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Casa de Campo’s Head Golf Professional, Josh Cupp continues his ‘Surf vs. Turf: Battle of Casa de Campo’s Finest Golf Courses’ series with a battle between the La Romana Country Club hole number New Course’s hole number 1 and Dye Fore’s hole number 14.
Matchup #3 – New Course #1 (3) vs. Dye Fore #14 (6)
I first played the new course a few weeks ago with a couple of resident sandbaggers (kidding, I meant to say absolute gentlemen). Standing on the first tee box, the view down to the green and beyond is stunning. Another ample fairway is somewhat protected by a series of bunkers that border the right side of the fairway. The gentle slope downhill relieves the initial stress of realizing you are starting on a par four well over 400 yards. The green is medium to large, and hosts sufficient slope including a perhaps overly brutal false front that rejects approaches to front pin placements like attractive women reject my advances (except, luckily, one particular foxy Spaniard). My only knock here is simple. I think as Pete advanced in his design work, in my humble opinion, he has gotten particularly tough on wayward approaches with cavernous collection areas that more than test the average short game. Most fifteen handicaps need a canteen and trail mix to find their way back to the putting surface at times. Maybe I should lighten up and work on my own short game…..
Dye Fore #14 is another medium/short par four that utilizes its proximity to splendor. The entire left side of the fairway is framed by cliffs perched above the Altos River. Every time I play this hole I expect to see Harrison Ford in the middle of a flimsy rope bridge high above the river with natives closing in on both sides. Wake up, folks, that was an astute Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom reference. The scariness of the 8 gazillion foot drop to the river below is enough to make a golfer of any skill level want to aim significantly right off the tee box. That would be no problem if there wasn’t a bunker the size of Rhode Island protecting the right side as well. So, you pretty much have to hit a golf shot, ladies and gentlemen. If you do find the fairway, you aren’t left with much into a fairly benign green. Again, Mr. Dye beats us upon the head and face if we do not find the putting surface with the approach. The collection area right of the green is so deep I believe management is considering installing a towrope for human extraction.
Dye Fore #14 defeats New Course #1 on the 20th hole
Article contributed by Josh Cupp, Casa de Campo’s Head Golf Professional.