Punta Espada Golf Club
Cap Cana, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
7396 YARDS (PAR 72)
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 77.0/137
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (2006)
COURSE WEBSITE: https://puntaespadagolf.com/
ROUNDS PLAYED: 1
LAST PLAYED: March 11, 2020.
LOW SCORE: 80 (+8)
– Golf Digest World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses 2020 (Outside USA): #35
– Golfweek Best Courses Caribbean & Mexico 2020: #1
FROM THE PUNTA ESPADA YARDAGE GUIDE
“I believe Cap Cana will offer one of the finer golf experiences in the Caribbean and perhaps the world.”
– Jack Nicklaus, Course Architect, Punta Espada GC
It seems awfully fitting that the first course to truly challenge Pete Dye’s masterpiece, Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog, for supremacy in the Dominican Republic is the Jack Nicklaus designed Punta Espada Golf Club.
That’s because a young Nicklaus mentored under Dye back in the mid-1960’s, consulting on his Ohio gem The Golf Club before earning co-design credit on famed Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Nicklaus Design has built approximately 425 golf courses in the last 50+ years and I can tell you that Punta Espada is in the top handful of Nicklaus designs that I’ve played.
The land that the course sits on in Cap Cana is one of the most beautiful pieces of golf real estate that I’ve seen, with excellent, rolling topography, stunning white coral outcroppings and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, featuring the most unbelievably clear blue water you could possibly imagine.
While the gorgeous scenery is hard to top, the architecture here more than holds its own.
The course is currently rated as the 35th best course in the world (outside of the United States) by Golf Digest in their recent 2020 rankings and Golfweek ranks it as the best course in the Caribbean, ranking it ahead of Dye’s Teeth of the Dog.
High praise indeed.
Everything about the day was first-class. The resort provided complimentary shuttle transportation to and from my hotel in Punta Cana, which was about a half hour away. Caddie fees are also included in the green fee at Punta Espada, with only a gratuity required on top of that.
Frankly, this is not a cheap place to play golf. The $300.00 US$ green fee is among the most expensive I’ve ever experienced but when you incorporate the complimentary transportation and the caddie fees into the equation, I strongly feel the value is there.
The course was in splendid condition even after heavy rains from the previous day. I played alone for the first ten holes but would hook up with a couple of great guys from Indiana on the 11th hole when things started to back up a bit, further enhancing the experience.
I had a tremendous day at Punta Espada and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting the east or south coasts of the Dominican.
For a hole-by-hole rundown of Punta Espada GC, please feel free to click on one of the photos below to engage the slideshow. All photos within this review are courtesy of Now on the Tee.