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The Dominican Republic Aces Its Game

Dozens of top-tier golf courses reward link-minded travelers with an opportunity to play while soaking in the scenery

Have a handicap that won\’t budge? Many of the Dominican Republic courses offer clinics and lessons taught by golf pros.
For golfers, there’s no paradise greater than an award-winning golf course set amidst beautiful surroundings; so consider the Dominican Republic, with its two dozen world-class courses set against shining seas and dramatic mountains, a veritable golf mecca.

On the North Coast of this Caribbean island awaits Playa Grande golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the breathtaking course winds along the Atlantic Ocean’s cliffs and rugged coastline offering distractingly stunning views at every hole. Another notable Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed course on this coast is Playa Dorado on the Playa Dorado Resort Complex in Puerto Plata. Flanked by coconut palms, regal Poinciana trees, and sea grapes, the relatively flat course features lush fairways, exceptionally-maintained greens, and a 9th-hole view of Mount Isabel de Torres.

The East Coast is home to a handful of championship courses. Punta Espada Golf Club at Cap Cana was Jack Nicklaus’ first golf course in the Dominican Republic and grants bird’s-eye views of the Caribbean’s turquoise waters from 8 of its 18 holes. The flat and fairly forgiving P.B. Dye-designed La Cana Golf Course at Puntacana Resort & Club can’t help but show off its beauty with four holes right on the beach and 14 more with ocean views.

Travel to the Casa de Campo in La Romana on the Southeast Coast to play the Teeth of the Dog – the course that put the Dominican Republic on the world’s golf map in 1971. Ranked among the world’s 100 best golf courses (not to mention number one in the Caribbean), the Pete Dye-designed course boasts seven holes overlooking the jagged coastline that inspired its curious name. Also in La Romana is P.B. Dye’s La Estancia Golf Club – a striking course with grass hollow bunkers (instead of sand) that’s set 400 feet above the serpentine Chavon River.

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