Fazio builds new course at Punta Cana


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

American architect Tom Fazio is constructing a mid-length, par four number 18 at Corales Golf Club at Puntacana Resort & Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The 'cape' hole design is scheduled for completion later this year. It has been named 'the mother of all holes' by one of the Corales owners, Frank Rainieri.

The hole has an ocean-edge setting and a layout that plays up the coast and along and over a large, rocky cliff. It is dogleg right, cape hole, which implies that the design will offer an option to play safe or try the carry shot over the ocean.

The hole has seven tee options ranging from 309 to 409 yards, which determine the angle of the drive and the amount of risk. The safe play is to not attempt the ocean carry and to play to the left, avoiding the left-to-right curving Bay of Corales. This route makes the hole longer, but less hazardous.

The bold line of play is to try the carry over the ocean and rock-lined cliffs of the bay to the fairway on the other side. This will allow an opportunity to finish the hole in regulation. This line also allows the chance for the game's longest players to drive to the green.

The 9,914 sq ft green is situated on a peninsula, bordered by the ocean on the right and directly behind. It has a 'saviour bunker' to the right side, while left of the green is a swale, which is closely mown, fairway height turf. This valley is designed to gather the ball and keep it in play for a challenging chip.