““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Turnberry Isle Miami
It's a bit like playing golf in a fishbowl Or in downtown Hong Kong. But there is something compelling about a round or two at Turnberry Isle Miami. For here amid gleaming steel-and-glass residential high-rises 13 miles north of Miami Beach unfolds a lush, 36-hole layout that feels like a refuge or nest.
Indeed, this 300-acre enclave is an indulging, all-inclusive retreat, with a 25,000-square-foot spa and 40,000-square-foot conference center. Its 392 guest rooms occupy Italianate buildings arrayed around a common courtyard that conveys a European sensibility.
The two courses-both designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the early 1970s and redesigned by Ray Floyd in 2006-are unmistakably different. The shorter, more languid Miller Course-6,417 yards, par-70-incorporates manmade ponds. The much more demanding Soffer Course-par-71 and 7,047 yards-is virtually a tropical garden, thanks to dense stands of ornamentals: Mexican bluebells, ruella, blueberry flax lily, dwarf oleander and green island ficus. It ends with one of the state's legendary golf holes, a twisting, 571-yard par-5 to an island green that presents a most elusive target.
After golf, there are two elegant places to relax. The hotel's Lobby Lounge has the look and feel of a scene from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Next door, at a chic restaurant called Bourbon Steak, the bar's signature drink is a killer "Blood & Sand" that fuses scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth and orange juice. It's enough to make you forget having dumped those three golf balls in the pond fronting that damn 18th green on the Soffer Course.
Turnberry Isle Miami, 19999 W. Country Club Drive Aventura, Fla. 33180 (305) 932-620 www.TurnberryIsleMiami.com
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) is eight miles north of the resort. FBOs here include Jetscape (888-355-5387), Sheltair (800-394-5388), Signature Flight Support (954-359-0000) and National Jets (800-525-0166). Miami's Opa-locka (OPF) is nine miles to the southwest. Its FBOs include J.P. Aviation (305-687-7147), Miami Executive Aviation (800-861-1343) and Orion Jet Center (877-326-2295)
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect a change in the course's name and website address.