The Takeaway: With a solid design from start to finish, there is no shock the Fazio designed Corales course hosts the PGA Tour. Holes 8, 9, and 18 on the coast are fantastic and the interior holes are probably better than Teeth of the Dog, but not quite enough to overcome Dye's masterpiece in the rankings. Grade A-
Designer: Tom Fazio in 2010
Cost: $295 - $395 Click for current rates
Phone Number: 809-959-4653 or email@example.com
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Punta Cana 23000, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
What to Expect: Featuring 18 of the 45 holes found at Puntacana Resort, the Corales course is a headliner for the Dominican Republic due to its inclusion as an alternate event on the PGA Tour opposite of the WGC Match Play in Austin. The course originally hosted the Web.com Tour in 2016 and 2017 before transitioning to the PGA Tour in 2018. In line with what the PGA Tour likes for their host sites, Corales is a "what you see is what you get" type of golf course. Everything is laid out in front of you with few surprises to encounter. When you play golf for a living, no surprises is exactly what you are looking for, but those that play for "the experience" may find themselves wanting a little more from a green fee that would fall into the top 10 most expensive public courses in America. Don't get me wrong, Corales is great and is worthy of being included in the discussion when debating about the Dominican Republic's best course, but don't expect Pebble Beach which has twice as many holes on the ocean. In fact, Corales takes players to the Pacific twice during their round; both of which are the final two holes of each nine. Fazio certainly saved the best for last though with an 18th that rivals some of the best offerings anywhere and boasting a stellar risk/reward tee shot over an ocean cove. Puntacana feels like a course you'd experience in Hawaii with some development around it, palm trees throughout it, and making sure to give patrons what they are looking for; beautiful coastal holes. The non-ocean holes are solid but not special on a first time visit and would take more loops for most players to fully appreciate. The reputation Corales carries most is its detail to excellent conditioning with the Supreme Paspalum turf providing pure fairways to hit from and greens to roll putts on. Known for its ability to live on salt water, paspalum has quickly taken over the Caribbean as the grass of choice for golf courses. Bunkers and waste areas are plentiful throughout the layout and require players to be comfortable playing from the sand if they hope to score well; or at least save their score. Ultimately, Corales is a headliner for the Dominican Republic and occasionally even the top course for some visitors to the island. It doesn't offer the dramatic setting or as many coastal holes as Playa Grande, Punta Espada, and Teeth of the Dog, but it is certainly the best course in Punta Cana.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 501 Yard Par 4 – In a country with some fantastic finishing holes, Corales makes a strong case as having the best of the best. At 501 yards the distance sounds intimidating for a two-shot hole, but the horseshoe shaped fairway allows players to cut all sorts of distance off if players are willing to risk seeing their ball plummet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean if they don't hit their spot. A 300 yard carry will fly the bunkers on the inside part of the dogleg and just 265 will drop it in the sand. If you are feeling extra greedy, or are a touring pro, you can take a line straight at the green where 300 yards will put you in the greenside bunker while 330 yards will have your ball on the dance floor. The safe route up the left side, where tee balls never cross the water, will leave you with a long iron or hybrid into the green. The wind will often be coming in at your face on your approach with the ocean breeze messing with your club selection. It is a beautiful and dramatic hole, and certainly one of the Dominican Republic's finest.
Best Par 3: 9th Hole – 204 Yards – A beautiful hole that hugs the rocky coastline, the 9th is one of the Dominican Republic's finest and most memorable par threes. The tee shot must carry a small inlet where waves crash against the rocks and a wall creates the barrier supporting the green. Players who bail out to the right away from the ocean will find a loan bunker awaiting to catch balls and set up the dreaded sand shot with water behind the green. Despite the distracting beauty, this is the easiest par three on the course and is a great scoring opportunity.
Best Par 4: 8th Hole – 399 Yards – The first trip to the Atlantic Ocean comes on the 8th hole that tips out three feet under 400 yards. Like the 13th hole at Coeur d'Alene Resort in Northern Idaho, water jets into play twice with the second cove fronting the green. Bunkers frame each side of the driving zone so you have to hit one straight that carries the rock and water enroute to the short grass. Like the 9th hole, a single bunker encroaches on the right side of the green and acts as a reminder to not bail out too far away from the ocean on your approach shot. For pretty flat terrain, this is a dramatic hole that will lodge deep into player's memory.
Best Par 5: 12th Hole – 623 Yards – It's a long way home on the 12th hole which is one of two 600+ yard par fives on the back nine. The hole bends slightly to the left the entire way to the green and features over a dozen bunkers to contend with enroute to the putting surface. After clearing the large waste bunker that frames the left side of the fairway early on, players start coming into contention with a series of bunkers that steadily tighten up the landing zone the closer to the green you get. When you get to the undulated green complex you'll find that it mimics the waves of the ocean and requires exceptional touch to successfully navigate. This hole is a solid test where par always feels good.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 387 Yard Par 4 – At less than 400 yards and boasting a generous driving zone, the 6th hole is prime to take advantage of. Players can unleash their driver with little fear or trouble to be concerned with before lining up an approach shot with a scoring club in hand. Even though the green is well protected, this is an opportunity to take dead aim at the flag and knock one close. If you are crafty enough to use the green contours to your favor, you may be left with an easier birdie putt that you imagined.
Bogey Beware: 11th Hole – 265 Yard Par 3 – If you aren't hitting an iron into the green on a par three, then bogey is a real possibility. At 265 yards, there are very very few players with the length to reach this green with anything other than a fairway wood, or possibly hybrid, and plenty of players could be swinging driver. The tee shot has to carry a bunker first, then a pond, and then steer clear of the sand flanking the right side of the green in order to tumble a shot onto the putting surface. The undulated putting surface further complicates things to the point that greens in regulation still can result in three-putt bogies. With the pros taking three times as many bogies here as birdies, this is the type of hole you take your four and move on.
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.
Contact: +1 972-839-3877 or firstname.lastname@example.org