Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 14
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 14
The green on the par-5 14th at Playa Grande Golf Course is perched above the Atlantic Ocean. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Images
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 2
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 2
The front nine routing at Playa Grande Golf Course remained largely the same, but the holes, like the par-4 second, were certainly updated and redesigned. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 5
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 5
The 415-yard par-4 fifth green at Playa Grande Golf Course is perched high above the ocean. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 6
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 6
The par-5 sixth, which plays 528 yards from the blue tees, is a good birdie opportunity on a calm day at Playa Grande Golf Course in the Dominican Republic. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 7
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 7
All of the par 3s at Playa Grande Golf Course play along the ocean, including the 190-yard seventh. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 8
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 8
The short par-4 eighth is another good scoring opportunity at Playa Grande Golf Course in the Dominican Republic. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 9
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 9
The par-4 ninth at Playa Grande Golf Course is a dogleg left over the water. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 10
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 10
The par-4 10th hole at Playa Grande Golf Course plays down into a valley and back up a hill. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 11
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 11
The short par-4 11th at Playa Grande Golf Course provides another good scoring opportunity. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 13
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 13
The 475-yard par-4 13th, with a series of difficult greenside bunkers, is the no. 1 handicap hole at Playa Grande Golf Course in the Dominican Republic. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 14
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 14
The 14th at Playa Grande Golf Course is a reachable, dogleg-right par 5 that plays toward the ocean. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - 15th hole
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Playa Grande Golf Course - 15th hole
Sea spray becomes visible as waves crash up against the rocks next to the tee of the par-3 15th at Playa Grande Golf Course. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 15
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 15
The 184-yard, par-3 15th at Playa Grande Golf Course has ocean on the right and more trouble on the left. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 16
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 16
It's a difficult approach shot to the par-4 16th green at Playa Grande Golf Course in the Dominican Republic. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 17
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 17
One of the many highights of Playa Grande Golf Course is the beautiful par-3 17th, which sits on a peninsula. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 18
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Playa Grande Golf Course - hole 18
The par-5 18th is a good risk-reward finishing hole at Play Grande Golf Course. Big hitters can try to go for this green in two, but they have to carry the ocean to do so. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor

A tropical Atlantic beauty: The new Playa Grande Golf Course on the north shore of the Dominican Republic

RIO SAN JUAN, Dominican Republic -- The new and improved Playa Grande Golf Course is among the most scenic and fun golf courses in the tropics. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1997, son Rees Jones came in and put his stamp on his father's work with a complete redesign that include new bunkering, lowering the greens and improving the overall aesthetics and strategy of the course.

While Playa Grande's front nine routing remained largely the same, the old hotel on the property was removed and new holes were laid out on the back nine, bringing in more views of the ocean and more dramatic holes. All 18 holes have views of the Atlantic and most of the back nine, especially the finishing stretch, runs along the rugged coast. All four par 3s are also along the water.

The course measures 7,259 yards from the back set of tees, and there are six options, playing as short as 5,230. From the back couple of sets, there are some forced carries and several risk-reward opportunities, most notably the par-5 18th, where long hitters can go for the green in two over a large ocean ravine.

The course is offered as an amenity to the new uber-luxurious Amanera Resort, one of just 30 Aman hotels in the world and the first with a golf course on property.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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