The Corales Golf Course is a championship course that plays 7,650 yards from the tips and is one of the most challenging courses in the Caribbean. Not least of which is because of the constant trade winds. The course was designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, who designed many of the world’s top golf courses. Fazio’s philosophy is centered around creating courses that are not only beautiful but also playable for golfers of all skill levels. This is evident in the five sets of tees and the huge fairways allowing players to hit their driver confidently.
The resort is located just five minutes from Punta Cana airport, meaning you can tee it up faster than just about anywhere in the world. It also means you get plenty of opportunities for plane spotting as they soar over the course on their way to sixty-three different cities in twenty-four countries.
The course overlooking the Caribbean Sea opened in 2010 and features a stunning coastal setting with views of the surrounding coral cliffs, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters. The course features six oceanside holes, including the famous trio of holes known locally as “Devil’s Elbow.” The course also features natural cliffs, inland lakes, and lush vegetation, providing players with a unique and challenging golfing experience.
Don’t Forget to Smell the Flowers Along the Way
Coconut Palms line many of the fairways and provide a beautiful tropical setting. Other trees on the course include the Royal Palm, the Gumbo Limbo, the Breadfruit, and the Almond. The course is also home to various flowering plants and shrubs, such as the Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, and Bird of Paradise. These colorful plants add to the beauty of the course and provide a pleasant aroma throughout.
The par 3, 2nd hole clearly shows off the magnificent conditioning of the course.
A Commitment to the Environment
Moreover, the golf course has been designed with a commitment to preserving the natural environment. To protect the surrounding ecosystem, the course has taken measures to minimize water consumption, prevent soil erosion, and preserve the habitat for local wildlife.
One of the most notable birds on the course is the Brown Pelican. These are often seen soaring over the ocean or perched on rocks and trees along the fairways. Other bird species include the Magnificent Frigatebird, the Brown Booby, the White-tailed Tropicbird, and the Yellow Warbler. The course is also home to several species of lizards, including the Green Iguana and the Anole. These reptiles can often be seen sunning themselves on rocks or trees throughout the course.
The layout is carpeted in a beautiful, lush covering of Paspalum grass, a type of warm-season grass known for its tolerance to salt water and ability to thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. The ball sits up perfectly on the fairways and rolls true on the greens—the Vibrant colors of green, blue, white, and turquoise make for great photos.
The par 4, 8th is one of six holes directly on the ocean.
The Front Nine Ends with Three Holes on The Ocean
The 7th, 8th, and 9th holes offer a spectacular view of the turquoise ocean, and for my money, the 8th, 9th, and 18 are the best holes on the golf course. The 7th is the most challenging hole on the course, a long par 4 that plays directly into the wind with the green set against the backdrop of the ocean. The 8th provides the tightest tee shot of the day with the ocean on your left and fairway bunkers to the right. The short approach shot has a forced carry over the ocean and is difficult to club with the wind. The 9th is a beautiful mid-length par three over the rocks and ocean.
The 18th hole around Corales Bay is one of the most spectacular finishing holes in the world
There are several stand-out holes on the back nine, like the 13th, but the trio of 16th,17th, and 18th called Devils’ Elbow’ steal the show. The 16th is a straightaway par 4 back into the ocean breeze with the green at the water’s edge. The 17th is a long par three, also with the green right on the ocean. While the 18th is a spectacular dogleg right par 4 across the Bay of Corales, where it dares you to bite off as much as you can chew.
The Patio Bar offers a stunning view of the 18th hole and ocean
Corales is Home to Many Top Events
With a setting like this It’s little wonder the course has been home to many prestigious events including: The PGA Tour, Web.com Tour Finals, PGA Tour Latino America, The Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship plus several celebrity events. These include the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic and the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.
Just like Pebble Beach the course is lined with an architecturally diverse group of incredible multi-million-dollar homes. All are set well back from the course and at no point encroach on your golfing experience. But looking and dreaming what might be if you ever hold that winner Power Ball lottery ticket is free.
A Little History
As a historical note, the development of Punta Cana Resort & Club dates to 1971 when Dominican Frank R. Rainieri, and New York attorney Theodore Kheel, bought the discovered undeveloped land and dreamed of creating a world-class vacation experience. From its humble beginnings, Punta Cana has grown to encompass over 26 square miles. It includes Tortuga Bay, The Westin Punta Cana Resort & Club, Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana Village, Six Senses Spa, the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, and diverse residential communities. It also has a marina, restaurants, a shopping village, a second P B Dye championship golf course, and Punta Cana International Airport.
At a Glance:
- 18 holes of spectacular Tom Fazio golf
- 6 holes on the ocean
- World-class conditioning
- Large grass practice area
- Short game area
- Pro shop
- Home of several top events
- Multiple hotels and villas on the property