Golf Travelers Notebook: Punta Espada Golf Club in The Dominican Republic
An Insightful Interview With Efren Garcia-Estrada, Director / GM
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Efren Garcia-Estrada who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Punta Espada Golf Course in the Dominican Republic is a one of a kind Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course that opened in November 2006. The course has 8 oceanfront golf holes and spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea from almost every hole. The course beauty, design and maintenance has allowed Punta Espada to be rated as the #1 golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico by the international and renowned publication GOLFWEEK since 2008.
Punta Espada served host to 3 PGA TOUR's Champions Tour event (2008 - 2010). Fred Couples was the latest champion after a course record setting round of 62 (-10) on the Final round to beat Corey Pavin for the title. The tournament brought many legendary golfers to Punta Espada, including Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Hale Irwin, Hal Sutton, Curtis Strange, Craig Stadler, amongst many others. The general consensus amongst the players was that Punta Espada was one of the best Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses they had played and it was as beautiful as any other course they had ever played (which is no understatement given they play the likes of Pebble Beach and other beautiful courses throughout their careers).
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Punta Espada offers a unique combination of challenging golf holes with some of the most scenic settings that you can find on a golf course. It is a "bucket-list" golf course that provides a golf experience second to none. The course is kept in pristine conditions and the course offers different set of tees to accommodate all level of golfers.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
A local Caddie is assigned to each cart (twosome). They know the course well and the local tradewinds. Let them assist you!
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Hosting 3 Champions Tour events and being ranked #1 in GOLFWEEK for 7 consecutive years.
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
The 13th is the Signature Hole. It is a Par 3 measuring 250 yards from the back tees. There is nothing but ocean blue waters from Tee to Green.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
The Par 5 second is my favorite. Not only it is one of the most beautiful with the ocean backdrop and a turquoise water lagoon running down the right side of the fairway, it is also a demanding Par 5 that epitomizes risk / reward. If you have the length you will be challenged to make a decision on both the tee shot and your second. The less risk you take on the tee shot the harder your second shot will be. Same goes for the second shot. If you take the risk and are successful a birdie will be the reward.
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Nothing like a cold Presidente Beer or a cocktail on the terrace overlooking the 18th green and the ocean backdrop.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Fred Couples / 62 / Last round of the 2010 Cap Cana Championship (Champions Tour)
Back Tee Stats
Punta Espada Golf Club
Cap Cana Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Revised: 10/31/2014 - Article Viewed 19,717 Times
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler