The ultimate tropical golf vacation

The ultimate tropical golf vacation


Evan Rothman

May 9, 2021

It is high time for island time.


Golf can be very private, but the GOLF list of the 100 best golf courses to play isn’t. This year, our expert group of course evaluators came together with one simple goal: to make a list of the best courses that you (yes, you) can turn to in no time. The end result is as diverse as the courses it includes, from Bandon Dunes to Bethpage Black.

But why should you keep memories of just one of our 100 best tracks? Be it a classic road trip from A to B to C, a stay in an iconic resort (with or without a detour) or a stopover in the concrete jungle where you can crack three or more Top 100 courses from your wish list is doable in one fell swoop. Start packing.


The 2 best tropical golf vacations

Derik Hobbs

Resort trip to the Dominican Republic

Courses in Our Top 100 You Can Play: Country House (Dog’s Teeth, # 7; La Romana, DR), Cap Cana (Punta Espada, # 18; Punta Cana, DR), Puntacana (Corales, # 90; Punta Cana, DR)

Journey: Casa de Campo and the duo Cap Cana / Puntacana are just over an hour’s drive away from each other. These properties don’t require a resort stay to gain access to the courses, but get a discount on green fees while on the premises.

Yours: The legendary Tipicobonao is a family-run restaurant near La Romana Airport that presents delicious Dominican cuisine with Taínoic, European and African origins.

‘The Teeth of the Dog’ is a tropical paradise.


Detour: If you are on the island from October to December, it is not only golf season, but also baseball season for the Dominican Winter League. The Toros del Este play in the Estadio Francisco Micheli stadium, where the exuberant fans have almost as much fun as the game on the diamond.

Detour: The oceanfront teeth of Casa de Campo are praised, but the 27-hole Dye Fore course, located on hilly terrain high above the Chavon River, offers sweeping 360-degree views of the Caribbean and the countryside – and take some exciting shots to try out.

Road trip to Cabo San Lucas

Courses in Our Top 100 You Can Play: Cabo del Sol (Cove Club, # 69), Twin Dolphin (# 71), Chileno Bay (# 86)

Journey: Twin Dolphin is 15 minutes from Cabo del Sol and an additional 15. Chileno Bay is an additional 15. Each course requires that you be a guest at their home resort.

At Cabo Del Sol, the difference between “in” the beach and “on” couldn’t feel more different.

Evan Schiller

Yours: Under the watchful eye of Chef Guillermo Tellez, Flora’s Field Kitchen at Cabo’s Flora Farms is the ultimate in field-to-table food, serving what it makes, grows and grows on its nearby 150-acre ranch.

Detour: The beaches, for heaven’s sake! And Cabo San Lucas for nightlife (including Sammy Hagar’s legendary Cabo Wabo) and San José del Cabo for getting away from the sun and enjoying cafes and art galleries.

Detour: The Nicklaus Signature Course Quivira offers breathtaking ocean views; You need to stay at a Pueblo Bonito Resort, likely PB Pacifica Golf & Spa.

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Rothman, former editor-in-chief of GOLF Magazine, is now a remote freelance contractor. His main task is custom publishing, which includes writing, editing and obtaining customer approval for travel advertisements. Since 2016 he has also been writing the popular monthly column “Rules Guy” pseudonymously and often writes the recurring “How It Works” page. Rothman’s freelance work for both GOLF and spans everything from equipment, training, travel and feature writing to editing previews of major championships and service packages.

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