The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, and perfect 80 degree year long weather has made the island the ideal get away for golfers. The country now boasts 26 premier golf courses, the majority of them crafted by world renowned golfers.
There are few places in the world that have all the ideal ingredients for the perfect golf vacation, but the Dominican Republic is truly one of them. With 26 golf courses, 20 of which were designed by world famous golf course architects and designers. Golf legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, PB Dye, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Nick Faldo, Nick Price, Pepe Gansedo, and Robert Trent Jones have all left their design mark on the island by creating the Dominican Republic’s world class golf courses.
The highest concentration of these courses is in the easternmost part of the country, around the Punta Cana area. Punta Cana is known for its renowned white powder sand beaches and luxurious all-inclusive resorts. Already the perfect vacation spot, the growing collection of world-class golf courses makes this area also a perfect golfers paradise.
Dramatic sea views, winding fairways, a fickle ocean breeze and 80 degree yearlong weather set players up for an exciting game they won’t forget. From the most serious golf professionals to recreational players, Punta Cana has a golf course for everyone. Here are five of our favorite courses:
This world famous course is in one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive resorts, Casa de Campo, so of course it was only fitting that it had a world famous designer- Pete and Alice Dye. The Teeth of the Dog course was opened in 1971, and was created without the proper heavy machinery, so Dominican workers had to use sledgehammers, pickaxes and chisels to break the coral. The course was renovated in 2005 and is in excellent shape.
According to Golf Magazine, Teeth of the Dog currently ranks 43rd out of the world’s top 100 golf courses, and it’s #1 in the Caribbean. This is an 18 hole course, it has 5 sets of tees that range from 4,906 to 4,741 yards; Individual holes rank in the gold tees. The course has winding passages that go through towering bluffs, and hug the sea. Dye has said that he designed 11 of the holes, while God designed the last 7. He is referring to the 7 holes that skirt the shoreline, presenting both drama and a challenge as the crosswinds can be fickle.
The Corales Golf Club is the creation of the Golf Hall of Fame inductee, and world renowned designer Tom Fazio. The course is situated in the Puntacana Resort & Club, the hotel that started it all in Punta Cana, and is currently only open to property owners, and guests of the Tortuga Bay Resort and the Punta Cana Hotel.
This 18 hole course is situated on cliff tops, featuring 6 seaside holes. The inland lakes and the coralina quarries make the course unique, but it is the last three holes who bring real drama to the course. The intimidating name Devil’s Elbow, is the last and most challenging holes of the course, with a forced carry over the Bay of Corrales to end the game.
The Punta Espada golf course is a signature design from one of the greatest players of all time, the 18 time Champion, the “Golden Bear” himself, Jack Nicklaus. Golf Week magazine 2012, ranked Punta Espada as the #1 Best Course of the Caribbean and Mexico , it was also ranked among the World’s Top 100 (non- US) courses by Golf Digest. This is the only course in the Dominican Republic that is home to a PGA Senior Tour Champion’s Tour stop.
This 7,000 yard par 72 course is built to incorporate the natural topography, and provides a good variety of challenges. There are 18 holes, almost half of which skirt along the Caribbean shoreline, although the ocean is visible from all 18 holes. A mix of beach, bluffs, and wild vegetation give each hole special character which requires both strategy and skill.
The Cana Bay Golf Club is one of the newest and most accessible courses in the Punta Cana area. A Jack Nicklaus design, this is the first golf course in a Hard Rock Hotel. While the 18 hole par 72 course doesn’t have the seaside drama of some of the other courses in the area, at 7,235 yards it can prove quite a test for golfers.
The course has been skillfully crafted around the unique feature of the undulating fairway that winds around natural areas of rock and sand. The course has hosted the PGA Latin American Tour for three consecutive years, and is a great choice for all skill levels. Enjoy all inclusive food and drink service on the green, and it’s only just a golf cart away from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
The Barcelo Lakes Golf Course was the first golf course ever built in the Bavaro / Punta Cana area over 20 years ago. Thoroughly redesigned by the famous PB Dye in 2010, this 18 hole 72 par course is now one of the most visited courses in the Bavaro / Punta Cana area. The course is known as the Lakes or the 25 inland lakes to give the course a feeling of a coastal golf course.
The course is one of the more natural courses and it exhibits the natural beauty of the local flora and fauna, winding through an impressive mangrove forest and incorporating native plants and species in the manicured greens. Transport to hotel room and all inclusive food and drink are some of the perks of also staying at the Barcelo hotel.
Sasha MirandaPunta Cana, Dominican Republic
I am a writer, development worker, and adventurer who loves to travel and all things new and exciting. I just embarked on the most exciting and challenging journey of them all, motherhood. Free time, sleep, and hobbies are scarce commodities in my world, but I always find a little time for to catch up on trashy celebrity gossip, and read updates from my favorite bloggers. I’m originally from New Mexico, and am passionate about learning how to be a better mom, a more engaging writer, ice cream and green chile.