LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic -- Clifftop holes. Seaside views. Daunting lagoons. Pete Dye's 27-hole Dye Fore Course at Casa de Campo has it all except for the ocean holes that make the Teeth of the Dog Course so revered.
The original 18 holes, the Marina and Chavon nines, opened in 2005 and were designed by P.B. Dye. The new Lagos nine, opened in 2011, is the least visually explosive of the three loops on Dye Fore, but it doesn't lack for dramatic shot values (it was built more for member play). Lagos is a virtual swimming pool of water. The 300-foot cliffs of the Chavon nine overlook the winding and scenic Chavon River. Both its par 3s fly across ravines choked with tangled jungle right along the cliff's edge. They're beautiful holes, although not when compared to the mesmerizing moments of the Marina nine. Golfers standing on the elevated tee boxes of the fourth and fifth holes stare beyond the mouth of the river to the Caribbean Sea.
The Dye Fore will never be as highly sought after as the Teeth of the Dog. Those who have experienced it know otherwise. It's good -- really good, and certainly worthy of being included in any golf trip that features the best courses of the Dominican Republic.
Dye Fore is located about 10-15 minutes away from Teeth of Dog and the main resort compound at Casa De Campo, but it's right next door to Altos de Chavon, a remarkable complex that replicates a 16th century Mediterranean village that overlooks the Chavon River. Dinner at La Piazetta features excellent Italian fare, while the Dye Fore bar is more casual, open air and overlooks the river.