Rees Jones Completes Renovation Of Playa Grande Course
Courtesy of Toby Ingleton
Golf Course Architecture
A comprehensive renovation of the Playa Grande golf course on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is now complete.
Rees Jones and his senior designer Bryce Swanson have overseen the extensive remodelling of the course, originally designed in 1995 by Jones’ father, Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
The routing features 10 holes running along cliff edges that overlook the ocean and nearby Playa Grande beach. Extensive work has been done on bunkering and greens throughout, delivering golf of a quality that fits its spectacular location. The course now has six sets of tees, making it playable at total lengths from 5,230 to 7,259 yards.
Golf Course Architecture visited the site during the renovation project, when work on the back nine was close to completion and the front nine remained untouched. The contrast was striking, as referenced in our report from the 2014 visit: “The redesigned back nine somehow feels more entwined in its natural setting, with fingers of the surrounding forest seeming to reach into the course.”
While much of the routing remains as originally laid out by Jones Sr., the back nine was altered to allow for a spectacular finish, with the dog-leg par-five 14th hole taking players to the cliff edge for four consecutive closing holes alongside the ocean, with opportunities for heroic shots across multiple bays and inlets.
The Playa Grande course is the centrepiece of a new resort from developer Dolphin Capital, which also includes the latest Aman hotel, Amanera. “With Rees Jones and his renowned team behind the redesign, coupled with its unique oceanside location and challenging holes, this course is going to be a natural draw for international golf enthusiasts,” said Katerina Katopis, Director at Dolphin Capital.
“There is rich history behind the foundation of this golf course, thanks to my father’s vision and the legacy he built beneath it,” said Rees Jones. “It has been an honour to work meticulously in tandem with Dolphin Capital to essentially revive and enhance what was originally a dramatically routed course by my father. We were given a unique opportunity to create an even more dramatic routing and breathe life into a design that will ultimately be enjoyed for generations to come on an international scale.”