The Iberostar Golf & Club is an 18-hole golf course in Bavaro, a convenient twenty-minute drive from Punta Cana airport. Designed by the renowned golf architect P.B. Dye it opened in 2010. The course is the perfect resort course in that while there is no shortage of hazards to negotiate, you must hit a terrible shot to find them. The layout features wide fairways, large greens, and four sets of tees. Unlike many of today’s courses, this one was designed for players to have fun in a beautiful, lush environment of tropical vegetation.
The course also incorporates natural elements, such as rock formations, beautiful flowering bushes, and plenty of water hazards. There are thousands of palm trees lining many of the fairways, and white sand abounds. There is a surprising amount of elevation for a course so close to the ocean and a good blend of birdie and bogey opportunities. There is also a nice mixture of holes that go both left and right. Maintained at a very high standard, the course plays as well as it looks, with the ball sitting perfectly on the manicured fairways and rolling true on the greens.
The 8th hole is the resort’s signature hole (pictured 1st), a mid-length par three from an elevated tee with the green in the shape of a star mimicking the resort’s logo. The sixteenth is another stand-out par three, although just 125 yards, short is not an option.
On the beautiful par 4 10th hole right is not an option
Plenty of Variety to Challenge Your Game
There are several interesting Par 4’s, including the second, which features a cavernous bunker to the right of the green, and the 10th, on which a lake runs down the entire right side of the fairway. There is plenty of room to the left off the tee, although it’s guarded by bunkers and will leave you with a longer shot in. The wind from the nearby ocean is always a factor in club selection and a welcome respite from the tropical heat. Many of the greens are elevated, which means your irons shots must be precise, or your approach will kick away from the green, increasing the difficulty of saving par with a long uphill chip. The greens were flawless, although they ran somewhat slower than they looked.
The par-5 13th is the best of the four-par fives and will be reachable for longer hitters who thread their ball between bunker and tree to the left and bunkers and lake to the right to an elevated green that drops off steeply on the right.
Did I Mention Free Beer?
As an all-inclusive experience, all your snacks and drinks on the course are included in your green fee, including alcohol. My foursome really enjoyed the course and agreed that the playability of the layout is what added to our fun. We all had plenty of birdie chances, even if, in the end, not many were made. An excellent range, large putting green and beautiful clubhouse round out the high-class experience. Locals tell me that the Iberostar Garand Hotel, one of three hotels on the property, is the best of the all-inclusive resorts in the Punta Cana area.
The par 5, 13th hole offers the best birdie opportunity of the back nine
At a Glance:
- 18 holes of championship golf by P.B Dye
- Large grass range, putting green and well stocked pro shop
- All-inclusive pricing includes drinks.
- Beautiful large clubhouse
- Three hotels on property