In the late 1960s, real estate developer Donald Soffer had a vision of turning a swampy 750-acre tract of land in North Miami Beach into an upmarket residential estate which would also embrace golf as its sporting centrepiece.
In order to achieve this, Robert Trent Jones Snr was hired to transform a substantial proportion of the site into a 36-hole golf facility and so the Soffer and Miller 18-hole courses made their debut in 1971.
Both layouts were renovated in 2006, with Ray Floyd acting as the headline design consultant. The Soffer is the venue’s tournament venue, playing 600 yards longer than the Miller, and it’s much the stronger of the two layouts, hosting a number of LPGA tournaments in recent years.
Feature holes on the front nine include long back-to-back par fours at 4 and 5 and strong par fives at the 2nd and lake-protected 6th. On the back nine, more water comes into play on the closing holes, culminating at the 571-yard 18th, where an island green is back dropped by an enormous waterfall.
Harry Bowers in the Signature Golf Design Services office kindly provided the following comments:
“Both courses where designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr in the early seventies then nothing much was done to them since the early eighties. From a design standpoint, both were typical south Florida golf courses of that era; not much contouring, very flat, poorly drained, typical large Trent Jones greens and many bunkers.
Don Soffer hired Signature Golf Design Services and Raymond Floyd to totally renovate both golf courses. We changed the overall character of the golf course by dredging existing lakes and importing fill dirt to substantial add elevations and contouring.
We reduced the number of bunkers and changed their locations, completely changing the strategy and playability. Additional landscaping and water features allowed us to separate golf holes and give it a better "core" golf course feel.In short, the golf courses were rescued from declining members and falling hotel guest fees. Today the private membership is near capacity and hotels guest fees have tripled.”
A great course and lovely service.I had the pleasure of having to club pro's brother as my caddy, who knew the course very well.The course suits a long hitter. If you can turn the ball left and right you will have plenty of birdie opportunities. The greens aren't as quick as they should be for the standard of course.Plenty of water. A technical course which needs your attention.The 18th is a delightful hole, but I hear they are getting rid of the island green to build an extension to the hotel which is a real shame,