Words by Jessica Maggi
With social distancing now being the new luxury, the graceful outdoor game of golf has experienced a boom in popularity. The promise of bright sunshine, fresh air and mild exercise in wide open, peaceful and attractive spaces makes golf the perfect game to enjoy in a Covid-19 world.
Home to some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging golf courses designed by the leading names in golf architecture, the Dominican Republic is a go-to destination for avid golfers. All the key ingredients are here: paradisiacal beaches, shimmering aquamarine waters, year-round average temperatures of 26°C, and golf sunny side up.
The areas of La Romana and Punta Cana, on the island’s easternmost tip, rule the roost as far as golf is concerned in this tropical paradise. There are so many stunning beach resorts with golf courses in the Dominican Republic, it was difficult to narrow down this list, but we’ve selected the most beautiful and exclusive for you to have a true VIP experience. Prepare for some jaw-dropping pictures of these superb tropical golf resorts studded by palms.
Casa de Campo
Located along the upscale south-eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo, one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts, offers a 7,000-acre oasis of exclusivity, with three championship golf courses, an equestrian centre, four polo fields, a full-service marina and yacht club, a sailing school, a world-class shooting centre, 13 tennis courts, and more.
Just a few miles from the thriving city of La Romana, the island’s premier resort is home to three of the best tropical golf courses, all designed by Pete Dye, considered to be one of the most influential golf architects of our times. Rated the most spectacular course in the Caribbean, the famed Teeth of the Dog, despite its intimidating name, is a flat-out gorgeous 18-hole masterpiece, with seven holes practically sunk into the cobalt-blue Caribbean Sea.
One of Pete Dye’s finest, the 27-hole Dye Fore course, set on undulating terrain high above the mesmerizing Chavón River, offers captivating views of the tropical countryside, the Dominican mountains, the Caribbean Sea and the surrounding islands. The easiest of the resort’s three golf courses, the Links, opened in 1975 and completely overhauled in 2012, has been compared to traditional Scottish courses.
Corales Punta Cana
A Tom Fazio magnificent creation that opened in 2010, Corales Golf Course at Punta Cana Resort and Club is quite rightly considered one of the best courses in the whole of the Caribbean, let alone the Dominican Republic.
One of the greatest golf designers of the modern era, Tom Fazio has created a 7,600-yard work of art by the sea, with many of its fairways hugging the sun-soaked coastline of the island’s eastern corner.
Cocotal Golf and Country Club
Inaugurated in 2000, Cocotal Golf and Country Club is rated as one of the best Punta Cana golf courses. Designed by six-time Spanish champion José ‘Pepe’ Gancedo, considered the Picasso of golf architecture, Cocotal is a beautiful and really fun 27-hole course, located in a former coconut plantation near the Dominican’s primary airport, Punta Cana International.
Punta Espada Golf Club
Another par-72 Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in the massive 46-square-mile Cap Cana community, the sea-facing Punta Espada Golf Club opened in late 2006. Some 15 minutes south of the airport, the course offers hypnotic views from all the holes, and eight of them play right along the bright cerulean-coloured sea.
La Cana Golf Club
The Dominican Republic has no shortage of truly breath-taking settings for golf courses, but few can match La Cana Golf Club in Punta Cana, one of the Caribbean’s hottest destinations. Designed by Pete Dye’s son P. B., La Cana Golf Club has 27 holes overlooking the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea, and has become a favourite of both novice golfers and experienced players worldwide.
Iberostar Bávaro Golf Club
Another P. B. Dye creation in Punta Cana, Iberostar Bávaro Golf Club is located near the beach, just a few miles from Punta Cana International Airport. The staggering beauty of the natural setting shines at this 18-hole course, a true hidden gem of the Caribbean golf world.
Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
Picture this: you are at one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque championship golf courses with spellbinding views of the sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea. This is the Hard Rock Golf Course at Cana Bay, designed by former professional golfer Jack Nicklaus.
The par-72 course spans over 7,000 yards in length, showcasing some of the region’s most exquisite landscapes. Developed with the utmost respect for the environment, the course blends in beautifully with the lush flora of the island.
For more information, visit golfscape.com.
All imagery provided by golfscape.com.