Renovation news at PGA National, plus a look at Doral Golf Resort and Spa

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The Champion golf course at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens recently completed a $4.1-million renovation. Nicklaus Design Company and PGA National Golf Club General Manager of Golf Operations Scott Clark oversaw the course renovations and design alterations.

Course renovations included the installation of a state-of-the-art irrigation system, which will provide maintenance staff with the ability to irrigate at 96-percent efficiency while conserving water. The course also has a new cart path system, renovated bunkers, redesigned drainage system and redesigned putting greens. The first tee and cart staging areas have been redesigned to better accommodate traffic flow and practice needs.

The final stage of the Champion redesign and renovation program was the new grassing of the entire course. The Champion course reopened in December 2002, providing players with the finest playing services available worldwide and the challenge of a course ranked in the top five percent of the most challenging courses in Florida and the top 10 percent in the United States. (561) 627-2000. www.pga-resorts.com

Spotlight on Doral Golf Resort

MIAMI -- Doral Golf Resort and Spa is one of Florida's premier golf destinations, and has attracted golfers of all generations and skill levels throughout its 40-year history of championship play on not just one but five unique, impressive courses. The Blue Monster is home to a prestigious annual PGA TOUR event, the Ford Championship at Doral. The Blue Monster's famous 18th hole with its signature fountain is one of the most recognized symbols in golf, and was named one of the top 100 holes in the world by Golf Magazine.

The ingenious layout, designed by Greg Norman, blends the unlikely combination of strategically demanding fairways enclosed with desert-style, tightly packed coquina sand and thousands of palm trees, with 222 Scottish-style pot bunkers. PGA TOUR champion Raymond Floyd redesigned the Gold course to follow a traditional Florida layout, incorporating gently contoured greens, strategic bunkering and water surrounding 16 holes. The links-style course features narrow, tree-lined fairways and finishes with a demanding par-3 island green on the 18th hole.

Breaking away from the Florida-style construct, Golf champion Jerry Pate redesigned the Silver course to include narrower fairways, raised t-boxes, challenging moguls and uniquely elevated target greens. Finally, Doral's Red course provides breathtaking beauty and exhilarating challenges without the intimidating length of our infamous Blue Monster.

Featuring no less than 14 water holes with fairways winding around serene lakes, the back nine of the Red embraces some of the most gorgeous landscaping in the country. All 90 holes at Doral are open to the public; a rare treat for golf enthusiasts who often can't play PGA Tour courses without belonging to exclusive membership clubs. (305) 592-2030. www.doralresort.com.

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