Golf in Punta Cana
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With a comfortable climate year-round, abundant greenery, and stunning natural backdrops, Punta Cana is a highly desirable location for golf. Indeed, the region has some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, designed by top golf architects including Nick Faldo, P. B. Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Jose "Pepe" Gancedo, Nick Price, and Alberto Sola. The region's reputation as a golf hot spot shows no signs of slowing, with the major resort community developments at Rōco Ki, Punta Cana, and Cap Cana each planning to add new links in the next few years.
The prices are all given in U.S. dollars.
Barceló Bávaro Golf. Barceló Bávaro Golf is an 18-hole, par-72 course integrated within the Barceló Bávaro Beach Golf & Casino Resort complex, which is open to its own guests and those of other hotels. The course, with numerous water obstacles, was designed by Juan Manuel Gordillo, and was the first in the Bávaro area. Complete renovations were executed by designer P. B. Dye in 2010. The best rates are available for guests of the more upscale Barcelo hotels, such as the Barcelo Palace Deluxe. In high season, they pay $55 for 18 holes (includes the cart); after March 15th, the cost drops to $40. The price for those not staying at a Barcelo is $135, which includes greens fees and golf cart. Barceló Bávaro Beach Golf & Casino Resort, Bávaro. 809/686–5797 Ext. 1835. www.barcelobavarogolf.net.
Cabeza de Toro Golf Club. This 9-hole, par-35 resort course was designed by Alberto Sola. Greens fees for guests of Catalonia are $80 if you play 18 holes $60 for 9 holes and includes the cart. It is the second, smaller golf course affiliated with Catalonia. Greens fees for external guests in other Bavaro properties varies, and can be twice as much if available. It may be advisable to check Fodor's listing for Go Golf Tours for its pricing, as it usually includes hotel transfers, and more. Catalonia Bávaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, Cabeza de Toro, Bávaro. 809/321–7058. www.cataloniabavaro.com.
Cana Bay Palace Golf Club. Indigenous flora and fauna are preserved in its immaculate landscaping designed by Jack Nicklaus and Mark Meijer. This 18-hole course is now part of the Hard Rock Hotel complex; resort guests pay between $240 and $260 for green fees, depending on the time, and just $150 at twilight. Guests from the outside pay as much as $299. Arena Gorda, Macao. 809/687–0000. www.hardrockhotelpuntacana.com.
Catalonia Caribe Golf Club. Challenging and reasonably priced, Catalonia Caribe Golf Club is an 18-hole, par-72 course spread out on greens surrounded by five lakes and an abundance of shady palms. It is a short course and Alberto Sola, the architect, designed it so that it would be challenging for both experienced and novice golfers. The rate structure is complex, but expect to pay $80 for 18 holes if you are staying at a Catalonia resort or $130 if you are at another hotel property; both rates include a cart. Catalonia Bavaro Resort, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro. 809/321-7058. www.cataloniabavaro.com.
Cocotal Golf Course. Named for the coconut plantation on which it was built, Cocotal Golf Course, designed by Spaniard José "Pepe" Gancedo, has 18 championship holes and 9 regular holes. It's a challenging par-72 course dotted with palm trees and lakes within the residential community, Palma Real. There's also a driving range, clubhouse, pro shop, and golf academy. From November through April green fees are $138 for 18 holes and include a cart ($60 for nine holes with a cart, too). Advance booking is mandatory. Palma Real Villas, Bávaro. 809/687–4653 or 809/221–1290 Ext. 2000. www.cocotalgolf.com.
Corales Golf Course. Corales Golf Club, designed by Tom Fazio and opened in November 2009, is a dramatic 18-hole course with six Caribbean Seaside holes. Designed along the natural cliffs and coves of the sea and inland lakes and Coralina quarries, the 700 acres here are part of the extensive Puntacana Resort & Club. The club is open to its members and their guest, guests of Tortuga Bay, and Puntacana Resort guests who purchase the Resort's Golf Experience packages. Resort guest rates start at $275 in season and $195 during the off season. Subject to availability, the Corales Golf Club accepts limited external guests with a rate of $380 in season and $280 off season. Caddies are mandatory at Corales. Inquires and tee time requests can be made by emailing email@example.com. Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana. 809/959–4653. www.puntacana.com.
Iberostate Bávaro Golf Club. Iberostate Bávaro Golf Club, with its P. B. Dye-designed fairways, is set along the coast. The beauty of the natural setting shines in the layout of the links at this 18-hole, par 72 course. Greens fees of $160 (for non-Iberostar guests) $110 (for guests) include transportation, driving and putting range, shared cart, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages while playing. Iberostar Bávaro Resort, Playa Arena Gorda, Bávaro. 809/221–6500 Ext. 1401.
La Cana Golf Club. La Cana Golf Club is comprised of 27 holes of championship golf designed by P. B. Dye, with spectacular ocean views in three courses: La Cana, Arreclife, and Hacienda. The La Cana Golf Course is breathtaking—with four holes play right along the water. The latest, Hacienda, opened in Jan. 2012, not as a full course but rather a set of 9 individual holes; it is punctuated with many lakes amidst an unspoiled tropical landscape, a challenging addition to the existing, spectacular courses. For resort guests, 18 Holes are $135 in season and $105 off-season. Non-uuests are $175 in season and $140 off-season. Multiple round/ twilight packages are available as well. Caddies are optional. Lessons and golf schools are offered by PGA Professional staff. Reserve two weeks in advance from November through April. Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana. 809/959–4653. www.puntacana.com.
Punta Blanca Golf Course. This beautiful 18-hole, par-72 course was designed by Nick Price. Majestic guests pay $145, which includes cart, food, and beverages. (Greens fees are $190, including cart and nonalcoholic beverages, for guests of other hotels in the Bavaro area.) Prices also includes transfers to the course (if your hotel is located between the Barcelo complex and Hard Rock Hotel). Carretera Arena Gorda, near Majestic Colonial Resort, Bávaro. 809/468–4734.
Punta Espada Golf Course. Punta Espada Golf Course is a par-72 Jack Nicklaus signature golf course with striking bluffs, lush foliage, and winding waterways. There's a Caribbean view from all the holes, and eight of them play right along the sea. It's the first of three Jack Nicklaus signature courses planned at Cap Cana. This exceptional golf club has concierge services, a restaurant, the Hole 19 bar, a pro shop, a members' trophy gallery, a library, lockers, an equipment repair shop, and a meeting room. Rates are discounted for guests in any of Cap Cana's accommodations and are $225 ($160 after 2 pm); greens fees are $375 for external guests ($250 after 2 pm); prices include golf cart, caddy, tees, water, and practice on the driving range. In high season, it is best to make reservations two weeks in advance for tee times. Cap Cana, Carretera Juanillo, Playa Juanillo. 809/469–7767. www.capcana.com.
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