By: Shayne Benowitz
For many, a vacation to sunny Miami isn’t complete without a round of golf under the blue skies of our subtropical paradise. These are the conditions that cater to a 365 day golf season. Whether it’s a family outing, a bachelor party, or a father and son day, a trip to the links is good for body, mind and spirit. Miami’s golf courses are some of the best. After all, our city plays host to one of four World Golf Championships featuring play by the top 50 competitors of the Official World Golf Ranking. Some of our courses have even made Golfweek’s Top 10 list.
Melreese Golf Course is located a few miles inland of Biscayne Bay and is a cornerstone of golf education and training for student athletes and the community. The 135-acre course underwent a $3.9 million renovation in 1997 to include a 12-acre driving range, as well as a golf media center large enough to accommodate up to 100 people. One star-studded event that Melreese has hosted is the Irie Weekend, a charity golf tournament organized by Miami’s own DJ Irie. It’s an annual event attended by athletes, like Alonzo Mourning, Chris Bosh and Reggie Bush, and entertainers, such as Jaime Foxx, Ne-Yo and Ludacris. The money raised goes to the Irie Foundation supporting Miami-Dade public schools, and other charity partners, such as Make A Wish South Florida.
For the true golf enthusiast, here are the specifications of the course. Designed by Charles M. Mahannah, Jr., the 18-hole course opened in 1960 with 7,173 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. It has a course rating of 73.5 and its slope rating is 132. The course is planted with certified Tiftdwarf grass to guarantee the truest putting surface, and the course is built to United States Golf Association specifications.
If that sounds Greek to you, here’s some more general information about the architectural features for the layman. After its 1997 renovation, the new course features five lakes, nine waste bunkers and 97 sand bunkers, as well as a Cypress wetland area landscaped beautifully and designed strategically around the course. The rolling Northern-style fairway allows for dynamic elevation changes, and is also a practical function of the irrigation system, allowing for play in conditions when many other courses are unplayable.
The Melreese Country Club is a beautiful place to visit. Its mission is firmly embedded in charity work, and it welcomes both members and the public to its facilities. If you’re visiting from out of town, you’re more than welcome to schedule a tee time and play a round of golf, enjoy a meal in their restaurant and even play a game of tennis at the adjacent courts. There are expansive locker rooms with showers for both men and women, as well as a 2,000 square-foot pro shop for all of your golfing supplies and accessories. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also has banquet facilities that can accommodate groups of up to 160 people.
Melreese & the Community
The Melreese Golf Course is also home to many community and educational organizations, including the University of Miami women’s golf team, and Barry University and Johnson and Wales University’s men’s teams. Their junior golf program works with inner city students to organize weekend golf clinics, and they partner with the Boys & Girls Club and Big Brother & Big Sisters of Miami. First Tee is the Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association and it works to not only groom the next generation of golf pros, but it also offers clinics to students with disabilities. It hosts a number of tournaments, including the Special Olympics, as well as various clinics and programs throughout the year.
No matter what time of year you plan to visit Miami, chances are the sun will be shining above the Melreese Golf Course and a day at the links will be calling. You can schedule your tee time and enjoy all the amenities that this full service club has to offer. Its close proximity to the airport makes it the ideal golfing destination whether you’re here for a quick business trip or a family vacation. Join the Miami community and tee off at Melreese!
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