Winter Golf Getaways: Turn for the Better

  • George Fuller

RAYMOND FLOYD TAKES TURNBERRY ISLE'S COURSES IN A NEW DIRECTION.

Of the dozens of golf destinations in Florida, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, located about midway between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Aventura, may be the best place to stay and play this winter. The resort completed a $150 million renovation in late 2006 that updated all of the 392 guest rooms and suites, added two new restaurants—including chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak—and rebuilt the property’s 36 holes of golf under the direction of former Masters champion Raymond Floyd.

The first hole on the Fairmont’s Soffer Course—named in honor of developer Don Soffer, who founded Aventura and the resort—immediately suggests the extent of Floyd’s changes. A formerly flat hole now includes an angled, undulating fairway and new water features. The resort spent more than $100,000 landscaping each hole, lining the fairways with flowers and planting several thousand palm trees. To provide a home for the resort’s resident pink flamingos, the Fairmont also built an island within the Soffer Course’s Lake Julius, where the birds now nest.

Longtime fans of Turnberry Isle will be happy to know that Floyd retained the signature island green on the Soffer Course’s 18th hole. Guests participating in the Fairmont’s Fore the Love of Golf package ($1,009 per night) will enjoy unlimited play on Soffer or the property’s Miller Course, and unlimited access to the new Willow Stream Spa.

The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, 305.932.6200, ?www.fairmont.com

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