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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Golf


robrey85
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Hey all,

 

So the wife and I booked our All Inclusive ADULTS ONLY (Thank 8.6lb baby Jesus) resort trip out to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I also got the okay to play a few rounds, 2 at least, 3 if I'm lucky.

 

We're going early April, first question, is anyone else planning to head out there that maybe wants to meet up and play a round?

 

Anyone have any course recommendations at least? I've got my eye on the following:

 

Hard Rock Golf Club @ Cana Bay

Iberostate @ Bavaro

La Cana

Punta Espada (Definitely going to play)

 

Pictures look pretty amazing of both La Cana & Punta Espada, the only issue I have is that the drive to Punta Espada is 58 minutes and to La Cana is like 45 est. minutes.

 

Let's see some pics!

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By whose estimate is the driving time? Computer? Driving time in Dominican is never that simple. Play where you want and don't worry about the driving time. La Cana is nice, some good holes and some not so spectacular. [color=#282828]Punta Espada is the one to play. It wasn't ready for play (it was open, but not in good shape) when I was there last and that was too bad.[/color]

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[quote name='Socrates' timestamp='1423110331' post='10887939']
By whose estimate is the driving time? Computer? Driving time in Dominican is never that simple. Play where you want and don't worry about the driving time. La Cana is nice, some good holes and some not so spectacular. [color=#282828]Punta Espada is the one to play. It wasn't ready for play (it was open, but not in good shape) when I was there last and that was too bad.[/color]
[/quote]

Yeah, I was refering to the EST. time via Google maps. I've never been to DR so I wouldn't know. d:x

Punta Espada looks extreme, it's fairly long but man does it look beautiful.

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Depends on where you are staying but I wouldn't rent a car and drive by yourself. I was there a long time ago and there was a company that offered transportation and greens fees and took me to and from La Cana. There is also an amazing course called Corales that is part of Tortuga Bay Resort (which owns La Cana as well). But Corales, La Cana, and Punta Espada are the top 3 for sure.

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[quote name='robrey85' timestamp='1423147870' post='10889583']
[quote name='Socrates' timestamp='1423110331' post='10887939']
By whose estimate is the driving time? Computer? Driving time in Dominican is never that simple. Play where you want and don't worry about the driving time. La Cana is nice, some good holes and some not so spectacular. [color=#282828]Punta Espada is the one to play. It wasn't ready for play (it was open, but not in good shape) when I was there last and that was too bad.[/color]
[/quote]

Yeah, I was refering to the EST. time via Google maps. I've never been to DR so I wouldn't know. d:x

Punta Espada looks extreme, it's fairly long but man does it look beautiful.
[/quote]
When you get there, talk to the valet and he will tell you how long it will take to get to anywhere. Many of the roads the cabbies take are obscure and since it is flat rate, they try to get there as soon as possible. If you take arranged transport (thru course or agency), it can be much longer as you might go to a couple of resorts to pick up other golfers. 30 minutes can turn into an hour pretty quick.

Play from the tees you are comfortable at. Don't go for the hero yardage as you will just fire balls into oblivion. Go back and look at some of the tees that the Senior guys play from, but for the most part, don't do it as you will just get pissed off. Been there and done that.

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I've played La Cana several times and it is good but not great. Corales is very good. I have heard Punta Espada is great and I will be playing it for the first time this March. If you are looking at drive times of 45 minutes to 1 hour, you might also consider a ride out to Casa de Campo. It is 45 minutes from the airport in Punta Cana. Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore are both amazing.

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[quote name='gmies' timestamp='1423153519' post='10890249']
I've played La Cana several times and it is good but not great. Corales is very good. I have heard Punta Espada is great and I will be playing it for the first time this March. If you are looking at drive times of 45 minutes to 1 hour, you might also consider a ride out to Casa de Campo. It is 45 minutes from the airport in Punta Cana. Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore are both amazing.
[/quote]
Much easier drive now to T of the Dog. Before the new highway was finished, it was a 3 hour journey. Teeth of the Dog is worth it.

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Corales, Corales, Corales!

Beautiful course, Pick the right tees and enjoyable, go up and plenty challenging.

Beautiful ocean views, and with the Atlantic exposure, the ocean can show its power (waves blowing spray 50 ft up in coves/caves).

Pricey, but worth it.

Teeth of the Dog is beautiful, and has great press, but if travel time and cost is similar, for one round in the DR, go Corales.

Others are a step below, but if cost is an issue, compromises must be made.

Enjoy!
Rick

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Hi,

Played Barcelo Lakes and Punta Espada in november 2013.
Barcelo: fun course
Punta Espada: great course, views to die for, and when you get on the 17th tee box and you feel a little water on your face... it's the waves crashing !
You don't have to drive: if you book through the "official" website, they come and pick you up at your hotel lobby !
http://www.golfpuntacana.com/

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I also played Barcelo. It was fun, but we had to use rentals, which were in poor shape (old, beat up callaways), which made things interesting.

Regarding the Dominican... I would not drive around by yourself. My wife and I got lengthy discussion about this from hotel staff when we asked about renting a car.

Also, I don't want to be a downer, but Dominican in general was just okay. Been other places for golf/vacation in the Caribbean, Yucatan, Puerto Rico, etc. and had a much better time for the money at those places.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was out there last month and played Corales, Punta Espada, and La Cana. On a separate trip, I have played Teeth of The dog and Dye Fore at Casa de Campo in La Romana. I would definitely play Corales and Punta Espada - they are 15 min from eachother. I would pass on La Cana if you are tight on time. I would also strongly consider a day trip to Casa de Campo to Play Teeth of the Dog and Dye fore, but that requires a ~45-60 min drive. Taxis are run by a monopoly and prohibitively expensive so you'd need to rent a car most likely or hire a transportation company.

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[quote name='robrey85' timestamp='1423325336' post='10905715']
Hey all, thanks for the replies! Sounds like Corales and Punta Espada are a must. I'm definitely loving the scenic views of the ocean while I golf. I can't get enough of that since I live in the desert, haha.
[/quote]

I assume you are staying in Barcelo if that's the estimated travel time. If you are only playing 2, Punta Espada and Corales are it. I like La Cana, but it's not even close to being on the level of the other two. I booked through golfpuntacana.com which picks you up from your resort and drops you back after your round. The other option if you still have time to change hotels is to stay at Cap Cana and get the resort rate for Punta Espada. Have fun! Some of the most beautiful golf I have ever experienced (and some of the best forced carries).

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Knowing what I know now, I'd regret it had I passed up the chance to play Teeth of the Dog. Well worth the investment of time and cash to travel there from Punta Cana. Plenty of golf-and-transport options are available. It's a fantastic course. Punta Espada is equally scenic if not quite as challenging.

Iberostate is a good and economical choice if you're staying at the Iberostar resort, but I wouldn't play there otherwise.

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  • 1 month later...

[quote name='robrey85' timestamp='1428072643' post='11275719']
Welp, the trip is next week and I am stoked! I've pretty much checked out at work.

I'll be booking the golf courses through my hotel when I arrive assuming it's less or on par with the golfpuntacana.com website, plus they provide transportation too.

Thanks for all your suggestions!
[/quote]

Have a great time - you'll love the DR!

BTW, next time we go I'll probably rent a car. Driving there didn't seem at all as bad as some people have made it out to be, and rental cars there are cheap cheap cheap.

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[quote name='robrey85' timestamp='1428072643' post='11275719']
Welp, the trip is next week and I am stoked! I've pretty much checked out at work.

I'll be booking the golf courses through my hotel when I arrive assuming it's less or on par with the golfpuntacana.com website, plus they provide transportation too.

Thanks for all your suggestions!
[/quote]

I booked through these guys to play Punta Espada when we visited in January this year. They were pretty good and the bus they drive you in is actually pretty nice.

Punta Espada is absolutely unreal. Honestly the most amazingly scenic course I've ever played. Clubhouse is beautiful and the views are incredible. I played it from the tips and it was a lot of golf from there. It probably would have been a different experience from the blues.

I stayed at and played Barcelo. It was alright, but I played it after I had played Punta Espada, so it kind of dwarfed the experience.

On a side note, we stayed at Barcelo Adults Only, and it was not a good experience. My wife and I both got horrible food poisoning, and the food was borderline inedible. I was on antibiotics for a week when I got back. They also have party boats going up and down the shoreline all day starting at 11 am BLARING music and the place is absolutely swarming with people. It's not what I would call relaxing. If that's where you are headed, and you have any kind of trip insurance, I would recommend changing you reservation to a different resort.

I'll end on a happy note with some pics of Punta Espada from my day there

[attachment=2692491:IMG_7199.JPG]
[attachment=2692493:IMG_7201.JPG]
[attachment=2692495:IMG_7200.JPG]

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[quote name='Drudersh' timestamp='1428074365' post='11275927']
[quote name='robrey85' timestamp='1428072643' post='11275719']
Welp, the trip is next week and I am stoked! I've pretty much checked out at work.

I'll be booking the golf courses through my hotel when I arrive assuming it's less or on par with the golfpuntacana.com website, plus they provide transportation too.

Thanks for all your suggestions!
[/quote]

I booked through these guys to play Punta Espada when we visited in January this year. They were pretty good and the bus they drive you in is actually pretty nice.

Punta Espada is absolutely unreal. Honestly the most amazingly scenic course I've ever played. Clubhouse is beautiful and the views are incredible. I played it from the tips and it was a lot of golf from there. It probably would have been a different experience from the blues.

I stayed at and played Barcelo. It was alright, but I played it after I had played Punta Espada, so it kind of dwarfed the experience.

On a side note, we stayed at Barcelo Adults Only, and it was not a good experience. My wife and I both got horrible food poisoning, and the food was borderline inedible. I was on antibiotics for a week when I got back. They also have party boats going up and down the shoreline all day starting at 11 am BLARING music and the place is absolutely swarming with people. It's not what I would call relaxing. If that's where you are headed, and you have any kind of trip insurance, I would recommend changing you reservation to a different resort.

I'll end on a happy note with some pics of Punta Espada from my day there

[attachment=2692491:IMG_7199.JPG]
[attachment=2692493:IMG_7201.JPG]
[attachment=2692495:IMG_7200.JPG]
[/quote]

Hey man, yikes, that sucks. I'm sorry to hear. The wife and I are going up a bit more and staying at the Excellence Punta Cana resort. We stayed at that resort in Cancun last year and it was nice, though some problems, nothing to write home about. I loved it. It's an all inclusive adults only resort. Hopefully it's similar is hospitality.

I'm going to play Corales and then Punta Espada last. I can't wait.

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  • 3 weeks later...

[quote name='James_Par' timestamp='1429392948' post='11388245']
How did the trip go? Punta Espada or Corales - which one takes gold?
[/quote]

Unfortunately, I didn't play Los Corales. The wife and I made a deal that if I played one expensive one instead of two, that I could play three times instead of two times so I opted to play more.

I played in this order:

Punta Espada
Iberostar
La Cana

Punta Espada definitely takes the cake for the most beautiful course I've ever played. I had a blast. The caddie was good and gave me some great reads, his name was Ebay, haha. Cool dude, took some pictures for me along with a few videos.

Here's one of the videos he took for me:

[media=]http://youtu.be/SfMlw6aAqJ0[/media]

This is seriously, one of the craziest Par 3s I've ever played. The whole time I was playing it was like, "Holy crap, this is crazy. This is beautiful. This is amazing. This is crazy. Holy crap, this is nuts." lol, pretty much the whole day.

I enjoyed that course so much.

Iberostar was meh, okay. I liked that Island green Par 3 they had that was surrounded by sand. They had some other nice courses but that course has a lot of cart path that was offroading. It was a little ridiculous considering the surrounding area was as nice as it was. I would play this course again as a warm up round. I didn't take too many pictures but there was a forced carry Par 3 #16 that I gave a sleeve of balls too because I was frustrated, haha. It was super super humid at this course because it was surrounded by jungle pretty much. The greens were nice though. A TON of wasps. I was hunkered down in my cart at one point hoping not to get stung. Right after that is when I remembered I had some bug spray in my bag which I used and then everytime I walked up on the tee box with a family of wasps around it they'd disperse like a school of fish getting approached by a predator.

La Cana was an awesome course too. I didn't realize that it was a set of three nine holes. They let me choose which 18 I got to play. I chose the couple that went along the coast/beach which was Arrecife & Tortuga. Beautiful course. These greens were the best of the three I played. Punta Espada did the ole, "Let's make our greens sandy to make sure we don't have a lot of unrepaired divots" which made those greens not hold squat. I really enjoyed playing golf out there, even with it being as windy as it was. Punta was the windiest day at like 20-30 MPH winds and the least windy day was Iberostar at like 10-15 so it seemed. I think it was just because the surrounding jungle area was blocking the wind.

Either way, here are a few pictures of the bunch I took:

[attachment=2720761:1540279_10153183944359259_942424336546979236_o.jpg]

La Cana, from the 8th Tee Box of Arrecife

[attachment=2720773:11150245_10153183936739259_4301489976081812027_n.jpg]

Screenshot from a video my caddie took at Punta Espada. I think that's the 15th or something of the sort.

[attachment=2720771:11088486_10153183943669259_9200072637237988656_o.jpg]

I think this was the 5th or 6th hole of Tortuga @ La Cana. 157 Yard Par 3.

[attachment=2720769:11038113_10153183936424259_4716362440978221165_n.jpg]

A screenshot from the video above on that Par 3 at Punta Espada

[attachment=2720767:11009082_10153183933959259_4660480033157845462_n.jpg]

Forgot what hole this was at Punta Espada

[attachment=2720765:11008458_10153183935964259_1636858598412714755_n.jpg]

Forgot what hole this was at Punta Espada

[attachment=2720763:10954939_10153183944039259_4791155724712114437_o.jpg]

17th Tee box at Arrecife, La Cana

[attachment=2720759:176643_10153183943639259_8951694837362047469_o.jpg]

That 5th or 6th hole Par three on Tortuga, La Cana

All in all, it was a great trip. All Inclusive, can't beat it. Thankfully no one was hurt and or got sick. The biggest I had, was the language barrier. I had to dig deep to speak some broken a** Spanish to some of the people, haha. It was rough.

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Just got back from Punta Cana yesterday. Stayed at the Catalonia Bavaro Royal. Had a great time! Just a chill vacation with the wife. Stayed on the resort all week......except for when she cut me loose to play!

Did the golfpuntacana thing and played all 27 of the holes at LA Cana.[attachment=2727963:20150420_085630.jpg]

Course was in amazing shape. Best part was this is their slow season so the place was wide open. It's what afforded me the time to play 9 more.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm stoked as all hell! The wife and I get to go back to Punta Cana in January! I'm definitely going to play Los Corales this time around. I'm definitely going to play Punta Espada and was considering taking the trip to Teeth of the Dog but not really sure if it's worth it when there's courses just as beautiful that are waayyyy closer.

I might throw in Hard Rock or Punta Blanca in the mix to see how that is otherwise I'll just hit up Iberostar again or La Cana so I can play a total of three times again.

Anyone else planning to head out there that'd want to pair up on the course?

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