Par four 18th
Hole at the  
Doral's Blue

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Our 'Featured Hole of the Week' at this weeks 2013 WGC-CA Championship on the PGA Tour is the famed 449 yard par four finishing hole at the 'Blue Monster' championship course at the Doral Resort in Miami Florida.  This old girl has been modified a lot in the past decade or so and no matter how hard they try a number of golf architects have been unsuccessful at ruining her!  (If it ain't broke then don't try 'an fix it!)   The premium is on a solid and straight tee shot with the water all down the left side and Bermuda rough and palms protecting the right side off the tee.  The tee shot is to a narrow landing area with the prevailing wind here at this time of the year coming into the players face from right to left out of the southwest.  Nick Faldo came in here in a head to head duel with Greg Norman in 1995 Doral Open with both of them in their prime and hit his tee shot into the water left off the tee.  Faldo then had to drop with a penalty stroke and then played a slashing bold three wood shot out over the lake cutting it into the headwind and onto the green, making a great bogey five to beat Norman by a shot.  (Be sure to access the latest WGC-CA Championship golf tournament news stories AND Live Scoring: Here!
This 'Signature' 18th hole at Doral's Blue Monster has trouble down the left side and palm trees and deep bermuda rough along the right side off the tee.

It is a golf hole that holds it's 'mettle' with some of the best in the professional game today.  

It's been said that a good player's bad shot is one which goes left.  Come in here with a little distrust of your driver and in need of a must par four and this one will test the very best in the game today.

There's a cross hazard on the second shot and hitting the fairway is a must in order to have a decent second shot into this green.

Often this hole will play into a strong right to left wind in your face in the month of March!

This 'Signature' 18th hole at Doral's Blue Monster has trouble down the left side requiring 270 yards to carry this left corner of water and Bermuda rough from the back cut of the championship tee. 

This is a long carry for most tour professionals if it's into the wind at all making the preferred landing area even narrower and to the right of this area.

The start of the sand on the left begins at 275 off the tee and continues down the left side for 60 yards or so.  The sand filters into the water much like would a natural beach by the ocean.

Here is a view of the tee shot landing area down the right side. It's 312 yards from the back cut of the championship tee to get it into this bunker (right).

This is only reachable for the long hitters or if the hole is playing downwind.  Notice the Bermuda rough to the right and in front of the bunker.  It doesn't' have to be very long, only 2 to 4 inches for Bermuda to be a problem as the golf ball often likes to 'sink' all the way to the bottom of this wiry stuff.

You'd be better off in the bunker though than the Bermuda having to play a forced carry over water to this narrow and deep green for your second shot, if you hope to make a par four here. 

Another look down the right side of the 18th hole off the tee at the Blue Monster.

The problem with bermuda rough is that the golf ball will often sit down in the wiry grass and will interfere with the club face making good clean contact with the golf ball.

When it's a bit down in and dry you get unbelievable 'flyers' and the golf ball will knuckle and fly 'forever'.

Get the ball down in there a little more and it will instead grab the hosel sending it straight left into the lake protecting the entire left side of this golf hole. 
Here's where that cross hazard of water inundates into play on the second shot carry into the 18th green at Doral's Blue Monster.

If your ball should end up in that wiry bermuda rough then it may require a layup shot just short of this hazard in the fairway with a short shot wedge into a long narrow green which slopes severely off to the left as well.

The penalty is severe should you find this water from the rough on your second shot approach.

This is one reason why the tee shot is so demanding here.  Not so bad if it's down wind.  But into the wind this hole is a gem!

In this final view (right) you get a good overall look at the final hole at Doral's Blue Monster. 

Doral is full of sand and water hazards very much in play creating interesting shot values depending on the direction of the wind.

She's no longer a 'Long' golf course by today's standards but some wind will put a lot of teeth back into the old girl especially if it blows out of the southwest during tournament week.  

Beginning in 2007 Doral will host a World Golf Championship event as the last event in the Florida swing in late March.

There've been some great shot making champions here in March winds past that include  Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods to name just a few.  (Be sure to access the latest
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