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Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral Set for May Debut


Work is continuing on the former Silver Course at Doral Resort in Miami. When it reopens in May following an extensive renovation, the layout will be called the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral. Named after golf instructor Jim McLean, a top-100 instructor who has operated the Jim McLean Golf School at Doral for nearly 20 years, the layout is McLean's first full course-design project.

The Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral offers a fair test of skill and shot-making. The first three holes on the McLean Course are consecutive par-4's approaching nearly 500 yards apiece. The course contains design features that enhance aesthetics as well as course strategy, and will be grassed with Tifway 419 Bermuda grass to provide more consistent playing conditions. In addition, a new irrigation system was installed, new cart paths constructed, and bunkers designed to complement the overall strategy.

McLean's most significant changes to the par-70 layout, which offers a unique collection of par-3s, include widened fairways, enhanced water hazards and more length that will take it from 6,557 yards to over 7,100 yards. The 14th hole is a par-3 highlighted by an island green, and is part of McLean's "Bermuda Triangle" on the back nine. This hole will test a golfer's mettle as the tee boxes have been moved 80 yards to the right and lengthened by 30 yards from the professional tees.

The par-4 13th hole will demand a tee shot that sets up a 220-yard carry over a lake to the putting surface. The par-4 15th will have a new professional tee behind the 14th's island green, which adds 50 yards to the hole. The 15th green has been enhanced with a new false front.

"This is truly a championship-caliber golf course, and you will not find three more challenging starting golf holes anywhere in Florida," said McLean of holes 13-15. "Moving the course from a par 71 to a par 70 not only makes it quite challenging from the professional tees, but it provides a very competitive and fun amateur-friendly course from the closer tees."

In 2008 Doral earned designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and the new course complements the resort's environmental approach. As part of the new design Doral was able to reduce 10 acres of maintainable turfgrass by replacing it with native grasses such as Cordgrass and Dune Sunflower. These species provide wildlife habitat and require less resources to maintain. Aquatic plantings were also added to many lake features to enhance water quality and promote aquatic wildlife. The installation of the new irrigation system will decrease water usage and enable firmer, faster playing conditions.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Jim McLean on this golf course re-design, and proud to name the course in his honor," said Darrin Helfrick, Golf General Manager at Doral Golf Resort & Spa, A Marriott Resort. "As a part of the Doral family for nearly 20 years, Jim knows every inch of our courses and understands the needs of our guests. We are confident that this re-design will provide an enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels, while offering some of Doral's most memorable golf holes."

Similar to the famous Blue Monster Course, the most recognizable of Doral's five tracks and site of the World Golf Championships - CA Championship for the past two years, the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral will utilize TifEagle greens, considered to be the fastest type of Bermuda grass. The resort also features the Great White, Red and Gold Courses.

In addition to designing the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral, in 2008 McLean signed a 10-year contract with Doral Golf Resort & Spa, to retain the location of his golf school, where it's been since 1990. For more information about the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral, visit www.doralresort.com.