The Dominican Republic is hands-down the best golf destination in Caribbean. It's got the second-most courses (behind Puerto Rico) but more importantly, it has the best collection of seaside holes and scenery.
One of the twists in the 2020 PGA Tour schedule COVID-19 reshuffle was handed to Corales, the beautiful seaside course that's part of the Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic. It will host two versions of the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the next six months - the 2020 tournament this week and the 2021 event the week of March 22-28.
This fall could be the ideal time to enjoy the 2020 golf vacation that's been on hold all year. Looking to shed the fear of international travel during the pandemic, the Dominican Republic has announced that all tourists visiting a hotel in the country will be granted a temporary free travel assistance plan that will include coverage for emergencies, COVID-19 testing, lodging for prolonged stays and costs for changing flights in event of an infection. This insurance will be provided at no cost to the visitor until Dec. 31 and will be 100 percent paid for by the Dominican State.
This could be the passport golfers need for a spectacular stay at any of the country's premier golf resorts, like the Punta Cana Resort & Club, Cap Cana or the legendary Casa de Campo. Golf Advisor's editors spent a week to remember in 2018 visiting all three resorts to play a handful of courses (see the video above).
As international trips go, visiting the Dominican Republic is generally stress-free thanks to the convenience of the Punta Cana airport that's run by the adjacent resort development. Customs lines tend to be short and simple. A relatively new highway makes the hour-long transfer to Casa de Campo a breeze compared to the first time I visited the island a decade ago.
Below, we've selected the five best courses in the Dominican Republic, all well worth the journey to find some calm amid the storm of 2020.
Top 5 Dominican Republic golf courses
Playa Grande could probably move up this list if it wasn't so exclusive, expensive and isolated on the northern shores of the island. The original Robert Trent Jones Sr. course, which was completely redone by Rees Jones in 2015, was re-grassed with Paspalum after being acquired by the Discovery Land Company in 2018. It's mainly a private playground for the elite membership of Discovery Land's portfolio, but there are limited tee times available for guests of the Amanera Playa Grande. Ten holes play directly along oceanfront cliffs.