Punta Espada

Punta Espada
Punta Espada

In case you haven't heard, there is something special being created on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic. That something special is the upscale Cap Cana tourist and residential community. The Cap Cana project is the largest scale development plan in all the Caribbean, and when finished, it hopes to merit its self-dubbed claim as "The World's Greatest Destination". Among the highlights of Cap Cana will be the three golf courses designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. If you are planning a Caribbean golf vacation, Cap Cana should figure in among the top destinations on your list. Nicklaus opened the first of his three courses in November of 2006, the beautifully stunning 18-hole Punta Espada Golf Course. Since then, Punta Espada golf has quickly made a respectable name for itself.

Cap Cana Dominican Republic Marina
Cap Cana Dominican Republic Marina

Throughout its first phase of development, Cap Cana remained somewhat of a secret, but the secret is finally getting out. The Punta Espada golf course and clubhouse are ready and the Altabella Sanctuary Hotel & Spa is already partly open and will be finished by year's end in 2007. Completed by then as well will be the Marina condominiums for Founders, much of the marina itself, and other major infrastructure projects. Villas, condos and other vacation accommodations are already up for sale, or have already been sold, so those looking to get in on ownership might want to consider getting in as soon as they can.

Cap Cana Resorts
Cap Cana Resorts

That's just the tip of the iceberg, however, and by the time multi-billion dollar Cap Cana is fully completed it will offer over 5,000 residences and 500 hotel rooms. Luxury is the name of the game here, and among the Dominican Republic hotels and resorts, Cap Cana will figure in as a major player. The entire development will cover approximately 6,200 acres overlooking 5 miles of soft, white Caribbean beaches. The Cap Cana Marina will be the largest in the entire Caribbean and the only full-service marina found between Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos. With 500 slips able to accommodate yachts up to 150 feet, the marina will be quite the docking point with its collection of luxury hotels, restaurants and stores. Cap Cana has slowly become so notable that it even attracted the likes of Donald Trump, who is developing his own gated community atop a cliff 200 feet above the sea. As for now, however, Punta Espada is the main attraction, and when Jack's other two courses are finished, Cap Cana will be the only regional destination featuring three courses designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Supposedly, the Cap Cana group gave Jack Nicklaus and his company the first pick of Cap Cana property for the development of his three courses. As you tee it up on the Punta Espada Golf Course you will first notice the immaculate beauty of its location. Punta Espada, with its privileged layout, incorporates the natural beauty of Cap Cana's picturesque cliffs, post card beaches, lucid waterfalls and tropical vegetation. Eight of the holes enjoy seaside positioning and on all but a few holes golfers can enjoy views of the Caribbean Sea. In Nicklaus's own words, "this is a stunning backdrop for golf". You will want to make sure, however, that you manage to concentrate not only on the views, but on the overall challenge that Punta Espada golf presents. The 13th hole at Punta Espada is a perfect example. This "signature hole" is a 250 yard par 3 where golfers must carry their shot over the ocean to a green that is surrounded by turquoise Caribbean waters. Will you go for it, or will you use the bail out option to the right?

Punta Espada golf is setting a standard among the other Caribbean golf courses that is hard to rival. Dominican Republic golf is already highly regarded and the country offers the most number of courses in the Caribbean. With the addition of the Punta Espada golf course, Dominican Republic golf has raised the bar within the Caribbean. With tees ranging from black to red, golfers of all skill levels will be able to enjoy the par 73 Punta Espada golf course. While a round at Punta Espada is not cheap, it is worth every penny if not for the views alone. November through May is the peak season for Punta Espada golf, and rates during this time hover at around $320. If that seems a bit pricey, you might consider booking your round between June and October, when the rates fall to $220. Included in the price of your round, among other amenities, are range balls, caddie fees, cart fees and two bottles of water. Getting to Punta Espada is fairly easy, as the Cap Cana community is located just 10 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport. From the east coast of the United States, you can be there in under four hours. The only remaining question is if you will ever want to come back.

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