Playa Grande: A Tropical Atlantic Beauty
Courtesy of Mike Bailey
RIO SAN JUAN, Dominican Republic — The new and improved Playa Grande Golf Course is among the most scenic and fun golf courses in the tropics. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1997, son Rees Jones came in and put his stamp on his father’s work with a complete redesign that include new bunkering, lowering the greens and improving the overall aesthetics and strategy of the course.
While Playa Grande’s front nine routing remained largely the same, the old hotel on the property was removed and new holes were laid out on the back nine, bringing in more views of the ocean and more dramatic holes. All 18 holes have views of the Atlantic and most of the back nine, especially the finishing stretch, runs along the rugged coast. All four par 3s are also along the water.
The course measures 7,259 yards from the back set of tees, and there are six options, playing as short as 5,230. From the back couple of sets, there are some forced carries and several risk-reward opportunities, most notably the par-5 18th, where long hitters can go for the green in two over a large ocean ravine.
The course is offered as an amenity to the new uber-luxurious Amanera Resort, one of just 30 Aman hotels in the world and the first with a golf course on property.