The Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club in Miami Lakes gets a makeover

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. -- Like the old coach himself, the Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club is getting a new look.

Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club - 7th hole
The par-5 seventh on the Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club ends with an island green.
Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club - 7th holeSenator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club - 5th holeSenator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club - hole 6Senator Course at Don Shula's Golf Club - hole 13
If you go

Opened in 1962 when the former Miami Dolphins head coach was just beginning his coaching career (it was just The Senator back then, of course), Shula's Golf Club has undergone a couple of renovations over the years.

But in the summer of 2013, it's getting all new bunkers, new Champion Bermuda greens and Celebration Bermuda on the tees. Together, with the new sand in the bunkers, the course will have a brand new look, kind of like when the coach himself shed 30 pounds a couple of years ago on a new diet.

The difference here is that this might be more long-lasting.

Kenny Fill, director of golf, said the club decided to go with Champion on the greens after looking at some other nearby clubs such as Coral Ridge Country Club, Weston Hills Country Club and Inverrary Country Club, which has only had Champion for about a year. Shula's Golf Club used to have an older version of TifEagle Bermuda on the greens.

"We're excited about the whole project," Fill said. "We think it improves golf in general for the whole area."

Driving range stays open

The work, which began in June, will cost an estimated $350,000. Architect Kipp Schulties, who did a renovation on the original Bill Watts design in 1998, is overseeing the work.

Besides tees and greens, there will also be some aesthetic work on the course like new tee signs and landscaping. One fairway bunker will also be added, on the 15th, to prevent golfers from cutting the corner on a dogleg. The course is expected to reopen in early September.

In the meantime, the driving range will remain open Wednesday through Sunday during the summer while the work is being completed. The practice area will also be the next part of the course to be renovated. Fill said the plan is to revamp that area sometime in 2014.

The Senator Course at Shula's Golf Club is a classic-style course with more than 500 tree-shaded acres. The par 72 measures 6,928 yards from the longest of four sets of tees.

Shula's Steak House open, too

Shula's Golf Club is also home to the original Shula's Steak House, considered one of America's top restaurants, In fact, in the club and at the restaurant you'll find plenty of artifacts celebrating the Miami Dolphins' 1972 undefeated season as well as Shula's Hall of Fame coaching career.

The club is also affiliated with Shula's Hotel. Located in Town Center, it has 205 guest rooms with 16 meeting rooms. And there is also Hotel Indigo, located at Shula's Golf Club, which has 86 guest rooms. Hotel Indigo is billed as a unique alternative to traditional hotels.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.


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