Biltmore Hotel - Florida - USA

The Biltmore Hotel,
1200 Anastasia Avenue,
Coral Gables,
Florida (FL) 33134,

  • +1 305 460 5364

  • Bob Coman

  • Donald Ross

  • Lara Pavloff

Designed by Donald Ross in 1925 the former municipal course in Coral Gables fell into disrepair late in the 20th century but was saved by the famous Biltmore Hotel and restored by Brian Silva in 2007.

Peter nominated The Biltmore as a gem in November 2015. Peter’s comments follow:

“The Biltmore in Coral Gables, FL was designed by Donald Ross in 1925 and plays to a par 71 and is 6,742 yards in length. When I was young the once prestigious and imposing hotel it was built to complement had been repurposed as a Veterans Administration hospital and I would be a bit unnerved by the patients who often sat stone-faced beside the 12th tee as I hit off. The course was restored in 2007 by Brian Silva and now has a different routing from what I played years ago but all the same holes remain. There is water to avoid and doglegs to challenge and Biltmore is certainly worth a visit.”

In July 2018 the Biltmore’s course closed for another Brian Silva renovation project which is expected to complete in December 2018 and will largely consist of Bermuda re-grassing and bunker additions.

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Reviews for Biltmore Hotel

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Description: Designed by Donald Ross in 1925 the former municipal course in Coral Gables fell into disrepair late in the 20th century but was saved by the famous Biltmore Hotel and restored by Brian Silva in 2007. Rating: 3.5 out of 6 Reviews: 2

The course sits on a flat piece of land, which is cut in half by a Canal. The Giralda of the Biltmore hotel can be seen from far away.

Like all Florida golf courses, the Biltmore has to deal with a large amount of rain from May until October. Unfortunately the course does not drain well. Punches and bump and run chips are immediately stopped in the soggy grass. Reducing a Donald Ross course to the air game is not ideal. The green complexes are rather generous but not as undulated as the ones at Sara Bay Country Club for example (another Florida Donald Ross course).

Many holes are forgettable but there are some very good strategic holes. The 5th hole is a sharp dogleg to the right with a deep green-side bunker on the right. The 7th hole features risk-reward characteristics due to the canal. The tee shot on the 10th hole has to be hooked around the trees. The 17th hole is the highlight of the course. On this long par 4, the tee shot (usually into the prevailing wind) has to be placed between the trees and the canal. The creek must be carried on the second shot to a green that slopes steeply from back to front.

The Biltmore golf course is pleasant and playable. However, it does not have a "wow" factor. The Donald Ross characteristics are not as pronounced as on other courses. Not enough emphasis is put on the ground game. The golfer will leave perfectly relaxed but not stunned. He will have forgotten half the holes soon after.

4 / 6
Biltmore Hotel
June 03, 2018

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I stayed at the Biltmore in September 2006 and played the course twice – I was less than impressed. Clearly this review is based on the layout prior to Brian Silva’s $5 million restoration – I’m sure the uncovering of seventy or so bunkers must have immeasurably improved the aesthetics of the layout. The Biltmore Hotel golf course However, I found nothing particularly inspiring about the course apart from a couple of boldly bunkered greens as shown in the photograph. Pancake flat topography doesn’t really get my golfing juices flowing and I’ve seen plenty of better courses in Florida, many of which don’t yet feature on the Top 100 website. I didn’t recognise anything even remotely Donald Ross like about the design – even the greens I thought were ordinary. Would I return? Yes I would. The hotel is exceptional and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay, even though it cost a king’s ransom. I’d like to see whether the restoration has returned the very dull course that I played in 2006 into a classic gem. It also remains to be seen whether the Biltmore makes the Florida Top 100 at some future point.
3 / 6
Biltmore Hotel
January 04, 2016

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Peter Imber
January 04, 2016
Your criticism of the old course is totally fair although I guess I enjoyed it back when I played there more than you did. I'm looking forward to visiting Florida this winter and getting to play the restoration and compare.
Carl Reichardt
January 08, 2016
I played the course in June 2015. It does have an old-school feel, but the course isleasant and tricky, and the greens were difficult -- Ross-like, but nothing like Pinehurst #2, e.g.. Some good hard doglegs; enjoyable set of par 3s. Not at all bad track; I enjoyed it. But my Florida experience is limited so hard for me to compare it with more "classic" FL courses.