For Immediate Release
Monday, December 11, 2017
Contact: Sarah Revell
Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables Featured as Florida Historic Golf Trail Course of the Month
TALLAHASSEE, Fla –
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Biltmore Golf Course, located in the city of Coral Gables in Miami-Dade County, has been chosen as the featured course on the Florida Historic Golf Trail for the month of December.
“We are pleased to feature the Biltmore Golf Course as a partner on the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Secretary Detzner. “The hotel and golf course have been an integral part of this city’s scenic beauty and historical landmarks for more than 90 years.”
Image Courtesy of The Biltmore
By 1921, visionary developer George E. Merrick had massed 3,000 acres of undeveloped land on the outskirts of Miami, and set out to create a planned community he called “The City Beautiful” – Coral Gables. The crown jewel of the fledgling city was the Biltmore Hotel, which featured two 18-hole golf courses designed by Donald Ross. Ground was broken on the courses in 1925, and on January 2, 1926, Bobby Jones and Tommy Armour played a 36-hole exhibition golf match against Gene Sarazen and Leo Diegel to open the new Miami-Biltmore links. Jones and Armour won by a slender margin of one up.
At the onset of World War II, the federal government purchased the hotel complex for use as a veteran’s hospital and released 18-holes of the golf complex to a private entity that formed the Riviera Country Club. In 1945, the City of Coral Gables leased the remaining 18 holes of the Biltmore golf course from the federal government at $1 per year.
In 2007, golf course architect Brian Silva completed a comprehensive restoration of the course. Working from original routing plans, aerial photos and Donald Ross’ notes, Silva recreated the authenticity of the 1925 layout. Most impressive are the bunkers. Silva identified long-abandoned or grassed-over bunkers, excavated them to their original depth and created a wavy-edged, filigreed look along the top edges.
Today, the 18-hole, par-71, Biltmore Golf Course features five sets of tees playing from 5,200 to 6,700 yards. The strength of the championship Donald Ross golf course is its superb collection of par 4s. They range from drive-and-pitch gems to dangerous holes like the 450-yard 17th hole, which calls for a solid drive followed by an unerring approach over water to a bulk-headed green.
“The Biltmore Golf Course is honored to be selected as the Florida Historic Golf Trail’s featured course for December 2017,” said Bob Coman, PGA Director of Golf for The Biltmore Hotel Golf Management, LLC. “Our 1925 Donald Ross designed layout annually hosts the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, is home to the University of Miami Woman’s Golf Team and is headquarters for the Jim McLean Golf Schools. The Biltmore Hotel is a National Historic Landmark and offers luxurious accommodations and amenities to guests visiting Coral Gables. We look forward to continuing our rich traditions and serving the golfing needs of members and guests in the years to come."
For more information about the Biltmore Golf Course, click here. To learn more about the Florida Historic Golf Trail, visit floridahistoricgolftrail.com or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FloridaHistoricGolfTrail.
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About The Florida Historic Golf Trail
Florida's golf history, recognized as one of the oldest in the nation, dates back to the late 1800s when a number of early courses were created along with the development of railroads and hotels in the state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail is a collection of more than 50 historic, publicly accessible golf courses throughout the state that can still be played on today. Through the Florida Historic Golf Trail, golfers can play on courses designed by world-class architects and played by famous golfers such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Babe Zaharias, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Information about the history and current day contact information for each partner course can be found at FloridaHistoricGolfTrail.com. Find the historic course near you and Come Play on History!
About The Division of Historical Resources
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological, and folk culture resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites; coordinates outreach programs such as the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Folklife program which identifies and promotes the state's traditional culture. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations, and individuals. The Division Director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus, archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information visit flheritage.com.