GOlf DominicanoManzanillo, a port located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, and Montellano, a sugar refinery located in the south, were witnesses, among other areas, to the first golfing challenges in the country.  U.S. company executives placed in various Dominican economic enclaves brought a passion for the sport to the country in the first decades of the 20th century.

The sport soon won over the youth that came into contact with the small greens constructed to stave off the boredom of executives that had few options for amusement in a country that barely appeared on the economic map of the Caribbean.

In Santo Domingo, a private club, the Santo Domingo Country Club, almost single-handedly began the practice of the sport that throughout decades had been limited to an economic elite that saw the discipline as a motive for meeting and relaxation, while serving as a vehicle for integration with Caribbean neighbors that competed in periodical tournaments.

The construction of Casa de Campo, resort located in the province of La Romana, at the beginning of the 70s, began an enhanced stage of the sport through the development of the tourist industry in the immense resort.  Two greens designed by Pete Dye in the hotel resort put the country on an exclusive global list.  The “Diente de Perro” became, and still is, one of the top 20 golf greens in the world.

On the northern coast of the country, two other greens, constructed with public monies, offer quality and quantity at a reduced price.  In Puerto Plata, next to the Playa Dorada resort, operations for a green with the same name have begun, constructed by the lauded Robert Trent Jones.  And a few kilometers away, in Río San Juan, 18 holes were constructed; and the Playa Grande green has 10 holes at the seashore.

However, it was not until the 90s that golf tourism exploded.  From Juan Dolio and La Romana, passing Bayahibe, Bávaro and Punta Cana, to Samaná, the construction of golf greens continues without pause.

Other designers of great prestige arrive to the country to create greens of impressive design.  Among them, Gary Player, with his company Gary Player Design, designed and constructed Guayaberry Golf & Country Club, in Juan Dolio.  Next, Jack Nicklaus invested in the country through his ambitious project Cap Cana, on the eastern coast of the country, where he constructed Golden Bear Lodge and built three impressive golf courses.

The famous golfer and course designer, Nick Faldo, also constructed the golf course of the Roco Ki resort in Punta Macao, on the eastern coast of the country, with the goal of finishing it in winter 2006.  It already promises an exceptional course for the Caribbean region.

Currently, only in the area that borders La Romana, Bayahibe and Punta Cana, Bávaro and Macao, there are 13 golf courses in operation.  The majority of the new courses have been constructed as a part of large projects, including the construction of villas.

In Punta Cana, the resort of the same name features the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and the well-known Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta, and, as icing on the cake of this already developed resort, an accredited golf course.

A local federation, the Federación Dominicana de Golf, allows local aficionados to keep up their golf with reputable tournaments that follow international regulations.  Affiliation to this institution guarantees benefits for golf lovers and has contributed to making the sport less and less elitist.

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