From the moment you drive into the property, it's evident that Trump National Doral has changed again, and again, it's for the better. Rows of new palm trees line the entrance road from the guard gate to the valet stand. There's a new look to some of the old lodges, with balconies redone in an Italian style architecture.
The villas are being renamed for PGA Tour players. Rory McIlroy was staying in the Tiger Woods villa and joked about it.
"There's pictures all over my room of him," McIlroy said last week. "I sent him a message last night: Can't get away from you here. I can't go to the bathroom without looking at you ."
Not all the exterior renovations are complete, but it is sufficient to show what will happen within another 12 to 24 months as the construction progresses.
During the last year, the famed Blue Monster golf course underwent a transformation, pinching in fairways and adding more water to many holes, making the 14th, 15th and 16th nearly unrecognizable for those who remember the previous golf course. Now, Trump is turning his and architect Gil Hanse's attention to two more courses at the resort. The construction is visible from the Blue Monster course on holes 16 and 17.
When asked what was the most important thing about his various golf properties, Trump said, "I'm a big fan of location in golf courses, I have 15 clubs, and they were all successful, but they were all in perfect locations. I just think location is very underrated."
As it turns out the Blue Monster also has monster acreage, twice the average championship golf course.
"To be in the middle of Miami, right next to the airport and have 350 acres devoted to one course, not one house -- you do gown the fairway and you don't see one house, nice houses ‑‑ like I own Jupiter --phenomenal," he said. "To me, it really was amazing because we took out like, for instance, there was a tremendous areas of dead forest. Most of the trees were sort of dying, dead, but when we took them out it just opened up the vistas."
Many trees from the original property were severely impacted by hurricane Andrew, including countless ancient banyans that once gave the property a distinctive look. Now with a helipad near the ninth tee and new palm trees lining the entire right side of the 10th hole, it certainly looks like Donald Trump has arrived.