The Orange Bowl’s first winners, Bucknell University’s Bison, almost didn’t show for the fledgling event because of soaring mercury. Today it’s among the most covered tickets in college football. The weeklong festival kicks off later this month in Miami (orangebowl.org) and culminates in the Jan. 3 showdown at Dolphins Stadium in front of 75,000 fans. Here are the best courses to squeeze in 18 holes before the kickoff.
Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne
7,300 yards, par 72; Greens fee:$150 305-361-9120
Routed around water, this muni was a longtime Champions Tour venue.
Don Shula’s Golf Club
7,000 yards, par 72; Greens fee: $145 305-820-8106; donshula.com
The legendary Dolphins coach runs this tree-lined daily fee, which is home to the original Shula’s Steakhouse.
Doral Golf resort & Spa
Blue: 7,288 yards, par 72; Greens fee: $210. Gold: 6,602 yards, par 70; Greens fee: $175. Great White: 7,171 yards, par 72; Greens fee: $210. Silver 6,557 yards, par 71: Greens fee: $175. Red: 6,146 yards, par 70; Greens fee: $175. 305-592-2000, doralresort.com
There are five courses, but the Blue Monster gets all the attention. Greg Norman’s White Course was recently renovated.
Diplomat Country Club & Spa
6,728 yards, par 72; Greens fee: $209 954-883-4444, diplomatcountryclub.org
The price is steep for a flat, wide-open track where five lakes provide the only danger, but conditions are pristine.
Reader Exclusive Deal
Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort
South: 7,003 yards, par 72; North: 6,403 yards, par 70; greens fee: $130
Turnberry Isle’s reader-exclusive deal includes accommodations, two rounds of golf, breakfast and two spa treatments. based on a two-nights, double occupancy, the cost is $1,370 (Nov. 15-Dec. 21), $1,850 (Dec.22-Jan. 4), and $1,750 (jan. 5-April 30). texas and gratuities included. Call 800-327-7028 and mention GOLF MAGAZINE turnberryisle.com