“Let’s get ready to Rumble” is the famous line use by announcer Michael Buffer at feature-boxing match and even use in commercial at time. Now we can use this line for the opening of the new nine at Dye Fore. Pete Dye has done an incredible job designing and building these nine holes on a very rocky terrain. I promise you one thing for sure, you will be tested and your nerve endings will be firing.
A few weeks ago, I went around with Pete Dye assistant, architect Chris ludzy, hit a few shots and was amazed of what I saw and played. Beautifully framed holes playing over, around well place bunkers and four lakes. Although the greens are much smaller then we are use to on our other four golf courses, you will love it. Casa de Campo is a special place for golf because all our courses are different and give the golfers a sense of being in four different places. One round, you are on the Caribbean, the next round you feel like you are in the mountains, next you are looking at an ancient civilization village and lastly this new nine as a feel of being in the desert. I tried my best to describe what I saw but I am sure that my literary knowledge will not do justice to the genius of Pete Dye.
Hole # 1 / Par 4 (321 to 405 yards)
A dogleg right and as usual Pete Dye starts messing with your mind. A well place drive will nestle between bunkers on the left and a lake on the right. Prevailing wind will blow from the right on your drive and directly at you for the second shot. A long bunker borders the lake, which will catch many errant shots and save the golfers from the watery doom. Although the bunker is there to save you, you can’t rally see it on your second shot and you feel the lake is right off the right side of the green. A short to a middle iron will land you on a small but deep green.
Hole # 2 / Par 3 (109 to 195 Yards)
This par three, is a spectacular and intimidating hole. Your first impression will be, where is the green, where do I aim? Depending which tee you will play from, you will have to hit over water or have the water to your left while trying to land your ball on the green that looks the size of a pool table. Although there is space to bail out right, a shot out of a bunker or a chip toward the lake will test your ability. Have some courage, aim, and fire but do that with a floater because chances are you will see a nice splash in the lake.
Hole # 3 / Par 5 (397 to 590 Yards)
This is a long hole and because of the wind playing longer. A nice drive between a variety of bunkers will give you a few options for your second shots. The breeze could add 100 yards to this hole but more then likely you will be hitting a short iron to a semi blind green. Staying away from the bunkers is the main goal on this hole. Not a whole lot of troubles and a par will lift your spirits.
Hole # 4 / Par 4 (303 to 519 Yards)
A slight dogleg left with a plateau like fairway with good size drop off on both sides will steer you drive toward the bunkers on the right. Hitting the fairway off the tee is imperative if you want a shot at the green. Missing this undulating green will make an up and down very difficult especially if you short side yourself.
Hole # 5 / Par 4 (288 to 441 Yards)
Finally, the wind is behind you so the drive is fairly easy. The fairway drops off left and the right side of the pipe crisscrossing the fairway is your aiming point. The green is elevated and holding the green with your second shot will be a challenge. The second shot is scary because you know if you miss the green a bogey is eminent. This is a birdie hole unless you miss the green and then it is a bogey or worse.
Hole # 6 / Par 5 (393 to 586 Yards)
This beautiful par 5 should be down wind most of the time so will play shorter then the yardage. Beautiful bunkering on the left gives you an aiming point but a slice for a right-hander will find the lake. The second shot needs to be well place to stay away from the lake and bunkers. The green is tiny and well protected with water right and bunkers left. Bring your best wedge shot to this hole.
Hole # 7 / Par 3 (118 to 214 Yards)
This hole will take your breath away. Like hole # 2 finding the green from the tee is almost impossible because your eyes will focus on the lake to the right and this little bunker center left of the green. It is one scary shot with a crosswind. I am sure most golfers will bail out to the left, which is not the best place to be but better then in the lake. If you miss left you will have an uphill pitch to a green running toward the lake. Remember, golf is only a game because after this hole you might think of throwing your bag in the lake, don’t, clubs are too expensive and you still have two beautiful holes to go.
Hole # 8 / Par 4 (287 to 384 Yards)
A breather. Although the fairway is a landmine of bunkers you should be able to drive your ball and keeping it in the short grass. A short blind second shot over a bunker protecting the front of the green will give you an opportunity the get the shot back you probably lost on the last hole. Just a little trick from Mr. Dye to get you back in your good grace but don’t kid yourself you still have one hole to go.
Hole # 9 / Par 4 (295 to 492 Yards)
A long dogleg left with a deep green hanging over the edge of a lake. The driving area is very generous and the bunkers you see off the tee is your aiming point. A precise second shot is required to have a putt for birdie. Miss the green right and you will find many little depressions to collect your ball and leave you with a tricky chip.
After holing out the next thing in your mine will be, I know I can play better let’s book a tee time for tomorrow. Somewhere in the world building another course Pete Dye is smiling knowing that he is the best at taking you through all golf emotions and he did that on this nine.
This new nine will be a great addition to the North nine of Dye Fore. The wind will play a big factor like it usually does on Dye Fore but it will be a fun nine to play. I am always amazed how Pete Dye can create something so special from basically nothing. I can wait for all of you to take a shot but probably many shots at this course. See you on the hill.