Punta Espada Golf Course – Cap Cana
When it comes to golf, Cap Cana is well on its way to becoming the next great playing destination of the world. And now you have the opportunity of being among the first to visit this outstanding golf development.
In late 2006 Jack Nicklaus was part of the debut celebrations for the opening of Punta Espada, the first of the three signature courses at Cap Cana he will design here. The word “signature” means that he personally had a hand in the layout, rather than having his design firm handle the job. Some of the world’s most renowned golfing publications attended the event for this first course. Soon after, Punta Espada was ranked at No. 77 in the Golf Digest listing of the 100 Best Courses outside the United States. And in another triumph for Cap Cana, The PGA Champions Tour has chosen Punta Espada to be part of its tour. You’ll want to be here for that inaugural event as well. If not, watch the television coverage and find out just how stunning this golf course is.
What makes Punta Espada such an outstanding venue for golfers is partly our breathtaking landscape, with almost half the holes running along the beach and all the holes overlooking the seashore. Punta Espada, by the way, was named for the coastline’s resemblance to the tip of a sword which gives you an idea of how remarkable this spot is scenically.
Nicklaus has succeeded in combining the rugged bluffs, the crashing waves along the beach, the sparkling waterfalls and lush jungle foliage into a magnificent package of 18 holes. Troon Golf was hired to supervise construction and to keep our jewel-like fairways and greens well-manicured for an outstanding round every time you play.
Punta Espada’s craggy coastline and acres of bunkers present great challenges for golfers. The design guarantees that golfers of all skill levels can enjoy play here. If you choose carefully from the four sets of tee boxes, you can succeed on this course.
In his design Nicklaus refrained from using gimmicks and relies instead on the natural beauty and tests of the Caribbean landscape. “Our focus was on incorporating a number of different elements into the design, not toughness for its own sake,” Nicklaus said. “Cap Cana’s topography presented a challenge in design, but one we embraced. The terrain created an ideal scenario for a golf course that is unique and should appeal to anyone who has a passion for the game.”
What many of the experts consider to be the course’s signature hole is No. 13, a spectacular 250-yard par-3 that is sure to become one of the world’s most photographed holes. Reminiscent of something you might see at Pebble Beach, this hole requires golfers to execute a huge, 249- yard tee shot over the ocean into a green surrounded by lapping waves. However, for the timid, there is a generous bailout zone to the right of the green.
Some of the other outstanding holes at Punta Espada include the 611-yard second hole, a par-5 where golfers strike their tee shots from on top of a bluff to a landing area where the fairway makes a sharp dogleg right skirting an ocean inlet. This is one of the most difficult holes on the course and requires three well-placed shots to reach the green.
There’s lots of intriguing bunkering on this course. For example, the 7th has bunkers shaped like a bear par and the 8th, a short par-4, has an “infinity bunker” with sand that extends to the beach.