Interestingly enough, before my trip to Casa de Campo I had hardly heard anything about this course. Honestly it must be the most underrated course in the Caribbean. The front 9 takes you out towards the Marina and presents some huge elevation changes as it works its way down to sea level then back up the hill. The routing, holes and architecture is very solid and the course is very playable with a lot of width off the tee. The scale of this course however is quite extraordinary. Starting with a 600+ yard par 5 there is no easy handshake at Dye Fore. This is followed by a strategic short par 4 and then a 225-yard par 3. Spectacular would be a good way to describe the 4thhole, a 500+ yard par 4 that drops a solid 100ft down to near sea level and doglegs right. Tough to stand on this tee box and not want to hit the longest drive of your life. Yet it was still driver and a 3 wood for me.
5 Turns to start heading back up to the club house and slowly climbing the hill and is another crazy long par 4 at 500+ yards. The next few holes work their way back up to the clubhouse before starting on the back 9 which is routed across some of the most spectacular clifftop terrain you will find anywhere.
The 10th hole is a massive par 5 at 626 yards and plays along the clifftops with the Chavron River below. The green is perched several hundred feet above the river. A promising start to a spectacular back 9 that doesn’t fail to live up to the expectations after this excellent start.
11 is a dogleg left where you need to carefully choose the line and cut off as much as you can chew. It plays over a drop off to a fairway running at a diagonal left to right away from you with the cliffs on the right.
The 12 also flirts with the cliffs to the right and at 236 yards is one of the longest par 3’s at the resort.
13 is a long par 4 that drops way down on the right side of the fairway perhaps as much as 70-80 ft so keeping it left saves a crazy walk down then back up again and affords the best approach to this green that is slightly higher than the tee.
14 is a short par 4 and my favorite hole at Dye Fore. Here we are back at the cliffs but running the opposite direction and the hole plays along the cliffs which are to the left. There is a view of the river way down below from the tee. A carefully placed 3 wood or hybrid as close as possible to the cliff top affords the best angle of approach. You better be committed on this shot as it’s one of those that test you in every way. The approach even though played with a short iron is also really testing, the green falls off on the back and is a sort of infinity green where the earth literally seems to fall away behind it, no wonder as those first few steps are hundreds of feet down.
15 is another excellent long par 3 playing over a drop off and the cliffs to the left.
16-18 takes us back up to the clubhouse and are a run of 3 excellent and demanding holes. 17 is most likely my second favorite hole on the course – a short par 4 that begs you to have a go at it from the tee. The green is on a kind of volcano mound and the hole drops off from the tee then plays back uphill to this cool green on top of the hill.
18 is a strong and long par 5 finisher taking us back to the clubhouse and another green raised up and set ¾ the way up this hill. The tee shot faces a split fairway here. Left is the low side and allows a slightly longer drive but tougher second shot and a quite risky chance to go for the green in two for the longest hitters. The right side fairway is higher but affords an easier second shot. Hard for me to say if the long guys could still go for it from the right side but the approach is at least quite a bit less up hill. No matter which side you choose the approach to this 3 shotter is tricky given the lay of the green in the hill, it’s very easy to miss and not take enough club. Given it drops off on the front and sides, accuracy is highly rewarded.
When you make it to Casa de Campo you will by default play Dye Fore, at least I sincerely hope so for you. The more famous Teeth of the Dog course naturally overshadow it, but the chances are that you will be very pleasantly surprised by this wonderful layout.
Date: June 22, 2018