Playa Grande is an award-winning course that regularly garners international attention. // © 2013 Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism
As a non-golfer, it’s not often that I feel excited about touring a golf course. This quickly changed when I got behind the wheel of a golf cart and took a quick spin around the Playa Grande golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Located on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, the course runs along the Atlantic Ocean’s cliffs and rugged coastline, creating truly dramatic scenery. The course was so stunningly beautiful that I had serious thoughts about taking up the sport.
The Playa Grande course is just one of the many beautiful courses in the Dominican Republic that garner attention from top-tier travel and golf publications. Golfers from around the world are drawn to the country’s award-winning golf courses that feature breathtaking coastlines and lush green fairways.
“The Dominican Republic features two dozen accessible world-class golf courses set amid stunning seas, pristine beaches and magnificent mountains, making them ideal for those who enjoy the luxury golfer’s lifestyle,” said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.
Another stand-out course on the North Coast is Playa Dorada, also designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Playa Dorada surrounds the Playa Dorada Resort Complex in Puerto Plata and is lined with coconut palms, royal Poinciana trees and sea grapes. The 18-hole course is relatively flat, with outstanding conditioning and exceptional greens. The ninth hole has the best view, with Mount Isabel de Torres in the background.
Most visitors to the Dominican Republic make their way to the country’s East Coast, which has a number of championship courses. Punta Espada Golf Club at Cap Cana is Jack Nicklaus’ first signature golf course in the Dominican Republic. Eight of its 18 holes are played alongside or above the Caribbean Sea’s waters.
The La Cana Golf Course on the East Coast at Puntacana Resort & Club was designed by P.B. Dye. The course takes full advantage of its Caribbean setting, with 14 ocean-view holes and four more that are right on the beach. The course’s flat fairways and relaxed atmosphere make it perfect for golfers of all skill levels.
The famous Teeth of the Dog course is located on the Southeast Coast. Teeth of the Dog is part of Casa de Campo in La Romana and is the course that put the Dominican Republic on the world’s golf stage back in 1971. The course is considered one of Pete Dye’s best designs and has been consistently ranked among the world’s 100 best golf courses as well as number one in the Caribbean. The course has seven ocean-front holes played across the rocky coastline that inspired its colorful name.
La Estancia at La Estancia Golf Club is another great course in La Romana. The course commands a dramatic cliff’s edge 400 feet above the winding Chavon River. P.B. Dye designed the 18-hole course with grass hollows around its green instead of bunkers.
Better yet, many of the courses offer golf clinics, lessons with elite players and golf vacation packages with appeal for both beginners and experienced players.