As I sit down to type this, I am reminded of the famous Confucius proverb, “The best vacation from your year long golf vacation is another golf vacation.” With the rigors of the road wearing on my body and mind, I decided to listen to the Chinese philosopher. It was time to recharge. The destination for the golf recharge was the Dominican Republic and Casa De Campo.
Casa De Campo is not just a golf resort, it is a huge sprawling property that expands some 7,000 acres a 1.5 hour drive from the country’s capitol of Santo Domingo. The resort is a small thriving village featuring private homes as well as luxury accommodations for hotel guests. 7000 acres! So much room for adventure and activities!
A sampling of the activities includes… Dining at one of the seven amazing restaurants, ogling yachts at the marina, getting our polo on at the equestrian center, shooting clay pigeons at the shooting course, or golf modeling on one of the three private white sand beaches. Most importantly, there are four Pete Dye golf courses at Casa De Campo.
Upon checking into the resort each guest is issued their own personal golf cart to help them navigate the property. This turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the trip. Not all golf carts are created equal and I was given some sort of super cart that exceeded speeds of what felt like 40 mph.
The first thing I did in that cart was speed on over to The Links course for our first round of the trip. The Links course will test your green side manner and with a renovation in 2012, the course holds it’s own with the other three golf courses on the resort. It is fun, fair, and served as a great opening round for our time in The Caribbean.
The next course on the agenda was the world famous Teeth of The Dog or just plain “Teeth” if you want to be one of the cool kids. Since the 1960’s “Teeth” has consistently found it’s way onto just about every Top 100 in the world list. So with the sun setting on day one, I decided to get a sneak peak of the golf course. I would not be disappointed. This golf course is eye candy at it’s finest.
The course routing features 7 golf holes directly on the water with the seaside action kicking off on #5. The fifth hole was so breathtaking that when I first saw it, I knew immediately that I wanted to buried on the beach fronting the green. I could hang out on this beach for eternity.
Even though the seaside holes get all of the attention, I was particularly fond of the 2nd hole. If the golfer can hug the rock and waste area down the left hand side, they will be rewarded with a fine angle into this green. The hole oozes Pete Dye and starts off the round in style.
One of my other favorite holes on “Teeth” was not actually part of the golf course. A rock outcropping just off of the 15th green provides the perfect setting for a dangerous island green. This dramatic hole was created just for fun and plays about 120 yards. Good luck getting your golf ball to land softly on this rocky putting surface.
Since Teeth of The Dog has some serious bite, most of us are going to need some preparation to execute those golf shots. Fortunately, Casa De Campo has one of the best golf teachers in the world on hand. Eric Lillibridge is the Director of Instruction at the Jim McLean Golf School for the resort and we took some time to groove our swings on the Trackman and get some guidance from Eric. I usually shy away from golf instruction, but Eric is an expert at understanding the golf swing and relating his suggestions to golfers in an easy to understand and practical manner.
The next course on the agenda was another dramatic Pete Dye creation called Dye Fore. Dye Fore? More like fore right!! Golf balls were sailing off line on a perfect day under the pleasant Dominican sun. Our foursome was grinding hard on 18 of the 27 holes. With cliffside views of the Chavon River, the Marina, and the Dominican mountains, the course provides great views as well as great golf.
With three rounds under our belt, it was time to blow some stuff up and we decided to head on down to the shooting gallery. I had never fired a shotgun before and it was a fun experience. No one was injured and I am pretty sure that my “4 in a row” was a resort record. Several other members of our group went to the beach and some got a massage. Options abound for the Casa De Campo guest!
While the RGV Tour is not in the business of critiquing and evaluating food options, it needs to be mentioned that the dining experiences at Casa De Campo are amazing. You just hop in your golf cart and head on down to that evening’s selected dining experience. We dined at the Marina, the Beach Club, and even a fine Italian restaurant in a place called Altos De Chavon. Altos De Chavon is a 16th century replica Mediterranean village. Yes, there is a replica village inside Casa De Campo. The place is awesome. For several of the meals we even had musical accompaniment as we began our dessert courses.
The next day we were treated to a visit on the resort’s only private course, La Romana Country Club. The highlight of the round came when we forced our caddie to play the par 3 16th with us. Like a true caddie boss, he made a birdie 2 without breaking a sweat. Our man quickly retired from the action and we finished under a fantastic Dominican sunset.
No matter when you end up leaving Casa De Campo you will end up leaving too soon. The resort really does feel like your own private city and I was sad to see the sun set on our final day in the Dominican Republic. The drone footage below should give you an idea of how good this place is. The golf is just part of the experience at Casa De Campo!
For more information on Casa de Campo Resort & Villas please call 800.877.3643, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.casadecampo.com.do/. Tell ‘em that Large Marge sent ya! You won’t receive any special discounts, but it’s a cool thing to say.