The Punta Espada 18-hole layout at Cap Cana is the first of three intended Jack Nicklaus courses at this resort. It can be played at the moment for a hefty green fee but, once the Golden Bear’s $26 million Las Iguanas course opens next door, it may become a private facility.
Punta Espada debuted in 2007 and Nicklaus incorporated the natural coastal topography of cliffs, beach and lagoons into the design, routing almost half the holes on the layout along the shoreline.
The par five 2nd is regarded as the toughest hole on the course and this 611-yard monster is played from one of the highest points on the property, doglegging right past a tidal lake and beach bunker.
A strong set of holes around the turn starts with the shortest par four on the card at the 8th and ends with the longest par four at the 11th. A birdie might be possible at the former if the long sandy waste area adjacent to the fairway can be avoided but the chances of posting a three at the difficult 497-yard latter are very slim, even if there's a helping wind.The 250-yard 13th is considered to be the signature hole on this Signature course and it calls for a heroic, all-carry tee shot out over the Caribbean Sea to a green that clings to the edge of the island.