LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic – Golf in the Dominican Republic is alive and well, and once again, thankfully, the Teeth of the Dog is baring its distinctive fangs.
Pete Dye’s oceanside masterpiece (“I created eleven holes, and God created seven.”) is open, is in impeccable shape, and is lacking only players. Golf Digest ranks the iconic layout as the No. 1 course in the Caribbean and No. 27 in the “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”
Along with Dye’s 45 other holes—27 at Dye Fore and 18 at The Links—Casa de Campo is a luxury, five-star golf and recreational resort that has recently been enticing golfers and vacationers from the U.S., South America, and Europe with its own stimulus packages.
For an overview of the resort, check out this link: https://www.casadecampo.com.do/
The PGA Tour showcased the Dominican Republic haven of Punta Cana in late September when the pros journeyed to the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Hudson Swafford earned the $740,000 first-place check, but the lavish TV coverage encouraged many viewers to consider ending their pandemic self-imprisonment to sojourn where the pros played and frolicked.
And, to encourage a return to their lush island retreat, the Dominican Republic and Casa de Campo are ready when you are.
The Dominican Republic government and the resort management have instituted policies to keep residents and guests as safe as possible from the Covid-19 bully.
First, the DR no longer requires a negative PCR test to enter the country but administers breath tests upon arrival. Second, the DR offers insurance at no cost to any guest if that guest becomes ill with Covid-19 while on vacation. That insurance covers all emergency hospitalization, medical, lodging, and airline ticket change fees.
Casa de Campo has both expanded upon the government’s largesse and designed a response called “Casa Cares,” a comprehensive program of health protocols that protect everyone at the resort with the most effective possible measures. The website explains the position well: “Focusing on a renewed commitment to safety, privacy, service, and joy, we are prepared to receive and take care of all Casa de Campo guests… We hope to enable new experiences that will allow everyone to feel comfortable while they take part in their favorite activities at the resort.”
For more information about the extensive “Casa Cares” protocols, please read this link: https://www.casadecampo.com.do/resources/casa-cares/.
So, after watching the pros enjoy themselves in Punta Cana and after researching both the DR’s and Casa de Campo’s policies, I eagerly returned last week to my favorite Caribbean getaway. I took along my son Andrew for his initial visit, and we couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more.
We flew direct from Fort Lauderdale on Jet Blue. American Airlines also offers non-stop service from Miami. Fort Lauderdale was busy but not overly crowded, and even with all the necessary pandemic precautions, neither the wait at the terminal nor the flight itself was in any way disquieting.
Once we arrived at Punta Cana (PUJ) after a two-hour journey, the schedule we had previously planned with Casa de Campo’s Vacation Planners team immediately took effect. We were met outside customs/immigration by our driver from Prestige Limousine Service, and we were whisked to the resort within 45 minutes.
We were met at the hotel by the staff and received the first of our world-class service. The staff has always been known for its courteousness and attention to detail. Now with the protocols in place, the staff is just as attentive as ever and dealing efficiently with even more details. We were soon checked in and confirmed the schedule we had made online such as dining venues and times, shooting center reservation, and tee times on Teeth and Dye Fore. Then we hopped into our golf cart and drove to our room.
Andrew and I had opted for the all-inclusive, unlimited golf package for our five-day/four-night stay. It’s the best way to go for thirsty, hungry, amenity-seeking golfers. After settling into our room we immediately played nine holes on the Teeth of the Dog, followed the next three days by two more rounds on Teeth and one round on Dye Fore. Our caddie Junior Ramirez was an exceptional addition to our fun and a most accurate green reader. On our final morning, we went to the Shooting Center and had a blast shooting at clays.
We also had a one-hour workout at the gym each afternoon, followed by a swim in the huge pool. The swim-up bar was closed, but the staff was only too happy to bring the Pina Coladas and Planters Punches from the hotel’s La Cana Restaurant bar to our submerged seat in the water.
Andrew and I both put on a few pounds, of course, because Casa de Campo’s dining is superb. Each breakfast was ordered from the menu in La Cana. Our favorites were made-to-order omelets and French toast. We had lunch the first full day at the 19th Hole beside the Teeth pro shop, lunch at La Cana after our round at Dye Fore, and then lunch at the Minitas Beach Club before our dip in the Caribbean. Our repasts were all complemented by the local Presidente beer.
Dinners were always a delightful experience, with Happy Hours kicking off the festivities. We began and ended our stay with dinner at La Cana. Great service and great food, especially the filet mignon. We traveled twice to La Marina, once for a sushi-inspired meal at Pubbelly, complete with chopsticks, and the other time at La Casita, a restaurant on the waterfront with the most delectable seafood platters. We usually ended the evening with both an after-dinner drink at La Cana’s bar and a hand-rolled DR cigar presented by the local master craftsman himself.
Although the all-inclusive, unlimited golf package suited our needs and desires, Casa de Campo has 14 packages in all, each one designed to highlight one or more of the resort’s remarkable amenities. As I said before, these are the stimulus packages designed to encourage travel to the DR and to Casa de Campo. And each one is priced right. However, these packages have time limits, so it is important that you peruse them right now.
When the time is right to escape from your earthly travails and go to a more heavenly respite, Casa de Campo Golf Resort could be the place for you!