JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa - Where South Florida Loves to Golf
At JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida, there are two world-class championship golf courses integrated into the very fabric of the property; enticing golfers of every skill level. Tucked away on 300 acres between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, “Turnberry” was first imagined by legendary developer and original owner Don Soffer in the 1960s after purchasing 1,000 acres of swampland. Legend has it that Soffer drew up the original plans for the city of Aventura as a condo community including a resort hotel, centered around 36 holes of championship golf, on the back of a cocktail napkin. Today Turnberry is part of the JW Marriott portfolio, with a culture of accessible luxury and enriching experiences, not the very least of which are its two golf courses entitled “Soffer” and “Miller.”
Re-imagined from the original Trent Jones Sr. design from the 1970s by Raymond Floyd in 2005, the course was updated again as part of a $300 million renovation to the entire resort that was completed in 2019. Tee times are only available to resort guests and members of the club.
The beauty of playing at Turnberry as a resort guest is that there’s no shuttle to catch and easy access to two beautiful courses literally steps from your room – or valet— if you’re a member. Miller plays like a traditional old school Florida country club course; with wide open greens, and long views it’s definitely player friendly. Offering six tee boxes (Soffer has five) from junior to the most challenging, it’s a course that anyone from a true beginner to a professional can enjoy. Soffer at 7000 yards long is a bit more celebrated and a bit more challenging, with more landscaping and narrower greens. The real wow factor here is the resort and city surrounding it; creating a sense of playing on an oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Turnberry head golf pro and golf operations director Sean Olson compared the surrounding visuals to playing in Dubai – with the attendant high-rise views; although the Miami skyline may not reach quite as high as the Burj Kalifa it’s still a sight that thrills.
Along the front 9 of the Miller course is Lake Julius, the largest and deepest body of water at the resort. It’s named in honor of Turnberry’s first golf operations director, legendary Hall of Famer Julius Boros; who used to enjoy fishing from time to time during his tenure there. Pink flamingos like to hang out by the lake, while bald eagles, Egyptian geese and swans are also often spotted on the fairways. The courses are carpeted in paspalum grass; which provide near perfect conditions and firm footing on the fairways and greens. That’s surely the reason it’s so often frequented by athletes and celebrities that take their golf game seriously like Michael Jordan, Ray Allen, Alonzo Mourning and Will Smith, to name a few.
When we say that golf is integrated into the resort, that’s meant quite literally. Rooms provide stunning golf views, while holes 10, 11, 12, and 18 of the Miller course run alongside Tidal Cove, the expansive on property water park. The starter shack is just off the patio of its all-day restaurant Corsair, as is a double-sided driving range with chipping and putting greens. Corsair’s bar serves as a welcoming gathering spot for après drinks and snacks; roving beverage carts service both courses throughout the day.
For the golfer who wants a laid back but luxurious stay and the chance to play two courses without having to even leave the property, JW Marriott Miami Turnberry is the perfect destination. It’s also an exemplary locale for those wanting to get some tee time in on a family vacation – with so many amenities on property from âme -- the full-service spa, to the water slides and rides at Tidal Cove, it’s easy to entertain the rest of a party that may not be keen on golfing. And for those who get the itch for entertainment, it’s the best of both worlds – although many guests never leave the property, this tropical gem is a quick ride away from the allure of Miami Beach or downtown Fort Lauderdale.