- Punta Espada.
- La Cana.
- Las Iguanas.
- Punta Blanca.
- Barcelo Bavaro the lakes Golf Course.
- Iberostate Golf Club at Iberostar.
All of the above golf clubs were created by such famous landscape designers as Nick Price, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tom Facio, Pete Dai, and Jose-Pepe Gancedo.
The Golfweek magazine ranked this Nicklaus project as the №1 golf course in the Caribbean and Latin America from 2009 till 2016. With eight holes played out on the Caribbean Sea or overlooking it, including a delightful par 4 hole 17 that requires you to tee the ball across the bay it’s rightly called an actual work of art. And besides this, there are five more holes – overlooking the ocean. «Golden Bear» Nicklaus ingeniously uses all the terrain’s features: slopes, beaches, lagoons, and tropical vegetation. In addition, Punta Espada was the venue for the PGA Tour stage – The Cap Cana Championship – in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
2.La Cana Golf Club:
Designed by Pete Dye, La Cana opened in 2001.
This is a 27- hole course consisting of three «nines». The last one, Hacienda, was added in 2012. The «nines» Tortuga and Arrecife offer stunning views of the magnificent local landscape. 14 holes are played overlooking the ocean, and four unforgettable holes are played right on the beach. The «nine» Arrecife culminates in two spectacular fairways surrounded by the azure waters of the Caribbean. Hacienda is both sophisticated and beautiful. It takes the player away from the shore through thick and colorful tropical vegetation.
The securely closed greens of La Cana are a severe test even for the strongest players. The par 3 holes are incredible. Here players will find both narrow greens surrounded by a lake and holes that will have to be played right on the beach. And in some areas, you will need to throw the ball over high dunes. La Cana Golf Club is the ideal course for players of all skill levels.
3.Cocotal Golf & Country Club:
This is not just a place where people come to play golf. In addition to the fact that this complex includes a magnificent 27-hole golf course, designed by Spanish golfer José Pepe Gancedo, there is also an excellent residence where you can rent or buy apartments.
4.Corales Golf Club:
If you still don’t believe that Dominican golf clubs are really works of art, incredibly inscribed in the local landscape, visit the Corales club.
The brainchild of Tom Fazio, the second ocean-view golf course built on the grounds of the Puntacana Resort & Club was opened in 2010. It includes six holes located on rocky cliffs near the Caribbean Sea. Thanks to its unusual design, Corales has quickly become a must-visit place. Corales boasts some of the most impressive finals in golf: the last three holes, the so-called «Devil’s Elbow», is crowned by an incredible U-shaped 18th hole, which is played around a narrow bay with sheer banks.
- Interesting fact: hole-in-one – is an indicator of golf, indicating hitting the hole from the first hit. Just imagine, statistics say that you are so lucky in one case out of 46 thousand! In 1971, there was a case of two holes-in-one in a row during one game. This record belongs to John Hudson and is still the only one of its kind. Another record holder was Art Wall. In 43 years of playing, he hit the target with one hit 42 times. The oldest player to hit a hole-in-one was Jen Sazaren, 70, and the youngest was 5-year-old Coley Orr.
5.Las Iguanas Golf Club:
This professional golf course has open parkland. Much of the course is built around a nature reserve with caves that are home to iguanas and other wildlife. Among the many features of this course are views of the Caribbean Sea, exotic mangroves, and rocky shores.
This challenging course has been voted the best golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico by Golfweek magazine. In May 2007, it was also named one of the best golf courses in the world by the Robb Report. Punta Espada has also been honored to host the Cap Cana Championship on the PGA Champions Tour on multiple occasions.
Separately, we would like to note the location of the clubhouse. It offers amazing and scenic views of holes 10 to 18, the driving range, and the breathtaking Caribbean Sea. There is also an excellent restaurant called Bella Vista. Guests have access to spacious dressing rooms and lockers, a wonderful store with equipment and everything necessary for the game, and a wonderful lounge for members of the club, where they can relax after the match.
6.Punta Blanca Golf Club:
- 18 – hole golf course in the Caribbean, designed by three-time major winner Nick Price, Punta Blanca opened in 2007.
The field, planted with saltwater tolerant paspalum grass, is located within the residential complex of Punta Blanca in Bavaro but includes natural swamps, wide fairways with large traps, and several lakes. Holes are framed by dense tropical vegetation, which creates certain difficulties for players of any skill level.
7.Barcelo Bavaro the lakes Golf Course:
The Lakes Barcelo, the first golf course built in Punta Cana.
It was opened in 1991 on the territory of the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort. The course was designed by Juan Manuel Gordillo and remodeled in 2010 by Pete Dye, who kept the original layout but made it more complex. It now passes through dense mangroves with 25 inland lakes and 122 traps that mark and protect simulated fairways. In the design of some of them, railway sleepers were used – Pete Dai’s trademark.
- Help: Fairways – Most of the golf course is divided into paths – fairways, which start from the tee – the starting area and lead to each of the eighteen holes. A fairway is an elongated, wide stretch of golf course covered with low-cut turf. During the game, the main, long-range, and short shots are applied after the first shot from the tee – from the fairway.
Fairways are not always continuous. Sometimes they are cut by various paths, high vegetation, or water bodies, both natural and artificial. Besides, they can be specially bent and added with turns. Fairway builders do not follow specific patterns or building standards as they each can design their own unique path. The purpose of this maneuver is to force the player to think about the shot in such a way that the ball goes around or in any other way crosses the obstacle, reaching the hole. Of course, this makes the game somewhat more difficult, but also makes it more fun.
As a rule, fairways of different lengths alternate on the golf course: one short fairway every three long fairways. Although other combinations are possible. For example, the longest fairway is located in Western Australia (2578 feet).
8.Iberostate Bavaro Golf Club at Iberostar:
The Iberostate Bavaro Golf Club is a beautiful course that can accommodate up to 144 players at the same time, located in the Iberostate residential complex within the Iberostar resort. The new Iberostate Bavaro Golf Club was another unique project created by Pete Dye, who has worked extensively here with the use of rock. Luxurious landscaping includes many trees and palms, as well as lawns with dense grass. As a finishing touch, the course has been redirected along the coast, where golfers of all handicaps can enjoy both the scenery and the game.
What makes a good golf course?
Obviously, this is not the cheapest pleasure, because this amount includes only the use of infrastructure and, in some cases, equipment rental. On top of that, you’ll definitely get hungry and leave at least a hundred more at the golf club’s restaurant. Of course, you should be surrounded by the proper service level and staff attention.
Separately, I would like to highlight the landscape preparation of the golf club. In the Caribbean and elsewhere, great importance is attached to how carefully they treat its preservation when creating courses. Therefore, designers have to think hard about how to harmoniously and aesthetically fit all the necessary elements into the scale of one field, from launch pads to fairways.
As a rule, the actual length of the fairways rarely matches the established norms. The situation is the same with surface leveling because each golf course has a unique topography. And yet it is important to prepare the site, eliminating its irregularities as much as possible. After all, from any point on the fairway, the player must see the green with a hole. Also, the surface of the site should be slightly inclined so that the moisture remaining from precipitation can drain completely without stagnating in the grass.
- We are sure that this article has been helpful to you even if you have never been on the golf course as a player before. Why not try it in the Dominican Republic?