Five of the best golf courses in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Golf – Five of the best golf courses on the island

Convenient to The U.S., Canada and much of Europe, the Dominican Republic resides at the northern edge of the Caribbean Sea on the lush, tropical island known since Columbus’ days as Hispaniola. Mountainous and verdant, the Dominican Republic has in recent years become a leading destination for tourists from many countries, and increasingly, one of its primary attractions is golf.

Oceanfront Golf Course

Teeth of the Dog Golf Course

Teeth of the Dog Golf Course

There are dozens of challenging golf courses in the Dominican Republic, concentrated primarily in the south and east of the country, though a couple of gems are to be found along the north coast as well. Picking the five of the best golf courses is a difficult task, for at least a dozen tracks may be considered “world-class” while many others are just a few years away from that designation.

Casa de Campo and the Teeth of the Dog

One must begin one’s search in the south at the Casa de Campo resort less than an hour east of Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport. This sprawling, luxurious resort complex includes several courses, each beautifully maintained and each subtly different. In addition, several nearby courses offer the visitor a truly wide range of choices.

Within the Casa de Campo resort, we find what is certainly the best-known golf course in the Dominican Republic if not in the entire Caribbean region. Teeth of the Dog, (Dientes del Perro), a Pete Dye classic, got its name because of the jagged ocean-front coral formations along which it was built. The course has been described as “labyrinthine”, a reference to its twisting, up-and-down nature.  A challenge to all levels of golfers, Teeth of the Dog consistently ranks in the top half of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100” golf courses in the world.

Chavon-River

Dye Four Golf Course in Casa de Campo

Dye Four Golf Course in Casa de Campo

Cap Cana and Punta Cana

Moving east from Casa de Campo, the traveler will discover the Cap Cana/Punta Cana area which sprawls along 50 miles of sugar-white sand beaches. Here, concentrated amongst the dozens of resort hotels, are some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Punta Espada, a jewel of a Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course, is the first of three courses planned in the new Cap Cana resort. Perfectly manicured, Punta Espada has 15 of its 18 holes overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Challenging and serene, this track leads the golfer through a jungle, and along beaches and coralline cliffs.

Not far away, the Pete Dye-designed La Cana course winds through the hilly coastal lands within the Punta Cana Resort and Club. Having four holes along the Caribbean Sea, this 7152-yard championship course features dozens of the signature Pete Dye pot bunkers, including more than 20 of them on the 7th hole alone! The golfer will find himself challenged here, though the breathtaking beauty of the area will stay in his mind long after memories of those diabolical sand traps have faded.

The Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay, located in the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, is a fabulous Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course that has been the site of past DR Open championships. This is a very challenging, beautifully manicured track that will demand everything from golfers of all levels. The level of service here is exceptional from the lovely clubhouse and terrace restaurant to the ice-cold towel presented at the end of your round.

The North Coast and Playa Grande

Last in our group of top five courses in the Dominican Republic, (though by no means least) is the breath-taking Playa Grande course between Rio San Juan and Cabrera on the Dominican Republic’s north shore. This was the last course designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. A masterpiece by any measure, the course winds along high cliffs with views to rival any in the golfing world. Currently, under renovation, this championship-level course will soon re-open and will take its place among the world’s most beautiful.

Many more lovely golf courses dot the Dominican Republic, and quite a few should arguably have made this list. The writer is a 20-year resident of the country and these are my favorites, however, many will happily disagree. Such is the variety and quality to be found here in the beautiful Dominican Republic.

So now you have an idea of the golf treasures to be found in the Dominican Republic, a jewel of the Caribbean. Whether you choose to rent, rent-to-own or purchase outright, Select Caribbean Properties will happily provide you with excellent choices in condominiums, villas or large tracts of farmland ideal for those desiring countries living.  Select Caribbean Properties has representatives throughout the Dominican Republic, all multi-lingual and well-versed in the process of purchase here.

Contact Sabine Mertes at 809-885-2260 or check out her website www.selectcaribbean.com and she will help you find “the dream”.

A Special Golf Adventure

Special Golf Adventure – The Dominican Republic is a Unique Golf Destination!

Golf Course at Punta Espada Resort

Punta Espada Golf Course

The Dominican Republic is well-known around the world as a top-shelf golf destination.  Visitors come from Europe, North America and Asia to partake of the wide selection of new as well as established world-class championship courses designed by the great architects: Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Trent Jones. Names like Teeth of the Dog, Playa Grande and Punta Espada ring like music in the ears of golfers everywhere. Indeed, the Dominican Republic is a visiting golfer’s paradise.

golf-club-playa-dorada

Golf Course at Playa Dorada

But imagine the opportunities available to the resident homeowner living amongst this bounty! For four friends from Cabarete, that bounty presented itself recently when they decided to take a long weekend away from the north coast. They played a few of the great courses near La Romana in the south and Punta Cana/Cap Cana in the east.

The four were members of Fedo Golf, the Dominican national golfers association.  Membership is $100 per year and entitles members to many free and discounted rounds at some of the great golf courses of the country. In addition, these friends joined the Teeth of the Dog Association (TOD) for $50 per year. This entitles members to discounted play at the great Casa de Campo courses (Dye Fore, The Links, and Teeth of the Dog). In addition, the TOD sponsors frequent tournaments, and it is one of these tournaments that the four friends, Tom, Dave, Ken, and Eric, decided to enter.

The entry fee of $295 entitled each player to around each at Corrales in Punta Cana, Punta Espada in Cap Cana and Teeth of the Dog in the sprawling south coast resort complex known as Casa de Campo”. The entry fee includes a golf cart. Because the players were TOD members, they were able to play an additional fun rounds at Teeth of the Dog and the famous Dye Fore. They found a charming Italian Inn in La Estancia, 10 km east of La Romana and each took a room, with nice breakfast included, for $50 per night.

The tournament organizers were very nice and accommodating, allowing the four friends to play as a foursome, despite differing handicaps that would in most places cause them to be split apart. The courses were nothing short of sensational with breezy sunshine and nary a drop of rain. Scores were mixed, and in the end, didn’t matter much. The four played poker in the evenings or drove a few km to Bayahibe, a coastal village, to dine on fresh fish and prime Argentine beef. They even found a Canadian bar with a TV tuned to the NHL playoffs.

The four friends drove from the north coast to the south coast in under 5 hours using the rapidly-expanding network of fine toll roads that are quickly linking most major areas of the country to each other with safe, well-maintained highways. Being the off-season, costs everywhere were a fraction of what they would be in North America or Europe. They played 5 rounds of world-class golf, spent 4 nights in a charming Italian hotel/restaurant, ate dinner at a range of wonderful restaurants…and when they got home, they realized they had each spent less than $800!

Playa Grande Golf

Playa Grande Golf Course