Appeared in March 2008 LINKS
At Casa de Campo, Dye gave his Teeth of the Dog, which features seven shoreline holes, an extensive facelift in 2005. His newer Dye Fore dances on the clifftops of a 300-foot-deep gorge. Jack Nicklaus’ Punta Espada Golf Club at the Cap Cana Resort & Club opened in 2006 with eight seaside holes. Dye’s nephew P.B. designed the seaside La Cana course at the Puntacana Resort & Club, where he also will open Hacienda, an inland layout, this year. Roco Ki Golf Club, a Nick Faldo design scheduled to open in the fall, will have a finish to rival that of Pebble Beach.
Details make Casa de Campo one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts. Villas offer a combination whirlpool and pool, marble baths and home theater. The Puntacana Hotel at Puntacana Resort has casitas and suites near miles of sandy beach. For privacy, Puntacana’s Tortuga Bay has 15 beach villas and a restaurant and pool off-limits to other guests. Paradisus Punta Cana boasts 10 restaurants, seven bars, casino and spa.
Chef Paul Scordino of New York’s Le Cirque influenced the menu at Casa de Campo’s El Pescador, an open-air restaurant on the beach. For seafood, try La Yola, modeled after a fisherman’s boat, at the Puntacana Marina. Caletón Beach Club at Cap Cana mixes tropical ambiance with good fare. For a night out in the capital of Santo Domingo, Pat’e Palo resides in the building that housed the New World’s first tavern, in the 16th century.
Rancho Baiguate Adventure Center offers rafting Class III to V rapids of the Yaque del Norte, the Caribbean’s longest river. From three sites, Amstar DMC provides outback safaris or sea excursions, like a catamaran ride to a protected sanctuary at Saona Island. Most resorts can arrange snorkeling and scuba trips for exploring coral formations and swimming among turtles, whales and even sharks. First Class Fishing helps sport fishermen reel in blue marlin, sailfish and wahoo off the shores of Punta Cana.
The Dominican Republic provides much more than a day at the beach. Golf is a big part of the allure. Course development along the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean continues vigorously more than 35 years after Pete Dye built his legendary Teeth of the Dog.
By: Jason Deegan