Golf in the Dominican Republic
It is not known exactly how or when the Golf began in the Dominican Republic, but if it had to set a date to refer to the arrival in the country, it would be in the first decades of the twentieth century. Some documents that go back to its history leave as concrete the fact that already by the year 1916 there were improvised golf courses and according to research it has been shown that golf was introduced between 1916-1917 with the first North American intervention. It is on this date that the first golf events are recorded by the hand of American executives based in the country and related to various economic scenarios. Specifically in the places where the main sugar mills (La Romana, Barahona and Puerto Plata) were located, which was the main economic source of the nation and taken under the control of the North Americans.
The northern and southern part of the country, among other areas, witnessed the first challenges of this sport. According to personalities with ample knowledge in the matter, it is recorded that there were two nine-hole courses. One in Manzanillo, Montecristi Province, a port located in the Northeast of the Country, on the premises of the club of the North American banana company Grenada Company, which disappeared in the early 60’s when that company ceased operations; and the other course in the Quinigua section, about 8kms from Santiago, on the way to Villa González-Navarrete. This course belonged to the American company American Corn Products, and was known as “La Yuquera”, which also disappeared when the company left the country in the decade of the 50s. From the first one you can still see dizziness, on the way to the port of Manzanillo. Of the second one there is no sign since it became an agricultural-livestock farm.
The first golf course known was “Los Cajuiles” in La Romana, however, the first that had a private nature was the Santo Domingo Country Club, in Santo Domingo. Then another was built in the Hotel Embajador, demolished in the second American intervention in 1965, since that was where the Americans established their base of operations. They were American executives who in search of some entertainment to mitigate their leisure hours created the first informal fields, small golf courses where they soon had young accesses that initiated a new interest in the novel game.
Notwithstanding all the aforementioned, the Dominican Republic entered into the sport of golf since 1920, with the creation of the Santo Domingo Country Club, Inc. on the field where today is the baseball stadium “Quisqueya – Juan Marichal “, which were previously used by the sugar mill La Fé, in the city of Santo Domingo. The Santo Domingo Country Club, Inc. founded by a group of citizens eager to have a place to practice sport, particularly golf, and have a pleasant atmosphere for social gatherings among friends. Mainly, its founders were officials of the international bank based in the country. Ten years later, in 1930, the membership reached the number of 125 members, which indicates the volume of golfers of this exclusive club, which in 1946 changed its headquarters to the place it currently occupies in the Herrera Industrial Zone, and its membership level reached just 177.
The sport of golf soon conquered more fans and seized the free time of these executives who had few options for fun in a country that was barely showed on the map of the Caribbean economy.
The Santo Domingo Country Club gave almost solo impulse to the practice of golf, which for decades was limited to an economic elite that saw the discipline as a reason for meeting and relaxation, as well as a source of integration with Caribbean neighbors with whom they were competing in friendly tournaments.
On July 27, 1966, the “Asociación Dominicana De Golf” (Dominican Golf Association) (ADOGOLF) was created. The main reason for its creation was that in order to participate in international tournaments, it was necessary to have an Association that represented the golf clubs; to be a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R & A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), as well as the Caribbean Golf Association (CGA).
The statutes and regulations of ADOGOLF came out of the readings of other golf associations such as Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico and in this way the requirements requested by the institutions that governed golf internationally were met.
Once incorporated as a member, the Dominican Golf Association (ADOGOLF) participates in October 1966, in the first amateur golf world championship that took place in Mexico. This participation granted the right to request the participation to the Amateur Championships of the Caribbean (Hoerman Cup), an event in which only the Caribbean islands participate, which at that time faced Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The ADOGOLF is present, for the first time, in the Hoerman Cup that took place in the Bahamas in 1967. The following year it was not possible to participate in Trinidad and Tobago, but it was possible to participate in 1969 in Jamaica and in 1970 in Puerto Rico.
Dominican Republic becomes the host of these championships in 1971. Of all the teams named above, we must add the team of Barbados that was integrated in that year to the Amateur Championships of the Caribbean.
Until 1970 golf was limited to a little more than a thousand members of the Santo Domingo Country Club, when in 1971 opens its doors the golf course Diente De Perro (Teeth Of The Dog), first golf course of Casa de Campo Resort, tourist complex that changed the destination of golf and the Dominican nation. For the Dominicans it was the opportunity to start the practice of golf by paying a game fee, without having the limitations of mandatory memberships. In 1975 Casa de Campo Resort inaugurates its second course, The Links, and this way it begins to awaken the love of golf in the country.
A year later in 1976, the golf courses of Playa Dorada Resort, in Puerto Plata, the heart of a new Tourist Resort located on the north coast of the country and the Jarabacoa golf course in the central mountainous region, open their doors. Then follow the golf courses of Bonao (Bella Vista), Santiago (Las Aromas) and Romana Country Club in Casa de Campo Resort. It was not until 1991 when the Barceló Bávaro golf course (The Lakes) was inaugurated, in the tourist complex of the same name, being the first golf course in the Bávaro-Punta Cana region, a region that today is the center of the development of tourism and the golf industry in the Dominican Republic, with more than eleven golf courses in service and others in development.
However, it was not until the 90s that golf tourism exploded. From Juan Dolio and La Romana, passing Bayahibe, Bávaro and Punta Cana, to Samaná, the construction of golf courses continues without pause.
In Punta Cana, the resort of the same name features the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and the well-known Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta, and, as icing on the cake of this already developed resort, an accredited golf course.
Golf course designers of great prestige arrive to the country to create greens of impressive design. Among them, Gary Player, with his company Gary Player Design, designed and constructed Guayaberry Golf & Country Club, in Juan Dolio. Jack Nicklaus invested in the country through his ambitious project Cap Cana, on the eastern coast of the country, where he constructed Punta Espada Golf Course.
Over the years the ADOGOLF materialized its results and it became a solid organization that took the guides the competitive golf of the Dominican Republic, while the sport continued in ascendancy and the athletes were multiplying even more.
It has been the institution for the development of local golf and according to international requirements, the ADOGOLF, with evolutions and changes in its statutes since its creation, formally became on February 18, 1989 in the Dominican Golf Federation (FEDOGOLF), which since then, firmly fulfills its functions as the guardian of competitive golf in the country. It allows local aficionados to keep up their golf with reputable tournaments that follow international regulations. Affiliation to this institution guarantees benefits for golf lovers and has contributed to making the sport less elitist.
GOLF COURSES IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
- Santo Domingo Country Club
- Cayacoa Golf Club
- Vistas Golf & Country Club
- Isabel Villas Golf Club
- Guavaberry Golf & Country Club
- Los Marlins – Metro Country Club
- Ocean’s 4 Playa Nueva Romana
- Teeth Of The Dog – Casa De Campo
- The Links – Casa De Campo
- Dye Fore – Casa De Campo
- La Romana Country Club – Casa De Campo
- La Estancia Golf Course
- La Cana Golf Course – Punta Cana Resort
- Corales Golf Course – Punta Cana Resort
- Punta Espada Golf Course – Cap Cana
- The Lakes – Barceló Bávaro Resort
- Cocotal Golf & Country Club – Melia Resort
- Cana Bay – Hard Rock Hotel
- Punta Blanca Golf Club
- Iberostar Bávaro Golf Club
- Catalonia Caribe – Catalonia Bávaro Beach Resort
- Bonao Golf Club
- Jarabacoa Golf Club
Santiago De Los Caballeros
- Las Aromas – Santiago Golf Club
- Puerto Plata Golf Club – Playa Dorada Resort
- Los Mangos Golf & Country Club
Rio San Juan
- Playa Grande Golf Course – Aman Resort
Ms. Soulangel Santana Cel. / Whatsapp: 1 (786) 355-2309
Ms. Grace Vásquez Cel. / Whatsapp: 1 (954) 665-6536
Ms. Lissette De León Cel. / Whatsapp: 1 (786) 503-1426
Mr. Ricardo Jacobo Cel. / Whatsapp: 1 (809) 877-2096