- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
La Cana Golf Course (Punta Cana Resort and Club, tel. 809/959-2262, fax 809/959-4653, www.puntacana.com, tee times 7 a.m.–4 p.m.) is both challenging and beautiful. Designed by Pete B. Dye, this 18-hole, par-72 course opened in 2001 and has 14 holes with views of the Caribbean Sea and 4 that run alongside it. If you are going to go all out and splurge for a round, this is the best in the area. This course is part of one of the best hotels in the area, and the beauty, service, and prices indicate this. Greens fees for 18 holes are US$165 for nonguests of the hotel, US$102 for 9 holes.
Catalonia Cabeza de Toro Golf Club (Bávaro Catalonia Resort, tel. 809/412-0000, fax 809/412-2001, tee times 7 a.m.–4 p.m.) has two 9-hole courses; one is a regular 9-hole course (par 35) and the other is a 9-hole executive course (par 3) that opened in 2000. While they are short courses, it’s a stimulating and enjoyable play for both novice and experienced golfers, with its five lakes (adding water obstacles), numerous shade trees, and wide fairways. Greens fees are considerably less than at the La Cana course. Greens fees are US$45 for a round on the 9-hole course (cart US$20 extra) and US$65 for two rounds (cart US$25 extra).
The Cocotal Golf and Country Club (El Cortecito, tel. 809/687-4653, www.cocotalgolf.com) has been carved out of what used to be a coconut plantation. Spanish golf champion José “Pepe” Gancedo designed two courses (18 and 9 holes) by using what nature already afforded the lush and rolling landscape. Lakes, tactical placement of trees and bunkers, generous fairways and greens, and the peaceful surroundings can fool a golfer. This is a challenging course. Winds run opposite of play direction, waters wrap greens, and just when you thought you had the wind figured out, it is at your back. Greens fees plus cart rental for the 18-hole course are US$112. Fees for the 9-hole plus a cart are US$65. Lessons are offered through the Cocotal Golf Academy for US$80 per hour.
The new Faldo Legacy Course at Roco Ki (Punta Cana, tel. 888/476-2654 or 809/731-2824, www.rocoki.com) has golf enthusiasts falling all over themselves. In 2008, it was named as one of the world’s best new golf courses. It is a par 72 course with 18 holes surrounded by dunes, marsh, and woodland that opens to the sea. The course billows and folds over the cliffs and canyons along with the waves of the ocean. Not only is it beautiful but it is strategically challenging. If the winds and crooked topography don’t get you, the beauty might bewitch you completely. Cost for play is US$220–400 (depending on season).
Other golf courses in the area include Punta Blanca (Punta Cana Beach Resort, Carretera Arena Gorda–Macao, Bávaro, tel. 809/468-4734, www.punta-blanca.com), Golf de Bávaro (Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort, Punta Cana, www.barcelogolf.com), La Hacienda (Punta Cana Resort and Club, www.puntacana.com), and Las Lagunas and Punta Espada Golf Courses (Cap Cana, www.capcana.com).
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition