Featured Golf News
Dorado Beach East Course Reopens following Restoration
Dorado Beach Resort and Club, a 72-hole destination resort in Puerto Rico, has announced that its East Course is open for play after undergoing an 18-month renovation of all 18 holes. The restoration, led by Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects, Caribbean Property Group and KemperSports, returns the course to its original Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design, while upgrading the playing conditions and providing greater flexibility for a wider range of players.
"Bringing the East Course back to its former grandeur is just the beginning of our complete renovation of the legendary Dorado Beach Resort," said Eric Christensen, CEO of Dorado Beach Resort and Club. "With the opening of Dorado Beach this year and a Ritz-Carlton Reserve next year, this will again be one of the world's top resorts for golfers and guests from all around the world."
The original Dorado Beach course was carved through tidal wetlands and offered wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean when it opened in 1958. Eighteen more holes were added in 1966 to become the East and West courses. The resort also features the Plantation Sugarcane and Plantation Pineapple courses.
"It was truly an honor to restore one of my father's original masterpieces," said Robert Trent Jones, Jr. "The restoration of the East Course has enhanced the natural beauty, playing conditions and flexibility that my father had originally envisioned over 50 years ago."
The restoration of East included:
• Tee adjustments for length and angle.
• Significant pruning and removal of vegetation to highlight views of the Atlantic Ocean and to uncover features. The course now boasts ocean views from 15 of its 18 holes.
• Reestablishment of the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design philosophy by recapturing the original green sizes and configurations as well as implementing a return to the "runway tee" style.
• Restoring the bunkers to their original style and shot value; the bunker sand was washed and screened to meet USGA specifications.
• Bunker repositioning to accommodate technological advances in modern equipment.
• New fairway areas to make the course more flexible for a wider range of players by allowing a greater variety of shot options.
• Rebuilding all putting greens and resurfacing with ultra-dwarf Champion Bermuda grass.
• Replacing of the entire irrigation system, including the pump station.
• Revision of surface drainage patterns to allow the course to be played quickly after rainfall.
For further background on the project and the resort, visit Cybergolf's Jay Flemma's three-part series at http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/the_dorado_beach_diaries_golf_sun_bacardi, http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/dorado_beach_diaries_chi_chi_talks_golf_life, and http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/dorado_beach_diaries_part_2_go_east_young_man3012.
KemperSports, the Northbrook, Ill.-based company that has managed Dorado Beach Resort and Club since 2006, oversaw construction for the 18-month restoration project. "The East Course is a true historic masterpiece," said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. "The restoration team has done a wonderful job in bringing the design back to its original glory."
Dorado Beach East has hosted numerous prestigious events since its inception, including the 1963 Canada Cup, the 1964 Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, the Senior PGA Tour Championship from 1990-93, the Champions Tour's Tournament of Champions in 1995 and '96, the PGA Tour's World Cup of Golf in 1994, and the Chrysler Senior Match Play Challenge in 1999 and 2000. With its new length and physical improvements, Dorado Beach East is again poised to host bit tournaments.
The renovation of the East Course is the first phase of a complete transformation of the property. The work includes the addition of a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences and a complete restoration of the West Course. The hotel is expected to be open by late 2012, and work on the West Course (also redesigned by Robert Trent Jones II) will begin in 2012.
Laurence Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, established Dorado Beach as a popular resort in the late 1950s. After the resort opened, it was a destination for celebrities such as Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Today, celebrities such as Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Felix Trinidad, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Rodriguez and Ricky Martin frequently visit the resort.
For more information, visit http://www.doradobeachclubs.com.