The dream of playing at Teeth of the Dog Golf
Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo Resort, Dominican Republic
Over a period of two years, Pete Dye, his wife Alice (also an architect), and some 300 local helpers transformed almost by hand, a dry, rocky, overgrown terrain along the Dominican Republic’s coastline into what is now the Casa de Campo Resort. It is one of the most fascinating golf courses in the world called Teeth of the Dog.
The Teeth of the Dog was inaugurated in 1971 and, showing modesty and without claiming all the credit, Dye immediately pointed out that the course had been created by «the Man above». «I created eleven holes and God made seven!»
The seven holes, which God created, surround the coastline and are without a doubt inspiring and memorable. When the breeze blows into the Caribbean Sea, a great challenge is guaranteed. After renovation work in 2005, Teeth of the Dog now has an impressive 7,350 yards, making the game a real challenge.
The birth of a masterpiece
Teeth of the Dog has been Pete Dye’s baby for over 46 years. Dye has lived in the Dominican Republic for many years, spending a lot of time and effort on the golf course, making this course the place that a golfer could want.
Dye was hired in 1969 by a man named Alvo Carta, the operator of the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company to build a big course in the Dominican Republic. The sugar company had a production mill in La Romana, and they wanted a fantastic course to play golf and have a reference. It was not easy to build it, and it took them a lot of time, money and effort to make the crown jewel shine on its own. So they did it, and with good results.
Teeth of the Dog
The origin of the commercial name comes from being located in an area of shaped rocks and coral that resemble the teeth of a dog.
One course, one challenge
Let’s talk now about the course itself. In Pete Dye’s own words, «God built 7 holes, I only had to do the other 11″, we can explain a little better the design of the course. These words are essential, since the 7 holes overlooking the Caribbean Sea have a charming beauty that you will find in very few places. It is an elegant course with a lot of style and every time you play it you still want more.
Many of the holes have the typical essence of «Dye». The water hazards, grass bunkers and elevated greens which allow you to admire the whole course. The first hole that stands out when you play Teeth of the Dog is hole #2. A short par 4 (384 yards), but with so many obstacles, you have to think a lot about how to play the shot.
This takes you right to the 3rd hole. What appears to be an easy par 5, rapidly becomes very technical when you see the shot you have to hit on the second stroke. You shoot to the green at an elevated end surrounded by bunkers… you have to think it and a lot.
Each inside hole follows a similar type of strategy. They are all different, with a lot of technique and what may seem easy to you, turns out to be not so easy, and that’s where you start to fall in love with the course.
The course’s jewels are undoubtedly the holes that embrace the beautiful and vibrant Caribbean Sea. You play the four holes of the first round with the sea on the left, and the rest in the second round with the sea breeze on the right. These are holes where you could stay for hours and hours. You spend some time playing, some time admiring the beauty of the landscape and even having a good photo session.
My favorite hole is the 16th. It is the hole that characterizes the name of the course, perhaps the most rocky and shaped one. It is a par 3 of 220 yards, over the water, with a big vertical wall that comes from the ocean and shaped by the jagged coral rock formations. The green in diagonal form, seems easy until it is your turn to shoot and you need accuracy. A short shot gets you into a bunker, and a too long one into the water.
Add the course to your wish list
Teeth of the Dog has been compared a lot with Pebble Beach. No doubt they have a lot in common with Pete Dye, except that Teeth of the Dog has the holes in the seaside and does not have much to do with the Californian course. Since its opening, Teeth of the Dog has been a success among golfers of all levels, all of them having fun with their handicap. Both amateur and professional golfers are always impressed by the beauty and style of the course.
Because in the end any golf course that constantly compares to Pebble Beach is a course that you should put on your wish list. Just make sure you practice before you go, so you can enjoy it and be prepared.
Want to play at Teeth of the Dog?
If you need more information on how to go and play the course, where to stay, either alone, with family or friends, do not hesitate to contact us. We work directly for Casa de Campo in Europe and we can help you with last minute offers and organize your trip with or without a flight.