The Takeaway: A course that doesn't receive the same hype as other resort tracks, Ocean's 4 is an absolute treat and a welcome change compared to all the Dye designs on the island. No development, no distractions, and four holes on the Pacific. Grade B+
Designer: Maverick Golf in 2017 (consulting with Robert Trent Jones' team)
Cost: $39 - $123 (includes cart) Click for current rates
Phone Number: 809-951-1022
Course Website: Official Website - Visit PGA Oceans 4's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Road San Pedro- La Romana Km1 2, La Romana, Dominican Republic – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
What to Expect: A course that doesn't headline the Dominican Republic golf scene like some of the others, Ocean's 4 is an underrated layout that should be included in any itinerary for a golf trip to the island. As the name implies, the routing features four holes on the ocean which are found at the eve of each nine before the closing holes return to the clubhouse. Unlike Casa de Campo's Teeth of the Dog that features only par threes and fours during the seven hole experience on the ocean, Ocean's 4 delivers a pair of one-shotters, a par four, and a par five in order to maximize the experience. A nice balance of features are delivered with enough hazards to offer a challenge, but a good amount of playability with comfortable fairway widths and green sizes to hit to. Being right on the ocean, the layout is no stranger to the wind which will need to be factored for on each shot, but the routing changes direction enough so as to give variety in how the elements affect the round rather than a monotonous trudge directly into or down wind. Players rarely will walk the course as a cart provides a quicker way around the course and shelter from the Caribbean sun; and you'll also find the conditioning to be maintained at an admirable level. There are some forced carries and the water hazards that come into play on the interior holes are a compliment to the outer edge ocean holes, but higher handicappers may want to bring a couple of extra balls in case things get squirrely. Overall, Ocean's 4 is a really enjoyable course and an experience you should make the effort to go play if you aren't camped out at one resort during your entire visit to the Dominican Republic.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 7th Hole – 200 Yard Par 3 – The first introduction to the ocean is on this dramatic par three featuring a pair of bunkers in front and the Caribbean in the back. The hole tips out at 200 yards but the actual distance it will play will vary considerably based on the day's wind. The edges off the green all slope away so there isn't a bailout to consider, so take dead aim at the center of the green no matter where the flag is. It is a beautiful hole and the leadoff batter of Ocean's 4.
Best Par 3: 16th Hole – 207 Yards – The introduction to the ocean on the back nine comes on the par three 16th that plays directly towards the water. The slightly bowled green is protected by a trio of bunkers on the left and asks players to bring the ideal approach in from the right. With the wind often in your face, taking two extra clubs and hitting a knock-down approach shot that penetrates the wind and chases up onto the putting surface is a low risk way to play this attractive hole.
Best Par 4: 17th Hole – 457 Yards – The final of Ocean 4's coastal holes, the testing par four 17th features coast along the entire left side of the hole with the fairway bending right-to-left towards the Caribbean. A U-shaped bunker rests on the right side of the fairway as the lone concern to players that cautiously play away from the water, so the most conservative play is towards the bunker but short of it. The approach shot towards the coastline with an hourglass green where the near bulb is the 17th putting surface and the far bulb is the 8th green. It is tough to get a good angle to the green without playing close to the coastline, so you have to decide whether you want to test your accuracy skills most off the tee or on the approach.
Best Par 5: 8th Hole – 549 Yards – A unique split fairway par five that features coastline the entire length of the right side of the hole, the 8th is perhaps the most memorable offering at Ocean's 4. This three-shotter features a pair of bunkers in the middle of the fairway before giving way to a grove of trees that keeps the high side of the fairway divided from and the low side. Playing to the high side features more safety away from the water but an inferior angle to the green, while the lower side features a forced carry over a small cove that is fronting the green; but offers the full depth of the shared green to work with. It is an intriguing design where the strategy can change depending on the day's wind.
Birdie Time: 14th Hole – 348 Yard Par 4 – At just 348 yards from the tips, the 14th is a gettable hole. The tee shot needs to avoid the trio of bunkers running through the centerline of the fairway before reaching the wide green. An aggressive tee shot will leave a short approach into the putting surface with a scoring club in hand, so while the green isn't deep, it is plenty wide which should deliver confidence to players. There are only more difficult holes ahead, so now is the time to take advantage of a birdie opportunity.
Bogey Beware: 2nd Hole – 460 Yard Par 4 – Ocean's 4 wastes no time delivering its most difficult challenge to players. A large lake flanks the left side of the hole with the fairway doglegging around it so that it is in play for every shot. Virtually any tee shot that stays right of the water is a good play, but the further from the water you get the longer the approach shot becomes. The green features bunkers on each side of it plus an additional bunker short and right of the putting surface. The approach shot is extremely demanding and depending on the conditions you may just layup short of the green and take your chances getting up and down for par. Add into the fact that wind is often blustering through and the 2nd hole is an extremely stout test.