Casa de Campo Tops in Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo Teeth of the Dog (Image: Casa de Campo)

Teeth of the Dog features seven spectacular oceanside holes. (Image: Casa de Campo)

A big winner at the recent World Golf Awards, Pete Dye’s iconic Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo Resort is still the class of Caribbean golf.

Canadians love the Dominican Republic.

More than 700,000 of us visit the Caribbean nation every year, a total surpassed in the region only by Cuba. We’re drawn by the unaffected warmth of the people, the powdery white-sand beaches, and by the Caribbean’s widest selection of affordable all-inclusive resorts.

For golfers, the Dominican Republic’s most irresistible draw is its roster of 26 palm tree-lined courses by Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and other top architects.

A 25-year-long boom in course construction has the country of 10 million in hot competition with Puerto Rico, Jamaica and other challengers for dominance in the Caribbean golf market.

Casa de Campo Resort poolside (Image: Casa de Campo)

Casa de Campo numbers among the Caribbean’s elite resorts. (Image: Casa de Campo)

Nicklaus’s Punta Espada and Fazio’s Corales, both near Punta Cana on the eastern shore, number among the world’s most magnificent seaside designs. And on the remote north shore is Playa Grande Golf Course, a masterwork by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr. that’s currently being remodelled by his son, Rees Jones.

Other standout courses include La Estancia in La Romana, Punta Blanca in Punta Cana, and Guavaberry in Juan Dolio.

But indisputably the best of them all is Dye’s iconic Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo Resort.

Set beside the Caribbean Sea near the bustling city of La Romana on the southeast coast, Dye’s masterful layout has been a bucket-list destination for every well-travelled golfer since its launch in 1971. Especially unforgettable are Teeth of the Dog’s seven oceanside holes—including the eponymous 16th, a treacherous par three set in a rock cove roughly shaped like a dog’s snapping jaws. Dye calls this windswept and watery stretch “the seven holes created by God.”

A hands-on perfectionist, the now 90-year-old Dye has spent half a lifetime tweaking and even massively reworking Teeth of the Dog and the resort’s two other excellent courses, Dye Fore and The Links.

Together they’re the centrepiece of a sprawling 2,833-hectare resort so big and ripe with possibilities that hotel guests are given golf carts to get around the grounds. Guest rooms are in red-roofed, two-storey casitas that dogleg out from the main reception area. Also available are 50 three- to seven-bedroom villas.

Other attractions include a marina community modelled after the colourful seaside towns of the Mediterranean, and Altos de Chavon, a re-creation of an Old World artisan village that includes a Grecian amphitheatre.

A new addition to the facilities is a 4,459 square-metre golf practice area complete with driving range, a dedicated short-game zone, as well as grass mounds and depressions designed to simulate conditions on the three courses.

No wonder that Casa de Campo was recently voted the Dominican Republic’s best golf hotel at the World Golf Awards in Portugal.

Teeth of the Dog won, too, for best golf course in the Caribbean—but that was almost a foregone conclusion.

 

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