-yard course is known for its long fairways, undulating greens, thick rough and strategic bunkers. GOLF Magazine has ranked its No. 18 one of the Top 100 Holes in the World.

With its frequent star turns on television, the Blue Monster overshadows its Doral siblings, the Gold, Red, Silver and Great White courses. While all offer excellent golf, only the Great White, named for designer Greg Norman, is mentioned in the same breath as the Blue. Also topping 7,000 yards, its difficulty wins fans and detractors in equal number.

The four "other" Doral courses share some common factors. One is water: The drink is a factor on most of the 72 holes. Another is distraction. Planes buzz overhead on route to the airport, and the Silver, Gold and Red snake through sometimes noisy neighborhoods.

Miami Beach Golf Club: Just shy of five miles from the airport, this historic course opened in 1923. In 2002 it underwent a $10 million renovation overseen by Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates.

The team gave the course a thorough overhaul, even constructing a new clubhouse. Today the course is a delight to play, with its lush green fairways and stunning water features.

Briar Bay Golf Course: Located 11 miles from the airport, this nine-hole track is perfect for a short layover. The 3,966-yard, par-31 executive course was designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge and opened in 1975.

 
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