Norman’s Use of Coquina As Primary Design Element Makes Great White Only Course Of Its Kind In The Southeast; One of Five Championship Golf Courses On-Site At Famed Doral Resort
Miami, Fl. – December 6, 2005 – Doral Golf Resort & Spa, A Marriott Resort, home of the famed Blue Monster Golf Course and the PGA TOUR’s Ford Championship at Doral, today unveiled the "New Look" Great White Golf Course, one of five championship golf courses on property at the luxury resort. A Greg Norman design, the refined Great White Golf Course was officially re-opened on December 6, as Norman, Marriott executives, VIPs and media all participated in an inaugural round in South Florida.
The 7,171-yard, par-72 Great White, a Greg Norman Signature Course, is the only golf course of its kind in the Southeastern United States that utilizes coquina — crushed shells — as the primary design element on every hole. In creating the Great White, Norman blended strategically demanding fairways with hundreds of palm trees and sporadic Scottish-style bunkers. He then laid out the course in a manner where water comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes, which makes for a challenging, but picturesque Great White Golf Course.
On the heels of Marriott International assuming management of the property in August 2004, the Great White has undergone a series of refinements designed to further enhance the course, which was rated as The Best New Golf Course when it opened in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.
"With increased areas of turfgrass and the liberal use of crushed coquina shells, we have enhanced both the challenge and the playability of this golf course," Norman said. "It’s a departure that complements the other four courses at Doral very well."
Highlighting the enhancements to the Great White Golf Course was the re-design of the 6th and 15th holes, as well as all bunkers. The course also received new landscaping, as thousands of native grasses were planted around the course, while cart paths were installed at strategic locations throughout the course for improved drainage.
"The refinements we’ve put forth on the Great White were designed to create an even more playable golf experience," said Darrin Helfrick, General Manger of Golf, Doral Golf Resort & Spa. "At the same time, we’ve made modifications that enable us to enhance course maintenance, such as the installation of concrete cart paths designed to improve drainage."
One of the country’s premier golf resort destinations, Doral is currently in the midst of a three-year, $40 million renovation backed by the resort’s owner, CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc. As part of the investment, several million dollars have been earmarked exclusively toward enhancements to all five golf courses, the creation of a new golf range and other significant golf developments. In 2006, following the conclusion of the Ford Championship at Doral, the famed Blue Monster golf course will undergo a renovation of the greens, bunkers and cart paths.
The 693-room Doral Resort, which is managed by Marriott International and is officially named the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, A Marriott Resort, joined Marriott’s first-class portfolio of 60 resorts worldwide in August of 2004. In managing the golf business operations at Doral, Marriott International enlisted its in-house golf management arm, Marriott Golf, the world’s largest resort golf management company, and the first in-house golf management team ever established by a lodging company. Currently, Marriott Golf oversees more than 150,000 rounds of golf per year on Doral’s five championship golf courses, managing more than 500 corporate and group outings per year.
About Doral Golf Resort & Spa
Surrounded by green fairways and shimmering water, Doral Golf Resort & Spa is an oasis of luxury in the South Florida sun. Situated on 650 acres, with 90,000 square feet of conference and meeting space, Doral boasts a plethora of first-class amenities highlighted by the European-inspired Spa at Doral. Combining old-world charm with a thoroughly modern selection of services (including more than 100 different luxurious spa treatments, a registered dietician/ nutritionist and state-of-the-art exercise center), the Spa is recognized as one of the world’s best by Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List. Complementing the Spa is Doral’ s unmatched golf experience, highlighted by five championship golf courses "on property," including the famed Blue Monster, host of the PGA TOUR’s Ford Championship at Doral. Adding to the on-site Doral experience is the acclaimed Jim McLean Golf Center, five restaurants and lounges, and nine retail outlets.
About Greg Norman Golf Course Design
First established in 1987 in Sydney, Australia, Greg Norman Golf Course Design is today recognized as one of the premier signature golf course design firms. Now headquartered in Jupiter, Florida, with sister facilities and personnel in Sydney, GNGCD has opened 51 courses for play worldwide, with an additional 30 projects in various stages of development. GNGCD also has projects in Mexico, Korea, China, Australia, South America, Dubai, Poland and Spain. Greg Norman has long held an environmentally friendly position throughout the design and construction of his golf courses adhering to a least-disturbance approach that focuses on every opportunity to incorporate unique existing site features into the layout of the golf course. For more information, visit www.gngcd.com.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with over 2,800 lodging properties in the United States and 69 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Ramada International and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has approximately 128,000 employees. In fiscal year 2003, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $9 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com.