The 18-hole, par 71, historic Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables (Miami-Dade) is being restored to reclaim the challenging original spirit of the 1925 design by Donald Ross (1872-1948).
With a cost of $ 2.5 million, the restoration by veteran golf course architect Brian Silva began on July 5 and is scheduled to conclude next December.
In all that time the field, one of the nine designed by Ross that are in the list of the best 100 in the country, will remain closed to the public, but the sacrifice will be worth it.
Bob Coman, director of golf at the Biltmore Hotel, says the main purpose is to make “the design intention of Donald Ross an authentic experience for the sophisticated golfer of today” and at the same time that the “regular player can enjoy this spectacular field. ”
To achieve this, Bermuda grass will be installed on the tees, the streets and greens, to create new bunkers, to improve the short game and practice areas and to establish “challenging and distinctive” holes, in addition to extending the length to more than 7,100 yards (6.4 km) to turn it into a field worthy of great championships.
Born in Scotland but settled in the United States from a young age, Ross designed 413 golf courses in this country.
Silva explains that in Ross’s plans there were more bunkers than exist today and the idea is to place more obstacles of this type, which will mean “more” movement “in the streets, with more twists and turns between the tee and the green to reach the hole. ”
The new bunkers will “impact” both the aesthetics of the field and “in the strategy of the game,” says the expert.
On the second, he says that “the most expert players will be able to follow the riskiest route to shorten the distance between the tee and the green, the maximum fire test of a good golf course”.
“A field like this will maintain the interest of an expert player, but at the same time it will be completely manageable for a player who just wants to have a good time,” says Silva.
According to a statement from this golf center, the golf course of the Biltmore hotel is under consideration to host the PGA-Champions Tour in the future.
The Biltmore, which for decades was the mecca of golf in South Florida, hosted the open invitation Miami Biltmore / Coral Gables PGA Tour between 1931 and 1937 and between 1959 and 1962.
For 54 years the Biltmore Golf Club has hosted the Junior Orange Bowl International Championship for women and men and since January 2018 it has hosted the Jim McLean Golf School.
The list of players who have made the tour of this historic field is long and full of figures: Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Mark Calcavecchia, Jim Simon, Gary Koch, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Inbee Park , Grace Park, Christie Kerr, Kelli Booth and Michelle McGann, among others.
Not only golf has a history at the Biltmore. The 275-room hotel, nestled in the exclusive residential Coral Gables and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World organization, has been a favorite place for leaders and celebrities around the world since it opened its doors in 1926
Surrounded by 150 acres (96.9 hectares) of tropical gardens, it resembles the famous Giralda of Seville (Spain) and shows the influence of classic Italian, Moorish and Spanish styles.
In addition to the golf course designed by Donald Ross, it has tennis courts, a huge pool, spa, gym, several restaurants, including the award-winning Palme d’Or, and conference rooms.