|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1993
||tpc blue monster at doral 2011 -1.crz
|This is an update from last years release featuring new greens and pins and an out of bounds area along holes 12 and 13.|
CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.
Real, tropical course
Playable at F*/F*
Throughout Doral's previous incarnations, I have found it difficult to really identify with the course, but there is more of the Gulf of Mexico
feel to this latest version, and not least the excellent work in creating a course on this very flat and uninspiring landscape. The green
complexes and hazards are classic in feel, yet exceedingly testing, and the course taken on its basic merits certainly lives up to the
'Monster' aspect of its name. Steadily improving aspects are becoming more and more apparent in the APCD work, not least in finally
imbuing this course with a believable atmosphere.
The detail in the texture set is immaculate, but it is a very wet, deep green where some people might prefer something more washed-out
(or even a combination of the two might work…). The planting is excellent, and there are plenty of traces of the tournament objects around
the course, giving it a big-time atmosphere which in this case is highly apt. The bunker blends continue to disappoint - not wanting to put
down what is clearly a huge job, the speckly transitions just don't fit the bill.
Much better than once it was, you really have the opportunity now to feel immersed in Blue Monster's extravagant tropical presentation
and realise the excellent challenges presented by the architect. It actually improves with repetition, and is excellent when played in
direct competition. This is definitely a course that works best as it was intended - under full tournament conditions with slippery greens.
With some outstandingly tough Par 3s and signature Par 5s, there's no escaping the in-your-face brutality of the Blue Monster. It's
unsurprising that the designer has seen fit to ease down on the greening and rough. The greens - fair enough, given the majority of
users who want challenging conditions. But the rough is just too simple to escape, and should be heavier like most of the other US
Tour courses. It's still a punishing track, but not as much as it should be.
As ever with courses that have received numerous updates, continuously refining and improving, there is great technical merit in the
perseverance of the designer. Doubly so for the improved atmosphere which restores so much viability to this course. While the visuals
are as good as they're ever going to be on this artificial and slightly underwhelming layout, there is still a little fine-tuning around the
edges which won't escape the attentions of a smart golfer.
||Another big step forward for a course which has earned its fame through being one
of the toughest Tour stops.
|This course is available as a FREE download.
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