It’s always an exceptional week when I have the opportunity of spending it with my son during a week of golf.
This trip started because I had won a first place Gold Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for a story I had written in the Winnipeg Free Press.
The Prize I received with that honour was a stay at a number of hotels on PGA courses where various championships have been played in Florida.
And we had a great time enjoying the hospitality at Fairmont’s Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Miami. For those travelling I cannot recommend this property highly enough. Everything about it is first class, which is pretty much what you can say about most Fairmont properties.
And we also got a chance to stay at Doral and golf the famous Blue Monster course where that PGA Championship is playing at this very time.
These were the days before would be U.S. president Donald Trump bought the place and is turning it into another monument to himself. Fairly speaking the hotel itself needed an investment.
I remember talking with Carey that the rooms were not of a caliber one would anticipate from a major world renowned brand.
But this was after we had spent time at the Fairmont, so almost anything would have been a downgrade.
The view from our room over the Fairmont course was spectacular. And the area in which the property is situated was close to excellent shopping and dining options in the Aventura Mall.
It is a luxurious mall with a lot of high end retailers but there is also a good choice of other shops as well.
But this trip was about golf. And playing the Blue Monster would be a highlight. For the uninitiated this course is called the Blue Monster because of the amount of water holes there are on the course and the countless numbers of the best golfers in the world who have seen their balls swallowed up by that monster.
It would be the first time that either of us had played a round with what is called a forecaddie. I didn’t even know the word at the time.
It is an individual, not necessarily there to correct your swing or hand you the right club, but rather he or she runs far ahead of you and lets you know if your ball is safe, as opposed to discussing life with the monster, and helping you locate and get to your ball quickly if it is off the fairway.
It was truly an exceptional experience. This is one of the most watched tournaments early in the year with only the top professionals invited.
No our games were not spectacular, and I definitely donated a few dollars in golf balls to the Blue Monster. But I would do it again in a heartbeat, and will be one of those watching the screen on Sunday to see who tames that blue bastard.
If you’re looking for golf bags to protect your clubs when you travel check out these options.