Punta Cana: the golf mecca of the Caribbean

November 8, 2018 12:25 am

DR is leader of golf in the tropics, especially Punta Cana. This is hard for some to believe because DR is famous worldwide for another sport: baseball.

Did you know that Dominican Republic golf courses have consistently topped Golfweek Magazine’s ranking of the best courses in all the Caribbean and Mexico? In fact, some of the best golf courses architects in the world have designed golf courses in DR including Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Nick Price, and Greg Norman.

The legend, Pete Dye was responsible for famous golf course, Teeth of the Dog in Casa de Campo, La Romana. This course was key to put Dominican Republic in the map as a golf destination during the 1970s.

More than a decade ago, Corales and Punta Espada followed the same steps as “Diente de Perro” and now Punta Espada, in Cap Cana, crowns as number 1 in the ranking of best golf course of the Caribbean and Mexico, while Corales – where PGA Tour was celebrated in 2018- gracefully owns number 3.

DR has a myriad of all types of golf courses, from inland to coastal ones, including sea-view holes and oceanside holes that will make all golfers drool. The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) recognize 18 of DR’s golf courses and nearly 350 holes – 86 are stunning sea view and 39 are oceanside ones.

Punta Cana is best known for its clear waters and white sand, all inclusive hotels and a destination for fine dining, spas and relaxation. No one would imagine this oasis is every golfer’s dream.

With the biggest private airport in the world, the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), just a few steps from the courses, golfers can play anytime: just after landing or before leaving the Coconut Coast.

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, playing golf in these courses are an unique experience. Most clubs and hotels in the country provide lessons for beginners and offer packages for all types of player, affordable club rentals, including accommodations, cart rentals, food and drinks.  Websites like www.golfpuntacana.com would arrange everything for you.

With 10 golf courses all along the strip, and often referred to as “the Golf Mecca of the Caribbean”[1], the southeast coast continues to be the premier destination for golf lovers.

Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Punta Espada opened in 2006 and continues to make the number one golf course in all the golf lists, including Golfweek Magazine’s Best: Top 50 Courses of the Caribbean, Mexico. Punta Espada counts with 18 holes, with some of them either playing alongside or over the Caribbean Sea. This golf course is algo known for hosting three times PGA Tour’s Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Designed by P.B. Dye, this golf course has become one of the favorites among golfers from all over the world. This course has made efforts to be as environmentally friendly as possible, using paspalum, a grass seed than can be watered using sea water. This is no surprise since the Puntacana group is always in line to be as sustainable as possible.

La Cana Golf Club has 14 ocean views holes with amazing views of the turquoise waters of Caribbean Sea. In total, this course has 27 holes consisting of three nines; Tortuga, Hacienda and Arrecife.

It is said that La Cana is perfect for golfers of all skill levels[2], maybe because it has a relaxing atmosphere with mostly flat fairways.

This 18 hole golf course, created by Tom Fazio, is the second oceanfront course at the Puntacana Resort & Club. Opened in 2010, Fazio’s distinctive design has quickly established as one of the best golf courses in the Dominican Republic, but also topped third places of best golf courses in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Did you know the last three holes of this 18 hole course are called Devil’s Elbow? The last part of the course finishes in a striking U-shaped that plays around a narrow bay. That is why the course hosts the Web.com Tour’s first tournament in Dominican Republic – the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship – in June each year, or maybe it’s because its highlight views: blue water, rocky cliffs, crashing waves, coral reefs and the Bay.

Aside from this, the Corales Golf Club welcomes its member and guests with additional access to the Tortuga Bay and The Westin Puntacana, through the Resort’s Golf Experience plans. The golf also has available world class practice areas with PGA Instruction.

9 holes designed by Alberto Sola, Cabeza de Toro Golf Club is one of the two courses located inside the Catalonia Bávaro Resort in Punta Cana, just minutes away from the Caribe Golf Club course. The Club also offers daily golf lessons, driving and rental equipment, and a clubhouse that offers drinks and a pro shop. Most importantly, what the Club offers is a challenging 9 course surrounded by palm trees, pristine waters and incomparable views.

Beautiful field formed by 18 holes. Designed by Alberto Sola and Jack Corrie, this course is for golfers of all skill levels.[3]

The course has an interesting mix of uphill and downhill holes, on which the level of difficulty depends, a large lake,  five lagoons and numerous shade trees ,especially when the wind blows in off the Atlantic Ocean.

Wondered which golf course was the first one in the Punta Cana area? This is the one.

The Lakes Barceló Golf Course opened in 1991 at the Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort, and was designed by Manuel Gordillo. Later, in 2009, the course was re designed and remodeled, to boost its challenge, by the renowned architect PB Dye, overlooking and supervising the whole process himself. The course is set amidst 25 lakes – hence the name – within a mangrove forest.

Opened in 2000 and designed by José “Pepe” Gancedo.  Cocotal Golf & Country Club’s is settled in what once was a coconut plantation and utilizes the natural terrain for all 27 holes, including serene lakes and swaying palm trees. The three nine-hole courses – Hibiscus, Bougainvillea and Benjamina are designed by Gancedo to provide a route easily remembered after the player finishes.

This golf course offers low-handicap golfers with a challenging layout, while beginners and intermediate players can continually improve and have fun in the player-friendly environment on a course that is easy to walk.

On their official website they explain some of their iconic features:

“Our trademark features are strategically-placed trees, bunkers, mounds and gently rolling terrain with well-defined and generous fairways without forgetting an unrelenting wind.”[4]

Designed by P.B. Dye, this Punta Cana golf course is located just twenty minutes away from the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) it’s ideal to golfers of all levels, but careful, the uniquely design of this course is characterized by its sharp undulations and holes that feature cross winds, so expect to be tested on your skills.

The Iberostar Bávaro Golf Club will enchant all players with the natural surroundings such as Dye’s signature sand bunkers, lakes and rock work, all relishing among lush landscape and elevated terrain.

All the way to Macao, is the first design made in the Caribbean by three-time major championship winner and architect Nick Price. This course was inaugurated in 2007.

Price designed this challenging course through natural wetland areas with large waste bunkers built into the tropical vegetation. The course uses salt water-tolerant paspalum grass and its holes are edged by thick tropical vegetation, ensuring it is a challenge for all abilities.

The Nicklaus-designed golf course, which opened in March 2010, hosts 18 holes of championship golf that make a collection of challenging yet accommodating golf for all players, regardless previous experience or skill.

The club has offers for tasty snacks and cold beverages, that are part of the all-inclusive goodness. Also, tee times are included in your stay so play round after round without worries through breathtaking Dominican landscapes, full of native flora and fauna.

Did you know each hole is named after a famous rock song? The course lives up to its rock ‘n’ roll branding.

At Cana Blue we care about fun and your hobbies, so ask us about your favorite golf course and what owner benefits you can get when purchasing real estate in a golf gated community.

If you’re looking for a property, to rent or buy, contact us too and we would gladly accompany you in the whole process of investing in this beautiful destination.

Cana Blue, is a real estate investment firm targeted to foreign and local investors who are looking to find the perfect real estate in Punta Cana. We take pride in being one of the few real estate companies in the area that can assists their customers with legal affairs, working closely with foreign investors.

[1] Golf Guide: Golf in Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism, P. 6. [Recovered from: http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/downloads/]

[2] Ídem.

[3] Recovered from: http://www.cataloniacaribbean.com/nuestros-hoteles/catalonia-bavaro-beach/#golf

[4] Recovered from the Cocotal Golf & Country Club official website: www.cocotalgolf.com