The Golf Par­adise

THE DO­MINI­CAN REPUB­LIC IS REC­OG­NIZED AS THE GOLF UNDIS­PUTED LEADER IN THE CARIBBEAN AS MOST OF ITS 30+ GOLF COUR­SES HAVE BEEN DE­SIGNED WITH A UNIQUE SIG­NA­TURE

Excelencias from the Caribbean & the Americas - - Sumario - BY MAR­I­ANELA MARTIN PHOTO EX­CE­LEN­CIAS AR­CHIVE

Casa de Campo —a travel des­ti­na­tion par ex­cel­lence to prac­tice golf in Amer­ica and the Caribbean— has iconic golf cour­ses like the mag­nif­i­cent Teeth of the Dog, Los Links and Dye Fore

The Do­mini­can Repub­lic wanted to have the most amaz­ing golf cour­ses in the Caribbean. Con­se­quently, the au­thor­i­ties turned to the most renowned golf course de­sign­ers of the world who out­stood by such an over­whelm­ing imag­i­na­tion that led them to con­ceive a set of un­be­liev­able and fancy holes and, si­mul­ta­ne­ously, high­light the unique­ness of each park or greens at hand. There­fore, ev­ery as­sign­ment re­sulted in a phe­nom­e­nal project. Pete Dye, Jack Nick­laus, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Gary Player, Tom Fazio, and Greg Nor­man are some of the celebri­ties who an­swered the call.

90-plus-year-old Pete Dye and his main col­lab­o­ra­tor, his beloved wife Alice (91, passed away last Fe­bru­ary), be­came de­sign­ers dear to fans of this pre­ci­sion sport. The Do­mini­can Repub­lic is grate­ful and thanks to the cou­ple, Casa de Campo —tourist des­ti­na­tion par ex­cel­lence to prac­tice golf in Amer­ica and the Caribbean— has iconic golf cour­ses like the mag­nif­i­cent Teeth of the Dog —the mas­ter­piece—, Los Links, and Dye Fore, lo­cated in the Al­tos de Chavon cliffs.

An­other renowned de­signer who left a legacy in the beau­ti­ful is­land is Robert Trent Jones Sr., re­spon­si­ble for not only the Bella Vista Golf Club, but also two other jew­els: Playa Do­rada Golf Course and Playa Grande Golf Course. The first of them boasts five holes with splen­did ocean views (one of them to the At­lantic Ocean). The sec­ond golf course has ten holes that are played bor­der­ing the ocean amid a moun­tain area full of charm.

The breeze some­times does its thing. But it does not stop some golf cour­ses in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic from be­ing in­cluded in the top-50 cour­ses, ac­cord­ing to the Golf Week mag­a­zine. One ex­am­ple is Punta Es­pada Golf Course, de­signed by artist Jack Nick­laus —aka Golden Bear— in 2006, which was re­garded as the best of all be­tween 2009 and 2016.

Punta Es­pada Golf Club was Golden Bear's de­but in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic. Re­garded as a true mas­ter­piece, he is truly proud of his in­cred­i­bly hole-17, with par-4 course, which ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, needs a drive over the bay. Here Nick­laus made the game strat­egy might be con­ceived among beaches, la­goons, and trop­i­cal fo­liage.

Co­rales Golf Course —de­signed by Tom Fazio— is also highly praised. PGA World Tour 2018 was held here. Be­sides, the elite group is also made up of Jaraba­coa Golf Club, Santo Domingo Coun­try Club, Hard Rock Golf Club, and Guavaberry Golf and Coun­try Club. From La Ro­mana to Punta Cana, Juan Do­lio and Puerto Plata, Do­mini­can golf cour­ses are re­ally im­pres­sive fa­vored by a won­der­ful weather that al­lows these won­ders may be en­joyed all sea­son long.

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