Blue Monster Reopens after Extensive Remodel

The famed Blue Monster course at Doral Resort - now called Trump National Doral Miami - reopened Thursday following an extensive renovation handled by architect Gil Hanse.

The owner of the resort, Donald Trump, struck the initial tee shot and was in the first group with his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump.

The project involved the addition of new greens, traps, tees, lakes and infrastructure, thus allowing more efficient maintenance. The Blue Monster will be open for public play in advance of PGA Tour's $9 million WGC-Cadillac Championship, set for March 6-9.

Future plans include upgrades to the four neighboring courses at Doral. Also overseen by Hanse, the initial work will include renovations to the Gold and Red layouts.

"Trump National Doral will soon become, upon completion of the Red Tiger and Golden Palm golf courses, the greatest golf resort in the United States, with the brand-new and truly amazing Blue Monster - there will be nothing like it," enthused Donald Trump.

"This is one of the most exciting projects that I have ever had the privilege to work on," added Hanse, the designer of the new Rio Summer Olympics course. "The property itself, being all sand-based, is very unusual and unique -and a tremendous asset for a golf course. On top of it all, its location in the middle of Miami is unprecedented."

Changes were implemented to benefit spectators at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, with over a million yards of earth shifted to enhance viewing. The practice facility was also transformed. It now is five times bigger than the former facility and includes a new driving range along with short-game, chipping and putting areas. The new facility features an LED lighting system - the first of its kind in the world, allowing for practice at night.

Trump also embarked on off-course upgrades. These include a new hotel lobby; a completely remodeled swimming complex featuring an expansive patio design with 22 cabanas; six indoor and outdoor event venues; clubhouse improvements; a 48,000-square-foot spa; and a redesigned fitness center. Additionally, all-new restaurant and bar concepts will be introduced in early 2014, and the resort's 800 rooms are being retrofitted.

The Trump Organization plans to add some sizzle to the resort's list of activities. "We're doing the fashion show and the music. We're bringing in some of the greatest chefs from around the world to do the food," noted Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter.

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