Jun 18th, 2016
Playa Grande Golf Course
And why we want to head out to the Dom Rep
Words: John Dean
The Playa Grande Golf Course in the Dominican Republic has been fully restored and the latest Aman hotel, Amanera, recently opened. This is why we are desperate to go.
The centrepiece of the new resort is the exclusive 18 hole, par-72 course. Overlooking the crescent-shaped Playa Grande Beach, regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, the Playa Grande Golf Course is distinctly characterised by long vistas, cliff-side fairways and meticulously contoured greens.
Ten holes play directly on the ocean, the most of any golf course in the Western Hemisphere, giving it a unique distinction within the international golfing community.
Spanning more than 180 acres along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic - part of which is widely known as the ‘Green Coast’ - the course features a total of six sets of tees, allowing guests to play from 5,230 yards on forward tees to 7,259 yards from championship tees.
Originally designed in 1995 by golf legend Robert Trent Jones, Sr., it has since been extensively revived by his son, famed golf course architect Rees Jones. It was the last golf course Jones ever created outside the United States before Robert Trent Jones Sr. died in 2000.
“With Rees Jones and his renowned team behind the redesign, coupled with its unique ocean-side location, this course is going to be a natural draw for international golf enthusiasts,” said Katerina Katopis, Director at Dolphin Capital, who have developed the resort and course.
“There is rich history behind the foundation of this golf course, thanks to my father’s vision and the legacy he built beneath it,” says Rees Jones, who has designed or redesigned more than 170 courses throughout the span of his career so far.
“It has been an honour to work in tandem with Dolphin Capital to revive and enhance what was originally a dramatically routed course by my father. We were given a unique opportunity to create an even more dramatic routing and breathe new life into a design that will ultimately be enjoyed for generations to come on an international scale.”
The gently rolling landscape, providing natural undulations are accented by wide fairways, intricately contoured greens and Rees Jones’ signature windswept coastal style bunkers.
The course features what is being labelled as one of the finest finishes in golf – which includes the dog-leg right par-5 on the 14th that allows golfers to finish on the cliff’s edge overlooking the beach, resort and ocean. From there, the final four holes play along the rocky cliffs, high above the ocean.
The final hole is a risk/reward par-5, which requires the player to choose a shot from one cliff to another and over a cove of water in order to reach the green in two or take the safer three shot route around the ocean.
This is one for the list for sure. Fingers crossed.