Cap Cana - Punta Espada

4.9346470588 4.9 stars from 5 (18)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7396 yards
  • Slope: 137
  • Rating: 77.0
  • Layout

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - included in green fees
Clubs: Yes
Caddies: Yes - included in green fee

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes

Policies

Dress code: Appropriate golf attire.

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Negro 72 7396 yards 77.0 137
Dorado 72 6883 yards 75.3 134
Azul 72 6314 yards 72.4 133
Azul (W) 72 6314 yards 78.9 139
Rojo (W) 72 5052 yards 71.4 128

Punta Espada, the first of three exclusive Jack Nicklaus signature designs to be developed at Cap Cana, has been ranked by GolfWeek as the best golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico. The golf course opened in October 2006.

Punta Espada Golf Club has been designed to incorporate the natural features of the landscape into its topography: the bluffs, the beach, the waterways and the jungle foliage. The design allows and guarantees that golfers of all levels are accommodated, including those playing at world championship level. The par-72 golf course played host to the inaugural PGA Tour's Champions Tour in April 2008 - The Cap Cana Championship.

Many experts consider the course's signature hole to be No. 13, a 250-yard par-3 that is sure to become one of the world's most photographed holes. Reminiscent of scenes from Pebble Beach, this hole requires golfers to execute a huge, 249-yard tee shot over the ocean into a green surrounded by lapping waves. For the timid, there is a generous bailout zone to the right of the green.

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.9 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.7 stars from 5
Value: 4.0 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.8 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.7 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.9 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.9 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 18 Reviews
5 stars:
17
4 stars:
1
3 stars:
0
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
0

recommend this course

18 out of 18 reviews


What Golfers Are Saying

Great for a bucket list/top 100 pick wildlife/ scenic views   Challenges include water hazards  

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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Great course, but disappointing staff and management"


dangold256's avatar
Age:  65+
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 02/19/2018
First time playing Used cart Windy weather

Reviewed on

SUPERB golf.

BUT, pro shop staff failed us when they ordered us a taxi from the wrong company. Upon arrival we were forced to pay $50 for what should have been a service included in our deal. We had been picked up as expected and not charged. Management admitted error but did NOTHING!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Fair

Value for the Money: Fair

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Five-star perfection"


JasonDeeganGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/03/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Anybody who doesn't give Punta Espada five stars doesn't know golf.

It's not just one of my favorite courses in the Caribbean but in the world. It's beyond gorgeous. What's amazing is how well how well Nicklaus not only used the sea cliffs but how strong many of the inland holes are. The reveals on the second tee and the eighth green are poster worthy. And those seaside tee shots at no. 13 and 17 - oh boy.

Don't miss it.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Arguably the best course in the Caribbean"


MikeBaileyGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/02/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

While Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo in the DR is one of Pete Dye's very best, the same argument could be made for Cap Cana at Punta Espada GC and Jack Nicklaus. This is undoubtedly one the Golden Bear's best golf courses in the world -- and he has hundreds. With spectacular ocean views on about half the holes, it doesn't get any prettier than Punta Espada, plus the holes are all interesting and well thought-out. This is, without a doubt, one of the top 100 courses in the world, and it probably the best course in the Caribbean, perhaps even better than Teeth of the Dog. With that said, I'd have a hard time deciding between the two, meaning any trip to the DR has to include them both.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Unreal setting"


BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/01/2017
First time playing Used cart

Reviewed on

Just a few minutes from Punta Cana, Punta Espada is one of the three true headlining golf courses in the Dominican Republic along with Corales and Teeth of Dog. It might be a little lesser known if only because Cap Cana took a little longer to get off the ground compared to Punta Cana. It's a mesmerizing place and an entirely different environment compared to its peers. Holes on both side of the course play so intimately beside the sea. In fact, on the 17th tee, the waves feel like they could run right onto your feet.

Playing corridors are pretty generous, but there are holes where fairway bunkers come into play. There are some real neat short holes, and some brawny par 5s like the 2nd (make sure you drive back to the elevated tee, and take a crack from the 250-yard tips on 13, too. Very Mauna Kea-esque!)

I recently played Jack's Cabo Del Sol, and I think Punta Espada compares favorably to it. It's less of a desert course with more mellow undulations to it. But drama is nevertheless high throughout.

The experience is a premium one through and through and includes a forecaddie. Like all courses in DR, they can be hit and miss. Come early and use the driving range. It's one of the best settings out there.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course



"Goreous views & difficult shots"


KielChristianson's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/17/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

I played this course as part of a media FAM trip. Several of the writers there were course raters for major publications. Everyone raved about the views. Nearly every hole capitalized on ocean views, either as a hazard or as vista from tee or green. Really imaginative layout; nearly every hole was memorable. Some media critics considered it much better than the nigher-rated Teeth of the Dog (which we'd played the day before). The low handicappers (single-digit) scored well here because they hit the ball straight. Those of us who were less straight, however, faced multiple recovery shots off the crushed shell & rock waste areas that lined many fairways (most?). If we had not been playing a 2-day tournament, though, I would have laid out of these. The rocks/shells in those areas were tough on my irons, and frankly, no fun to play from at all. If I had paid $370 + caddie to play, I would not have wanted to risk having to buy a new set of irons after my round, too. This is a very tough but beautiful course, which skilled players will love. Average resort players should experience it too, but they should give themselves a break.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Nicklaus gem glimmers by the sea"


TimGavrichGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/28/2017
First time playing Used cart Hot weather

Reviewed on

Jack Nicklaus has a well-earned reputation for designing challenging golf courses that can frustrate golfers. Punta Espada's breezy, sandy seaside setting could have yielded exactly that, but I found the course tough but playable. Greens are smallish and angled, but there's almost always somewhere to miss. What's more, there's always something interesting to see here - particularly the unreal blue of the Caribbean Sea. A must-play if you come to Punta Cana.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Bucket Lister..."


guycharles2012's avatar
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/30/2017
First time playing Used cart Windy weather

Reviewed on

All I can say is that if you are a true golf enthusiast then you owe it to yourself to play it. The course was in perfect shape after a heavy night time rain. The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing and my group was in golf heaven. The caddies were great and after our round we were allowed to fire up cigars inside the club house. The bartenders took great care of us and we can not wait to go back.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Awesome"


u000002310641's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/27/2017
First time playing Used cart Perfect weather

Reviewed on

Not cheap. We paid $235. Worth every penny. So many beautiful holes. We teed off at 7:30am and finished in 4 hours 20 minutes. Could have played much faster but lots of places to stop and take pictures. Turf conditions were excellent, first time playing on paspalum grass. Our caddie was great and helped a lot with putting. One of the few things in life that lives up to the hype.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Jack in the D.R."


EthanZimman's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Virginia Advisor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/23/2016
First time playing Used cart Windy weather

Reviewed on

If you've never played golf in the D.R. there are a couple 'must' plays and this is one of them. Situated along the ocean there are hardly any calm days. This can be fun and maddening at the same time.

While many holes offer ample room off the tee there are a few approach shots that are nearly impossible in the wind. Most notoriously, is Hole 2 that plays from an elevated tee back into the prevailing wind and is 598 yards from the Gold (Black is Championship) tees. Assuming a solid tee shot it still takes two more mighty lashes to get to a fairly small green surrounded by water in regulation. Not sure how ideal it is to have the hardest hole on the course be the second hole you play.

Regardless, every hole along/near the water is stunning, if for no other reason than you rarely see water so magnificently blue. As with most island golf, scoring will mostly depend on how you play in the wind and if you can avoid being distracted by the stunning scenery.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Average

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Stunningly beautiful and a great course"


LICC's avatar
Top 500 Contributor
Skill:  Intermediate

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 12/21/2016
First time playing

Reviewed on

The visually stunning surroundings can make you forget how good of a course this is. Good risk/reward options, nice variety, and a lot of fun. Amazing routing along the water and the inland holes are also terrific. The most memorable course I have ever played.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good


I recommend this course



"Favorite Nicklaus course"


None's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/20/2016
Previously played

Reviewed on

This is my favorite Jack Nicklaus course to play. If you have never played on paspalum fairways or greens, you are in for a treat. You will not believe how good your lies are all the way around this course. The greens are wonderful, they are never really really fast and that is good news with the wind you will encounter most of the time.

Take time and enjoy the wonderful views.

Pics of Punta Espada

https://flickr.com/photos/92239680@N08/sets/72157638895878966


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"must play course"


JimMcBride's avatar
Age:  55-64
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/05/2015
Previously played Played as a single Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

I have played all over the world including all the great tracks in Ireland, and I can tell you the physical beauty of Punta Espada will blow you away. This is a must play golf course.

The driving range view is breathtaking, and that just gets you started. The layout is impeccable given that it is a Jack Nicklaus design. It is a course that you can get your driver out and have some fun.

Fairways are not hard to hit, and the greens are not tricked up in order to be more difficult than necessary.....if you hit greens you can make some birdies.

Breathtaking beyond description. I have played before and will play again. Two thumbs way up.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Stunning Course"


Dolf4170962's avatar
Age:  45-54
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 11/03/2015
First time playing Used cart Excellent weather

Reviewed on

This is not only the most beautiful courses I've ever played but its also one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen! I was the only one in my group of vacationers that play so I went by myself but still had a great morning. The course is in great shape and very playable. It would be great if you could walk the course when its not busy to enjoy the scenery more. I wish we still had caddies at courses in the US. It was great to just grab a club, get some advise and hit the ball. If you are a golfer and are in the area you would be crazy to not play this course.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Wow!"


Ryan8043198's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/20/2015
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

I played this course while on in DR for my wedding. It was either Punta Espada or Teeth of the dog. I was not disappointed from the minute we arrived.

I played with my cousin in law, who is a good golfer as well.

We were picked up at Majestic Elegance in PC, and driven to the course which took about 45 mins. We were transferred mid ride along the highway to another vehicle which was odd but none the less we got there. Tipped the last driver $10 when we got there.

Upon arrival our clubs were taken and put on the cart and we checked in and paid. We were introduced to our Caddie Esah. The course wasn't busy at all, and were given ample time to warm up and hit some balls. The guy on the range whom we tipped $5 bucks each cleaned our clubs while we hit balls.

The Course: Picturesque and Scenic to say the least. Amazing view and photo ops on every hole. You almost forget to play golf and not take photos.

Greens: Excellent<br/> Fairways: Excellent to Good<br/> Rough: Good to Great and not too deep.<br/> Difficulty: Depending on what tees you play the course is set up for the challenge that you want.<br/> Pace: Finished in 4 hours, could have been less if we took less pictures.<br/> Value: Yes expensive, especially for Canadians, but well worth the money. Comparable to what I assume Pebble Beach would be like in some respects. How this course isn't ranked higher is baffling.<br/> ProShop: Well stocked, clean, modern, nice options for souvenirs. Got a Titleist hat for $37 US, not bad at all.<br/> 19th Hole: Average food, typical quick snack food. The beer was cold, view and the company were Excellent.

I recommend this course be on your list to play next time in the DR. I would definitely go back for the view and to see if I can improve my score.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course



"Punta Espada"


legacy3930's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/20/2015
First time playing Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

I had the opportunity to play Punta Espada on a recent vacation to the Dominican Republic. It is hard to believe that this course is not listed as one of the 100 top courses in the world. The scenery is unbelievable including eight holes along the sea. Not a bad hole on the entire course. Fairways are quite wide, but you still need to be accurate off the tee and on approach shots because the waste bunkers are very punishing. Played the tips so I could feel like a pro for a day. Hitting into the 12th green with nothing but blue sky and ocean behind the green was awesome.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"One of my all-time favorite Jack Nicklaus designs"


JasonDeeganGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/28/2014
First time playing Paired up at course Used cart Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

No course of the 700-plus I've played interacts with the ocean as dramatically as Punta Espada. Of the eight holes on the Caribbean Sea, three are really special. I remember my round in 2011 like it was yesterday.<br/> Stepping on the elevated tee of the second hole, a 611-yard par 5, introduces the ocean horizon, and a green hanging precariously into a bay inlet. The par-3 13th hole plays over crashing waves to a green perched upon a cliff. Jack Nicklaus made birdie at the grand opening, although the rest of us will be happy just to land safely on top. The par-4 at no. 17 is a cool Cape hole where players must choose how much of the sea to carry to reach the fairway. The approach heads directly into the wind. My "ocho" - at my caddie's advice - landed next to the hole for birdie. Golf doesn't get much better than this.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Best Golf Course I have ever seen or played"


sacup10's avatar
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 08/12/2014
First time playing Paired up at course Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

I was fortunate enough to play this course two days in a row, only paying once (met an investor of the property who paid for my second round, thank you to my charming wife for that!). You can rest assured that they could have charged double and I would have felt like I got a good deal.

This is simply golfing paradise. I live in CA and have walked Pebble and would like to think I have seen many gorgeous courses all over, but this is beyond magnificent. The conditions are immaculate, caddy was friendly and helpful and there was nobody on the course. The ocean views will leave you shaking your head. It is difficult to concentrate on the round of golf because it is hard to believe you are out there to begin with. There is a great video on YouTube, 8 minute flyover of the course set to music. It's even more impressive in person.

There are so many memorable shots over crystal clear water. Bring a camera, and if you have a girlfriend or wife that isn't a big golf fan but wants to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscape you will ever see; bring her. My wife loved it and has little interest in golf.

The par 5 2nd hole was my favorite, but 13 and 17 really give it a run for it's money. I will do whatever it takes to get back to this golf heaven that is Punta Espada. You would kick yourself if you made this trip and didn't play here. Enjoy.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"Incredible"


Svoyta's avatar
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/17/2014
Previously played Played with a group Used cart Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

One of the best courses in the world. Definitely one of the most beautiful. There are eight holes right on the Caribbean Sea. The course is on lime stone cliffs about 20 feet above the sea. The grass is saltwater tolerant so when the waves are up it is quite a scene. Don't be surprised if you get a little wet. Several holes require carries over the Caribbean Sea. If you are vacationing in Punta Cana and you don't play this course you will be missing the best part of your vacation.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Quality of food & beverage: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course



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