The Takeaway: Hard Rock does a good job with balancing their rock-and-roll theme with golf, but ultimately the golf should matter most and Hard Rock doesn’t quite deliver a platinum hit mainly due to the overdeveloped setting. Grade B-
Designer: Jack Nicklaus in 2010
Cost: $180 - $250 Click for current rates
Phone Number: 866-842-6521
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Hard Rock at Cana Bay's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Boulevard Turístico del Este Km.28 No.74, Macao, Dominican Republic – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
What to Expect: What do you get when you combine rock and roll enthusiasts with a golf course; Hard Rock Golf Club in Cana Bay. Rather than holes being named after features on the course or characteristics of the design, classic rock and roll songs are assigned to each offering and may offer inspiration to players when they encounter one of their favorite tunes. Jack Nicklaus did an admirable job with the layout, however the property itself doesn't provide a lot of inspiration to work with. Many of the holes traverse along mild terrain, ocean views are devoid of the experience, and development surrounding the course tends to be where your eyes are unfortunately drawn to rather than having beautiful surroundings to enjoy. That isn't to say there aren't some aesthetics to enjoy, but they are mainly done through the exposure of rock and sand throughout the routing rather than letting Mother Nature's backdrops be the highlight. One of the perks of a day at Hard Rock is that all of your food and drinks are included. So enjoying modest sandwiches and beverages before, during, and after the round are encouraged which is a nice perk rather than having to buy everything separately. It goes with the all-inclusive theme that many resorts employ in the Dominican Republic. Players are provided purple and gold golf carts that match the Hard Rock theme and you half expect live performances from ZZ Top to be played from a bluetooth speaker. Ultimately, a day at Hard Rock is a fun experience, but when it comes to just the golf, there are much more impressive layouts to enjoy in the DR.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 4th Hole – 200 Yard Par 3 – A boilerplate par three design, the 4th plays over a pond with a quartet of bunkers in play; two of which hug the green. The bailout area is to the right of the putting surface where a wide landing area is afforded and which lines up with the forward tees. The tier that runs across the green makes getting to the back third of the green a daunting task.
Best Par 3: 10th Hole – 197 Yards – The back nine starts with a one-shotter that plays over a rocky waste area. The green is twice as deep as it is wide and is protected by a large bunker on the right and smaller bunker on the left. The front of the green is receptive to a ground shot, so if the wind is up you can bring a shot in lower and work it onto the putting surface.
Best Par 4: 18th Hole – 444 Yards – Jack wants your best on the final hole with this stout par four. The driving zone tightens the further down the fairway you hit it as water pinches from the right and an aiming bunker sits on the left. An inlet from the pond must be carried on the approach shot and the water continues up the right side while bunkers border the left. With wind often moving in off the Caribbean, hitting this green in regulation is a challenge.
Best Par 5: 11th Hole – 585 Yards – The first par five on the back features a thick tree line on the left and waste bunkers on the right, but a generous fairway in between. Since the green wraps around the sand on the right, approaches from that side are shorter but require a forced carry while approaches from the left will be a bit longer and bring two greenside bunkers into play. Long hitters can reach it in two, but most players need to layup to the yardage and shot type they feel most comfortable with for their third.
Birdie Time: 7th Hole – 321 Yard Par 4 – Players should be licking their chops as they stand on the 7th tee which will be driveable for long hitters. Two small bunkers sit in the middle of the fairway 50 yards from the green and stand as a barrier for players to decide whether to hit over and stay short of with their drive. On the approach shot you'll want to avoid the deep bunker at the front left of the green, otherwise you can go flag hunting here with your wedge and pick up a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 9th Hole – 453 Yard Par 4 – The finishing holes on each side present the most difficult tests that Jack asks you to pass. On the 9th, players face a long par four with water that runs the entire right side of the hole. With the fairway bending right around the water it behooves players to flirt with the hazard as close as they feel comfortable doing in order to have a shorter shot into the green. Players bailing out left on the approach will be left with a tight lie chipping back to the shallow angle of the green with two bunkers and the water waiting to catch balls that come in too hot.
Recommended AccommodationsThe Sanctuary at Los Corales - Located within the gated Los Corales Beach Village development in Punta Cana, The Sanctuary features a high-end condo experience you aren't soon to forget. With six condos to pick from ranging from the convenient ground floor units to the luxurious penthouse offering on the top floor, patrons are spoiled with kitchens that feature stainless steel appliances, elegant flooring, granite countertops, and contemporary cabinetry. From the balcony of the penthouse suites you can soak in the views of the surrounding palm trees that pair with the lovely weather to create a wonderful setting to relax and enjoy. Inside your condo, ceiling fans pair with the high efficiency air conditioning system to keep you at perfect comfort while flat screen TVs with an array of channels deliver endless entertainment options. Speaking of entertainment, The Sanctuary is located within walking distance of white sand beaches, shopping, and a wide variety of restaurants. Most importantly, The Sanctuary is centrally located for accessing Punta Cana's world class golf courses. A quick drive to the south takes you to the famed Corales Golf Course at Puntacana Resort where the PGA Tour visits every March and pairs with its sister course, La Cana, with coastal holes and an island green. 20 minutes to the north will get you to Iberostar Bavaro, Hard Rock at Cana Bay, and Punta Blanca Golf Courses where your all-inclusive experience delivers all the golf, sandwiches, and drinks your heart desires.
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