A team of Oyster reporters spent a month exploring the top resort hotels in the Dominican Republic. We slept in the beds, lounged on the beaches, and ate in the restaurants, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Here’s our list of the best hotel golf courses in the Dominican Republic.
In 2008, Travel & Leisure Golf ranked Casa de Campo the top golf resort in the Caribbean. The resort's signature course, Teeth of the Dog, which was redesigned in 2006, is ranked No. 43 on Golf Magazine's top 100 courses in the world. There are three courses on the property, including Teeth of the Dog (6,888 yards, par 72), Dye Four (7,770 yards, par 72), and The Links (6,461 yards, par 71), all of which were designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Pete Dye. Each course has 40 groundskeepers assigned to it, which doesn't come as a surprise -- our reporter couldn't find a blade of grass out of place. Caddies are $25 per day, and, though not required, several guests said they're extremely helpful since the holes aren't especially well-marked.
The 18-hole La Cana golf course at the Punta Cana Estates property, which surrounds Tortuga, was designed by P.B. Dye. Fourteen of the 18 holes run along the ocean and the course was written up in Golf Digest. Greens Fees are $64 for nine holes and $105 for 18. There are also reduced afternoon rates for players who tee up after 2:30 p.m.
One of the Sanctuary's biggest assets is its own golf course. Punta Espada -- a par 72, 18-hole golf course -- is immaculately groomed. Fellow guests seemed to agree, spending huge chunks of time there. In fact, the hotel maintains a fleet of golf carts that constantly circulate around the property, picking up guests and dropping them off at the course. The Teeth of the Dog course at the similarly ritzy Casa de Campo has been hailed as one of the Caribbean's most famous golf courses, but the course at the Sanctuary and other new courses, like the one at the Punta Cana Hotel, could provide some real competition.
White Sands Golf Course, the resort's primary course because of its proximity to the hotel (a five-minute shuttle away) is not on the premises, and isn't at all the focus of the resort. A few golfers may be spotted waiting for their shuttle (which are free and must be reserved ahead of time), but fees are extra and range from $70 to $120. It doesn't compare with courses like La Cana at Punta Cana Resort & Club or those at Casa de Campo in La Romana, which are both famed for their design and pristine seaside locations. On the North Coast, several all-inclusive resorts in the Playa Dorada complex offer closer access to the golf course there.