- Golf course
Remarkable Punta Cana
By Eve Bourdeau, gendrongolf’s Sales Director
Having been with Gendron Travel for 15 years now, I can personally attest that golfing in Punta Cana has undergone a complete transformation. Once recognized the world over for its white sandy beaches dotted with endless coconut palms, this southernmost region of the Dominican Republic now boasts countless luxurious resorts and superb golf courses that have its Caribbean competitors green with envy.
With so much to offer, it’s easy to understand why Gendron Travel customers have made this seaside paradise one of their favourite sun and golf destinations. And, as luck would have it, those who enjoy golfing in the tropics can now access Punta Cana by direct flight from several major cities including Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto.
If Punta Cana has now become a golfer’s dream, it’s in large part due to Architect P.B. Dye. Since 2000, the youngest son of Pete and Alice Dye (renowned architects themselves), has made this destination his utmost focus. To date, he has designed at least five courses in Punta Cana and turned forgotten fields yellowed by the sun into glorious emerald-green gems waiting to be discovered.
Two of Dye’s masterpieces are featured as part of all-inclusive resorts. One of these is part of the Iberostar Hotels & Resorts chain, which has ranked among our customers’ favourite Dominican resorts for two years running. We adore its impeccably green fairways which, faithful to the P.B. Dye name, have their fair share of rolling hills and sand traps as you make your way along the 18 holes. This course provides a truly nice circuit that won’t deplete your stock of golf balls. Be sure to have your camera ready at Hole No. 8, a Par 3 where the tee and star-shaped green (which happens to be the chain’s logo) literally pop against the pale sand. This particular resort features various categories of hotels, ranging from 4 to 5 star, not to mention an adults-only section.
The other resorts with P.B. Dye signature courses are the Barceló Bávaro Beach resort and the Palace Resort. In 1993, these two were the first in Punta Cana to feature a golf club. In 2010, P.B. Dye completely revamped and modernized the course, focusing on water hazards to heighten the challenge. And, what we continue to love about this resort is the fact that there are plenty of options to ensure everyone can play, no matter what their budget.
Jack Nicklaus has also contributed to the resurgence of golf in Punta Cana, most notably at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. The former PGA star put his stamp on the resort’s splendidly designed course. Despite being very forgiving, this course has plenty of water hazards and sand traps to keep you on your toes. In addition to its fabulous golf course, the resort is unique in the fact that each of its suites—a total of 1,790 to be exact—comes equipped with a Jacuzzi. Add to that a whopping 11 pools and, of course, the amazing 45,000 square-foot casino (the largest in the world), and the site becomes the ultimate in pure luxury!
A final element that makes Punta Cana the darling of all Caribbean golfing destinations are its three oceanside courses: Punta Espada Golf Club, Cana Golf Club and Corales Golf Club. These three sparkling jewels sit alongside the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which provides a sharp contrast to the bright emerald green of the fairways and the crisp white sand traps. Such surroundings are the norm in these parts and can be found on over half of the courses in Punta Espada.
Golfers looking to treat themselves to the vacation of a lifetime will no doubt want to play one of these three dream courses. Clearly, golf has come a long way in Punta Cana.