Designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1994, the 36-hole golf facility at Miramar comprises four 9-hole loops – unimaginatively named North, South, East and West – with championships contested over the North and West nines.
The 410-yard 9th on the North circuit is the second toughest hole on the card, even though it’s of modest length. Water runs the full length of the hole to the right of the fairway (a regular Nicklaus closing hole feature), putting pressure on both the tee shot and the approach.
The 500-yard 9th on the West nine features a bunker in the middle of the fairway at the 270-yard mark so smart golfers aim to either side of the fairway with the right flank offering the best line to the green. As the fairway plays slightly uphill, many will lay up in two shots short of the greenside bunker then attempt to pitch and putt for birdie.Miramar was the venue for the inaugural Fubon Senior Open in 2011 – the first time that a European Senior Tour event had ever been held in Taiwan – and spectators were thrilled to see local pro Chien Soon Lu coast to a five stroke victory.
Located a 30 minute drive without traffic from the centre of Taipei, Miramar is located in a hilly area just north of Taoyuan International Airport. Cab ride is was about $35 USD each way and green fee including a caddie and a cart was only about $175 USD. Very reasonable and convenient for quality golf in Asia.
Many of the features are typical of a Nicklaus layout (a greater premium on approach shots than driving, and helps if you hit a fade off the tee). Unlike many of the other courses in Taiwan, things are relatively open, so plenty of opportunities to use the driver. Nothing weak or goofy here and the focus is on shot value. No weak holes.
Bermuda grass throughout, but it is not a thick variety. In some cases it was difficult to see the top of the ball in the rough, but there is almost no resistance or “hosel-grabbing” which made it easy to get the club on the ball.