The Senator Course at Shula’s Golf Club: A half-century of history
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Like other special places in Miami Lakes, The Senator Course at Shula’s Golf Club combines history, natural beauty and low-key glamour.
The 57-year-old course on Northwest 154th Street is named for two members of the town’s founding family who served in public office: the late Fla. Sen. Ernest “Cap” Graham, and his youngest son, former Fla. Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.
Built on 178 acres in what was then the northwest corner of the town, it was designed by Bill Watts with an assist by Lester Collins, land planner of Miami Lakes. It was updated in 1998 by golf architect Kipp Schulties.
The 18-hole championship course was built as a buffer between power lines, the Palmetto Expressway and new homes that were being constructed.
The course is considered to be challenging: Water is everywhere and on the 7th hole, there is an island green.
Golfers are greeted by impressive stands of Banyan trees and Royal Palms, and they will also notice an abundance of wildlife, especially in the back nine holes.
Creatures normally seen in the Everglades – Roseate Spoonbills, hawks, Bald Eagles and alligators among those that players have spotted – are an added attraction.
As for the glamour factor, celebrities from professional sports and politics are drawn to the course.
“They’re not bothered,” said Kenny Fill, director of golf. Fill and Peter Wyndorf are the course’s two PGA-certified golf professionals.
“They can be themselves and go and play and not be under a spotlight,” he said.
Prominent players sighted on the course include former U.S. President Bill Clinton; golfers Tom Watson and Erik Compton; Roger Goodell, Bobby Bowden, Dan Marino, Ed Reed, Dwight Stephenson and Shula from the NFL; Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice from the NBA and from pro baseball, Alex Rodriguez, Orlando ‘El Duque’
Hernandez, his brother Livan Hernandez and Ozzie Smith.
To make booking tee times easier, the course launched an app this year. During the pandemic, players can order lunch delivered from Shula’s 2.
During the last hour of play on a recent Wednesday, the parking lot was full of cars whose owners were finishing their rounds or hitting on the driving range.
It costs $30 - $80 to play, depending on time of day.
The pro shop opens
Tuesday – Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.
Children are welcome to play at the course too.
For more information go to www.shulasgolfclub.com.