Go Play: Dominican Republic is to Dye For

Caribbean Island Destination is All That

It’s been about 40 years since Pete Dye and 300 local workers hand carved his timeless Caribbean masterpiece, Teeth of the Dog (pictured below), from the Dominican Republic’s craggy southern coast. Since then, this dreamy island nation has gotten better and better, especially for vacationing golfers.

Setting the scene are stunning vistas, sun-kissed beaches, coconut palm groves, gentle mountains and one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world. Plus, more than 30 golf courses boost the DR’s hedonistic reputation, making this easily accessed paradise a sure-fire choice when considering between mega-golf destinations like Myrtle Beach, Scottsdale, Cabo San Lucas and Pinehurst.  

For the record, here are four of our Dominican favorites:

1. Teeth of the Dog, Casa de Campo, La Romana: Sited on surf-crashing coastline and cliffs, Dye’s score-busting sea monster remains one of the most visually intimidating courses ever built. Seven of the holes literally jut into the ocean, giving this top-ranked layout as much bite as bark. Casa de Campo’s celebrated resort also offers two more Dye-crafted courses, a Jim McLean Golf School, spa, deep-sea fishing, top-rated concerts and more, providing visitors ample distraction for much of their stay.

Pictured Above: Teeth of the Dog

Pictured Above: Teeth of the Dog

Pictured Above: Casa de Campo

Pictured Above: Casa de Campo

2. Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana: Set on 15,000 acres including three miles of white sand beaches, staying at Puntacana defines Caribbean luxury. At the forefront are 45 holes of golf including the Tom Fazio-designed Corales course and the 27-hole La Cana course crafted by P.B. Dye. Amenities also include tennis, water sports, spa, first-class accommodations and more. Plus, Punta Cana International Airport is on site, making arriving and departing from this eastern beach locale a breeze.

3. Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa Resort, Punta Cana: Also located in the Cap Cana development is Sanctuary, an award-winning luxe resort that boasts premier amenities alongside peerless customer service. The must-play is Punta Espada, the highly regarded Jack Nicklaus Signature that boasts mesmerizing ocean views from every hole, plus dramatic bluffs, beaches, lagoons and dense tropical foliage. Traveler alert: Sanctuary Cap Cana opens Dec. 15 following extensive remodeling.

4. Playa Grande Golf Course, Rio San Juan: Fans of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s amazing golf designs will know this is the master architect’s final course… and most certainly his most remote. Built on cliffs overlooking the Dominican’s northern shore, the layout is a white-knuckle, 220-mile road trip from La Romana, or an easier 50-mile commute from tiny Puerto Plata Airport. Memorable, absolutely, and well worth the effort.


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.