Considering that three of the four most prestigious men’s golf tournaments are played on American soil, I’m going to put it out there that golf has truly become an American Classic (Caddy Shack was just the icing on the cake). So, turn golfing in the Gables into an American-favorites celebration. Enjoy a blast from the past, golf, burgers and beer. In regards to this itinerary, it’s in the hole!
Here is your schedule:
8 a.m. Burger Bob’s
2001 Granada Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134-4703
This 1950’s-style diner is a great way to begin your American-Classic day. Sit at the bar, or pull up to a table in a red vinyl chair on the black and white checkered floor. Listen to music the old school way - with a cassette player - and order yourself an old-fashioned American breakfast. This Miami restaurant is a hidden gem that truly takes you back to America’s past. The food is good, the staff is sweet, and it’s even connected to a golf pro shop. Sit by the windows to the right of the bar and you get a perfect view of the opening hole of the Granada Golf Course. Feel inspired!
9 a.m. The Biltmore Golf Course
1200 Anastasia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
The Biltmore Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 71, championship golf course on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore Resort. It also includes a full practice facility. Make an appointment and then show up and check in at the Pro Shop. Shopping is tempting - colorful shirts, hats and even the shoes entice. Who hasn’t wanted to be one of those pastel-plaid individuals relaxing on the beautiful greens? You begin to feel that if only you could dress like one… just maybe… And then your instructor shows up. Tall, tan and dressed like he just stepped out of the pages of Golf Magazine. This is motivation to learn. You jump in a cart and drive off to the practice facility, while catching views of the course and a beautiful breeze that carries the smell of freshly cut grass.
The practice facility gives you a great view of the wondrous Biltmore Resort, in all of its yellow glory. Something big to aim for helps, I guess. Your instructor dumps about 30 yellow golf balls on the ground, hands you a club, and the instruction begins. You can choose between a 90 minute lesson or 60 minutes. It was still summer. I stuck with the 60 minute one. In this lesson you will learn how to properly grip the golf club (no wonder I was always so bad), how to swing it (you’d be surprised how tricky it is), and if you’re lucky, you advance to actually hitting those yellow balls (those little things can be so frustrating, and yet, so much fun). You’ll hit them off the ground and then off tees. Completely different experience. And apparently completely different clubs are needed. You begin to understand that golf is less of an art and more of a science. Now I understand the theatrics of contemplation Tiger undergoes at each hole. There is a lot to think about. And it truly requires embracing the ‘be present’ philosophy.
The instructor was great and even took a video of my swing (unbeknownst to me) on his phone and was able to play it back in slow motion and draw lines about where it needed to be, etc (yes, there is actually an app for that). With a great instructor, you feel really good about your progress. I felt so good I decided to play 9 holes with a friend afterwards. Yeah, looks like I’ll be signing up for a few more of those lessons.
7 p.m. One Burger
367 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables
What’s more American-Classic than a burger? Welcome to One Burger (where you can have it your way, but don’t get crazy). These burgers seriously rock. It also has a modern diner-type feel. Sit at a high-top and enjoy you’re amazing piece of beef, cooked in your favorite style. They have so many amazing options. As the token veggie, I must say that their Veggie BBQ Burger is the best veggie burger I have ever had. Add some spicy fries to that, and you will not be disappointed – “thank you very little” (yes, another Caddy Shack quote, I can’t help myself).
9 p.m. The Bar
172 Giralda Ave.
End your American-Classic day with an American-Classic beer. Not far from One Burger, you can find The Bar. This place is cool. It’s even painted in a cool-blue that makes you feel at ease as soon as you walk in. They have TVs, so catch an afternoon All-American football game, or just relax at the bar with friends and cold one. There is no complaining here, or, the bartender might literally tell you, “You’ll get nothing and like it!” (yes, just like Caddy Shack) - like he almost told me when I asked too many questions. Read the beer list, pick your favorite and chill. And toast to the laid-back all-American day.