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Larry Olmsted, while writing for USA TODAY, who has labeled himself a “travel writer specializing in golf, or maybe a golf writer specializing in travel”, and who’s work appears in over a dozen publications including Golf Magazine, LINKS and Travel & Leisure, and will be traveling the world throughout 2009 to create a list with the two dozen best “International Courses Worth the Trip”. Mind you his ranking are just that, his own. Nothing official, but interesting nevertheless.
So far, of all the courses visited in the Dominican Republic, and he has visited many, he has ranked the Dye Fore as the one and only course “Worth the Trip”, and Number 21 in the world. At first, there is a sense of pride about having the Dye Fore being the leading golf course in the Dominican Republic. Among other courses that Mr. Olmsted has visited, but did NOT put on his list are such courses as the Jack Nicklaus courses at Cap Cana, the Nick Faldo courses at Roco Ki and the “very impressive effort by [Pete] Dye’s son, PB Dye, at the Punta Cana Resort and Club”. Most notably missing from the list however, is our very own, the one and only – Teeth of the Dog.
As most Casa de Campo villa owners, residents and golf aficionados will surly agree, this is not an insignificant recognition as there are many excellent golf courses in the Dominican Republic, and surly the Dye Fore, a magnificent course in its own right, has earned this accolade. In fact, the quality of golf courses in the Dominican Republic overall, has allowed the country to be named by many one of the worlds greatest golf destinations – with Casa de Campo consistently topping the list.
To many of us, who have always felt that the Teeth of the Dog represented the peak accomplishment of golf courses in Casa de Campo, Mr. Olmstead’s comments seem a little surprising, and while he acknowledges it’s beauty and the challenge it represents, he qualifies the Dye Fore’s views and holes as being much more interesting. One wonders what Pete Dye might think about Mr. Olmsted’s opinion. We for one appreciate the beauty and difficulty of the Dye Fore, but the Teeth of the Dog has always been something special.
Naturally this has already sparked some discussion, with comments being left on Mr. Olmsteads own site, defending our beloved Teeth of the Dog, such as:
Sorry, I disagree, I thought the teeth of the dog was one of the finest courses I ever played. (2 weeks ago). [Though] I did enjoy the Dye Fore course with its spectacular views. …
With our curiosity peaked and our pride somehow feeling perhaps a little bruised, we decided to ask our resident expert and Director of Casa de Campo Golf operations, Gilles Gagnon, to shed a little light on the matter and provide us his thoughts on Mr. Olmsted’s rankings.
I am not sure I get Mr. Olmsted point about the Teeth of the Dog when he says that the ocean holes all look alike.
The three par three’s on the ocean are 176 , 229 and 195 yards from the back tees and the three greens are totally different from a small green for # 5 to a large green for # 16. The par four holes vary from the shortish # 15 at 375 yards to the long # 6 at 501 yards. On holes # 6 and # 8 the ocean is on the left side and holes # 15 & # 17 the ocean on the right. The 7 holes on the ocean are some of the most dramatic and challenging holes anywhere in the world.
The Dye Fore is a wonderful course and I am happy he loves it but the Teeth of the Dog is still the top dog at Casa de Campo. I don’t think too many people would agree with him but thank God for different taste[s].
There are, of course, many reasons to love the Dye Fore, as well as the Teeth of the Dog; and depending on what your opinion, or handicap, you may love or hate any of these courses. We expect many people will feel differently, some quite strongly, about this subject. We would love to your opinion on this matter – leave us your comments and thoughts below!
To read the complete article, visit: http://blogs.usatoday.com/golfersworld/2009/03/worth-the-trip.html. If to better understand his criteria, plans and reasons of why he’s coming up with this list, read the first article published in January:http://blogs.usatoday.com/golfersworld/2009/01/new-for-2009-th.html?loc=interstitialskip