5 Caribbean Seaside Beauties
The Caribbean has some of the most brilliantly colored water in the world. Top designers like Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus have designed courses in the region that take full advantage of the stunning blue and turquoise waters framing lush, green tropical terrain. Postcard beautiful settings with challenging oceanside holes make these courses joyful and memorable golf experiences. Here are five beauties where some of your best shots will, no doubt, come from your camera:
Corales at Puntacana – Think Pebble Beach oceanside holes with Caribbean colors and you’ll have a good image of this Tom Fazio designed course on the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic. Six of the eighteen holes are oceanfront, including the final three, which have been dubbed the “Devil’s Elbow.” Offering a variety of short and long holes, Corales encompasses a dramatic blend of breathtaking vistas, ocean holes framed by craggy rocks and rolling inland terrain. On most holes, the generously wide fairways give mid-handicappers ample landing areas as they battle the prevailing winds.
Punta Espada at Cap Cana – Jack Nicklaus has been presented with some great land to build his golf courses, and this piece of phenomenal oceanside real estate in the Dominican Republic is one of the best. Encompassing beautiful bluffs, photogenic beaches, winding waterways and tropical foliage, Punta Espada’s amazing beauty will take your breath away. Situated in the master-planned resort/residential community of Cap Cana on the eastern tip of the Domincan Republic, this course offers a thorough skills test at one of the world’s finest outdoor, oceanside testing areas.
Royal Isabela – Magnificent cliff-top holes overlooking rocky coves with deep blue waters, lush flora and fauna and creatively contoured greens make this oceanside gem a moveable feast for golfers. Designed by brothers Charlie and Stanley Pasarell and David W. Pfaff, who worked with Pete Dye for several years, the course sits on a spectacular stretch of oceanside terrain in northwestern Puerto Rico. Royal Isabela is a tropical links-style course featuring tee shots over foliage filled canyons and along ocean framed shoreline as well as bump and run shots and lobs over protruding mounds.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay – The panoramic ocean views from the elevated tees on holes #4, #17 and #18 are the kind that make golf course photographers leap with joy. Set on the Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, this layout artfully incorporates Scottish design features in a tropical, palm-dotted setting. Course architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie did a masterful job of creating exceptional green complexes with bump and run opportunities and positioning pot bunkers for maximum effect.
Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo – Arguably, the most well known course in the Caribbean, this Pete Dye masterpiece on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic is drop dead gorgeous and challenging. Set in the sprawling 7,000 acre Casa de Campo Resort, it has seven holes that play along the blue and turquoise Caribbean Sea. The Teeth of the Dog is situated at sea level and you’ll feel the mist and spray of the crashing waves on a couple of holes. Its catchy name comes from the par three 16th hole, which is bordered by jagged coral formations that resemble the teeth of an angry dog.