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There are plenty of golf bargains in Miami, but save up for a grand finale at Doral

MIAMI, Fla. -- Looking for a golf bargain? The first thing you have to do is define what you consider a "bargain." You can find some tracks in the $25 range with dirt fairways and greens that were taken care of by sheep.

You can find those golf courses anywhere, but if you want to travel to Miami, you aren't going to be looking at those types of courses. So let's say that, like LeBron James, you are taking your talents to South Beach. You don't have to go broke, but you might want to save a few bucks for one big splurge. Here's how to do it without going broke while saving up for a night at Joe's Stone Crabs.

The West Course at the Country Club of Miami might be the best bargain in all of south Florida. You can play it for less than $40, and the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design is mean at times. All par 3s go over water and, at more than 7,100 yards, its one of the longest courses in the area.

Water comes into play on nearly every hole. And the 523-yard, par-5 16th is diabolical, with water running all the way down the right of a tight fairway. The West Course also has a sister course, the East Course, a 6,300-yard layout that has a lot less bite.

Crandon Golf Key Biscayne is about 10 miles from downtown Miami. The costs run from $55 for Dade County residents to $75 for non-residents. Designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge in 1973, it is the only public course on Key Biscayne. It is flat and water comes into play on most holes, but the scenery is remarkable. It has also hosted many Champions Tour events over the past 18 years.

The course plays to 7,301 yards from the tips and starts off with a long par 5 that warns that there is more danger on the way.

Designed by Red Laurence in 1939, Miami Shores Country Club is one of the more historic golf courses in Miami and was designed before target golf came into vogue. There are plenty of trees, but you can allow yourself to get a little wild off the tee as long as you bring a short game that can find the smallish greens.

Fees will run about $75, but playing one of the more historical golf courses in Florida is worth a few extra bucks.

One of the more popular plays in downtown Miami, the Palmetto Golf Course offers something rare in Florida: You can walk the course for $10 on weekdays during certain times that change throughout the year. The course isn't a backbreaker even if carrying your own clubs is. You can also ride for an extra $10.

The 6,648-yard course, designed by Dick Wilson, is more than 50 years old. It is wide open with little to worry about, but it doesn't add credence to golf being a good walk spoiled. Bring a pull cart and have some fun.

Okay, you have a few dollars left after playing bargain golf in Miami for most of the week. Doral Golf Resort & Spa is one of the most famous golf destinations in all of Florida, but it won't break your wallet. The famous TPC Blue Monster at Doral, where the PGA Tour pros tee it up to start the Florida Swing every March, can be costly. Rates go as high as $300, but Doral actually consists of five courses and none of them run higher than $110 at any time of the year.

Doral's Great White Course was designed by Greg Norman and plays to nearly 7,200 yards and is just as challenging as the Big Blue. Norman is known for designing courses that aren't exactly typical Florida courses, so it's worth the challenge. Doral might cost a few extra bucks, but it's worth it if you want to walk where the pros walk.

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