Turnberry Isle resort near Miami: Upscale Raymond Floyd golf that's worth every penny
I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Turnberry Isle resort in Aventura, Fla. and play on their two golf courses, The Miller Course and Soffer Course.
Turnberry Isle is a beautiful resort contingent to Miami and set in the middle of Aventura, bordered by the many luxury high rise condos set around the various waterways that meander throughout the entire development.
Both Turnberry Isle resort courses were designed by Raymond Floyd and are very representative of his style, meaning challenging approaches to the pin from 100 yards in and subtle breaks into challenging pin placements. Floyd is a short-game fanatic and his designs usually force different thinking and strategies into pins from off just off the green from different angles. A major point that should be made here is that both golf courses were in absolutely pristine condition: manicured greens and cuffs, beautifully maintained fairways, picturesque plantings and water hazards throughout and consistent, well groomed traps. Both courses required the employ of forecaddies that is a nice touch and makes the round feel more country club than resort. The staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and very well mannered in servicing their customers. This joint is not cheap by any means, but the Turnberry crew does everything right to make your experience feel worth it.
Turnberry Isle's Miller course is a par-70, 6,417-yard track from the tips carrying a 72/143 slope rating. The course is fairly open and did not feel like a 143 slope by any means. Even so, it was a nice challenge and very good resort course. There are some nice par 5's including the 515-yard seventh and the 577-yard 14th that delivers plenty of grief in the huge winds that sweep over the property from a variety of directions. All in all, a very worthwhile golf experience.
Turnberry Isle's Soffer course, at 7,047 from the tips and a more manageable 6,537 from the blue tees with a 72.7/141 rating, is the more difficult and interesting of the two tracks. Soffer is more narrow than Miller, offers up more doglegs or at least curved fairway views, has very challenging approaches into the greens on the par 4s and like the Miller course, provides some terrific pin placements on the sloped greens. The par 3s are all good tests, especially Nos. 13 and 15. The signature hole is definitely the par-5 18th, a 542-yard beauty (from the blues), where the second shot to a landing area is critical to approach a two-teared green over water. A large waterfall stands next to the cart path to the green that is framed with colorful flowers in the background.
Turnberry Isle, with its golf and spa, is a definite first-rate, thumbs-up resort and while expensive, a good 2-3 day destination.
February 23, 2010