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April 19, 2013

Robert Trent Jones's ultimate risk-reward hole makes a splashy return at Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach

Posted at 10:41 PM by Joe Passov | Categories: Puerto Rico

Dorado Beach Resort (East)

Dorado, Puerto Rico
7,192 yards, par 72
Green fees: $125-$250
787-626-1001, doradobeachclubs.com

Legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. not only coined the phrase "signature course," he also conceived the concept of "heroic" design, or a hole defined by risk-reward elements.

His signature heroic hole? The par-5 4th at Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach East, a Z-shaped, 481-yard temptress that offers players two chances at over-the-lake glory.

The hole looks better than ever, as does the rest of the course, thanks to the vision of the Robert Trent Jones II company, whose design team tweaked the older Trent Jones's iconic concept perfectly, lowering the fairway and slashing overgrown vegetation behind the green to open up long-lost vistas of the Atlantic, just 30 steps away.

Elsewhere, new sand, repositioned bunkers, improved irrigation and a restoration of Jones Sr.'s classic runway tee boxes have reenergized the layout.

Toss in the palatial Plantation Club residences (available to rent), a new Ritz-Carlton Reserve boutique hotel skirting the beach and frequent Chi Chi Rodriguez sightings (he has a home on the East course), and it's easy to envision Dorado Beach returning to its Eisenhower-era heyday.

(Photo: Warren Grant/Windfall Golf)

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