Puntacana Resort & Club - Corales Course
|Forward (W)||72||5123 yards||65.3||107|
|Championship M: 76.9/140||433||239||410||545||465||387||515||399||204||3597||496||265||623||446||626||421||461||214||501||4053||7650|
|Fazio M: 74.7/131||395||201||400||535||438||361||505||386||187||3408||469||236||565||417||595||401||414||182||448||3727||7135|
|Corales M: 71.1/122||357||190||370||507||407||325||480||342||157||3135||425||174||527||380||571||373||375||167||406||3398||6533|
|Advantage M: 66.6/117||335||146||337||476||366||290||453||301||142||2846||386||161||451||341||517||354||338||147||385||3080||5926|
|Forward W: 65.3/113||248||121||254||433||325||260||376||253||115||2385||368||116||435||299||440||344||313||95||328||2738||5123|
A 10 hole tour of the newest PGA Tour venue
The Golf Advisors arrived a few weeks too early to see the enhanced Corales, which will host its first PGA Tour event in March 2018. Only 10 holes were open. All the seaside holes were closed, although we did drive the final three holes on the water to get a reminder of how beautiful they are. Work to repair the seaside eighth and ninth holes from hurricane damage was scheduled to wrap up by mid-December. Both were raised up nearly two feet to protect from future storm surges. The clubhouse is also being expanded for the pros.
The best way to describe Corales is "pure". There's no blade of Paspalum grass out of order. Fazio designed some interesting twists in the routing to add variety for members and repeat guests. There are two greens on two different par 4s that rotate regularly. The par-3 17th hole has tees along the water and another set on a different angle farther inland, so the hole can play completely unique depending upon the wind and the course setup.
There's not much trouble, so I'm guessing the pros will light it up unless the wind cranks up. I'll be watching on TV to see if it does.
Another example of great golf at Punta Cana
While there are only a few ocean holes, those are great, and the rest of this Tom Fazio-designed golf course is nothing to sneeze at. Wide fairways, flawless conditions and one distinct, pretty hole after another make this one of the best in the DR. Off the tee, this is a fairly easy golf course. But if you do miss the fairways, the rough can be brutal. As for the greens, they're pretty much flawless and you can score on them. The last part of the course is called the Devil's Elbow, and it is pretty difficult because it runs along the ocean. The last hole, with the Caribbean all down the right side of a dogleg right, is as good as it gets.
Expansive setting, big fun in the D.R.
I had an opportunity to play Corales this past July with my father during a family trip to the Punta Cana area, and found it a big, expansive and engaging experience. Tom Fazio's bunkering takes some different forms, but here, it's broad and clamshell-like, reflecting the scale of the place.
Obvious highlight holes sit along the ocean (8, 9, 17, 18), punctuated by 18, but don't sleep on the inland holes, of which the long par-3 11th and two-green 15th (pictured) stand out.
The course is wall-to-wall Paspalum, so greens were on the slow side during a summer visit, but overall a fun experience. I look forward to seeing the PGA Tour visit this season.
Best in the D.R.
This course is the best course I've ever played. If you're looking to play golf this is a legit course to test your skills. Corales gives you that big course, tour feel. Sure Espada's oceanside holes are prettier but you don't get as much course. It's definitely worth the splurge, I can't say enough good things about Corales. It plays fair and true and I like the longer tee options.
A special place in the Dominican Republic
I played Corales in the fall of 2011 with head pro Jay Overton, a former PGA TOUR and Champions Tour player. It had been open less than a year, but it was already in ideal condition, like an Augusta National of the Caribbean. The six ocean holes weren't as visually striking as some of the ocean holes at the nearby Jack-Nicklaus-designed Punta Espada, but this is still a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The par-3 ninth hole and the par-4 18th hole, the finish of the three-hole stretch called the 'Devil's Elbow', were my favorite ocean holes. Tom Fazio added a unique touch, two greens on holes No. 3 and No. 15. They rotate play daily, giving members a new look.