Punta Cana Dominican Republic – Lush fairways, the bluest water you’ve ever seen, and a course designed by the greatest golfer the world has ever known. If you’re golf bucket list didn’t already include Punta Espada in Punta Cana, then keep reading.
For seven years running, GolfWeek has named Punta Espada the Best Golf Course in the Caribbean and Mexico. Want more? After winning the Cap Cana Championship in 2010, Fred Couples declared that Punta Espada was Jack Nicklaus’ finest design ever. Keep in mind the Golden Bear has designed 390 courses in 41 countries.
Punta Espada wastes no time in making its presence felt. Upon walking through the front entrance of the clubhouse, be prepared for an image that will grab you by the shoulders and stop you dead in your tracks. Straight ahead, just beyond a narrow entryway, is the 18th green. With the ultra-turquoise Caribbean Sea directly behind the green, this image is so vivid it almost seems like a hologram. This won’t be your last Punta Espada reality check.
The meticulous care that went into Punta Espada’s design and condition is present at every turn. Nicklaus was given an extraordinary canvas to paint his masterpiece. From the panoramic elevations that reveal sweeping views of the course and the Sea, to the limestone outcroppings that were chiseled to frame holes, Punta Espada is Caribbean golf at its finest.
The eight holes hugging the Caribbean Sea are the ones where battling trade winds often take a back seat to keeping your jaw from dropping. This may be the first course where the visuals will have you shooting even par in “wow.”
What’s also impressive, from a real estate standpoint, is the housing that dots the outskirts of certain holes. These homes and villas add to your experience while playing with your imagination. Golf diehards can’t help but feel a twinge of envy for residents who luxuriate in these tastefully appointed abodes with views that are to die for.
Punta Espada can be both a beauty and a beast. For the holes encountering the Caribbean Sea, golfers must have their wits about them. Choosing the safest shot and utilizing course management strategies are a must when cliffs, water and limestone waste areas are reaching out like long-armed geographical magnets. That’s when you’ll be grateful for the advice of the seasoned caddies that are included in your greens fees. These handpicked caddies are Punta Cana’s best of the best.
The best in Punta Cana golf is a mouthful when one considers that Fazio, Dye, and Faldo are just a few of the names connected to the other golf courses in the area. What’s interesting is when one plays Punta Espada first in your tour of Punta Cana championship golf, one often decides to simply come back to Punta Espada again and again.
The sheer beauty of Punta Espada is beyond words. Picking a favorite hole is literally in the eye of the beholder. If you love the outdoors, then golf is almost secondary to the sights, sounds, and environmental embrace that Punta Espada delivers.
Past Club Manager Bernie Morgan’s fondness for the 17th hole speaks volumes for what a newcomer can anticipate. “For me, I would be perfectly content to bring a good book and a glass of wine to the 17th tee box and just look out over the Sea. I never get tired of the view,” Morgan said.
It’s safe to say that Nicklaus threw away the book when he designed Punta Espada. Play this exhilarating golf experience just once, and Punta Espada will find its way into your heart, or at least reach the top of your bucket list.
For more information visit www.capcana.com
Tim Cotroneo is a freelance writer with a passion for golf and a future Caribbean zip code. Visit his website at www.traveldreamsmagazine.com
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