The Dominican Republic takes up the greater part of Hispaniola, the island that it shares with Haiti. The two nations have followed very different paths. Haiti, on the island's west side, has suffered under authoritarian governments and continuing political instability, not to mention the devastating earthquake of 2010, while the Dominican Republic, on the east side, has enjoyed significantly more peace and prosperity. Legendary American designer Pete Dye led the way bringing first-class play here in the Seventies with his colorfully and aptly named "Teeth of the Dog" layout for Casa de Campo Resort and Villas. Dye's work proved so popular that he and his son Perry have been brought back repeatedly to work their magic, for a total of five courses, three for resorts and two for private clubs. Robert Trent Jones has also done work here.
It therefore makes sense that few other Caribbean locations can compete with the Dominican Republic when it comes to golf. The relatively inexpensive real estate and labor meant that some truly fine courses were able to be built for a fraction of what they would have cost in comparable locations, and the result has been an incredible boom in golf tourism. The continued desperate situation in Haiti certainly does nothing to help the economy and reputation of the Dominican Republic, which makes the latter a great value for the traveler. There are now more than 24 courses open for play here, so there are a wide variety of golfing experiences from which to choose.