Rees Jones’ firm working on major project at new Caribbean Aman Resort


Rees Jones’ firm working on major project at new Caribbean Aman Resort
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Rees Jones Golf Course Design is in the early stages of a major renovation of the course at the Playa Grande Golf Club in the Dominican Republic.

Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1997, the course is located in the North of the country near the town of Rio San Juan and features ten holes that play directly along the Caribbean coastline.

The course and the site however is in the midst of huge changes. US investment group Dolphin Capital laid out plans in 2012 to develop an Aman Resort at the site, creating a major luxury tourist development that will feature a 30-room Aman hotel with spa and beach club, 35 Aman branded and serviced units, and a new golf club named ‘The Aman Club for the Americas’.

A major renovation of the existing course at the site forms part of the project.

Work is ongoing, and Bryce Swanson, vice president and senior designer at Rees Jones Golf Course Design, spoke to GCA about the project from a golf course architecture perspective.

“The team has finished rough grading the Aman Resort site and have started rebuilding the back nine holes,” said Swanson. “The golf course was original designed by Rees’ father and since it opened not much has occurred on the golf course. We have adjusted the routing for the back nine golf holes to accommodate and improve the location for the Aman Resort. The resort is located in the location of the old thirteenth hole’s green and the former par three fourteenth hole, which sits along a cliff that overlooks the Playa Grande beach and ocean.”

The Rees Jones Golf Course Design team has rerouted six holes on the course’s back nine, and the course’s four finishing holes are on a cliff with an ocean view.

From here, work will continue to redevelop the course ahead of the resort’s grand opening, which is scheduled for 2015. “The overall scope of our work is to completely rebuild the golf course,” added Swanson. “This includes new greens,bunkers, tees, fairway grading, irrigation system, cart path and drainage work.”