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Pete Dye to Build New Course at Casa de Campo

By: Jay Flemma


Casa de Campo officials confirmed tonight that $6 million has been approved for the building of a new Pete Dye golf course at the Dominican Republic resort. The new nine holes, with the working title of "Six," will be paired with the newest nine holes of the "Dye Fore" facility opened last season called "The Lakes," but affectionately called "Five" by Pete Dye, his team, and Casa insiders. The new course will join the original Dye Fore layout (with its "Chavon" and "Marina" nines), the world-renowned Teeth of the Dog, the sporty "Links" course, and the private 27-hole facility at La Romana Country Club for a whopping 108 holes of golf in total.

"Dye Six is coming!" beamed a rightfully proud Peter Bonell, the resort's chief marketing officer. "It will be located across the Chavon River, so players will take a ferry to get there," he explained, referring to the stunning riverside site 225 feet above the water, which was also where such movies as "Apocalypse Now" and "Rambo 3" were filmed.

"We are proud and delighted to increase our Pete Dye footprint," added the resort's national grouping golf sales manager. "Golfers from around the world love to come and test their game against his designs because you have to think all the way around his golf courses. You can't try to bully his golf courses or they will bully you, but you never had as much fun or saw anything like them anywhere in the world."

In a recent interview with Cybergolf, Dye confided that a new course might be in the offing. "Here's the thing about Casa de Campo . . . you're playing all along those cliff-tops overlooking the ocean or the marina or the river. It's like Pebble Beach or Turnberry out there! At Pebble Beach, the next golf course that's in-bounds is in Japan. At Casa, the next golf course that's in-bounds is in Venezuela."

In fact, when asked if some holes were modeled after holes at Pebble, in particular No. 11 (or No. 2 on the "Chavon" nine), which seem strikingly similar to the eighth at Pebble Beach, Dye responded, "Absolutely. I love the holes along the [Chavon] River and the new work I did at 'Five' is a nice compliment. That may be the best work I've done down there since Teeth. I may be braggin', but it's different, it's pretty and it's pretty wide, so you can play it, and you can see the mountains. It really ties in with the other work there. I hope to have thirty-six holes there soon."

Now he will . . . in fact it may be 45. Indeed, many magazines have called Casa de Campo the "greatest" and "most complete" resort in the world, not only for the phenomenal golf but for its myriad other diversions, including polo and equestrian events, shooting, tennis, nature hikes, biking, swimming spa, a marina designed to resemble Portofino, and restaurants by Le Cirque and Il Circo, among others.

"Our resort has been a favored escape for heads of state, financial entrepreneurs, Hollywood elite, sports professionals and top entertainers," added PR coordinator Giselle Gonzalvo. Recent guests included Michael Jordan, actor Hugh Grant and several active and retired major league baseball stars.

"This is enormous news," stated golf architecture expert Bruce Moulton. "Dye is the greatest and certainly most prolific designer of our generation, and for him to add to his already astounding portfolio at Casa de Campo further solidifies their place as one of the greatest places on the planet to play golf."

"Pete just keeps getting better with age," added Bonell.

Though the "Lakes" nine - i.e. "Five" - is new, golf architecture experts agree that it will certainly help catapult the Dye Fore facility into the highest echelon of the world rankings.

"It's puzzling why it isn't more highly regarded as it combines incomparable beauty, strategic design and a sterling pedigree," Moulton explained. "But now with the addition of 'Five,' there's no question it will skyrocket up the rankings, perhaps even rivaling Teeth of the Dog." Many architecture experts, including several members of La Romana Country Club, agree.

"I actually think it's better than Teeth, and that's saying something because Teeth is one of the 20 best courses in the world," confided two members. "No place in the world has a better mix of golf and resort facilities than Casa de Campo. It's Bandon Dunes or Scotland, but with much better weather year round. Come down and join us!"

Since launching his first golf writing website in 2004, http://jayflemma.thegolfspace.com, Jay Flemma 's comparative analysis of golf designs and knowledge of golf course architecture and golf travel have garnered wide industry respect. In researching his book on America's great public golf courses (and whether they're worth the money), Jay, an associate editor of Cybergolf, has played over 420 nationally ranked public golf courses in 40 different states, and covered seven U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships, along with one trip to the Masters. A four-time award-winning sportswriter, Jay was called the best sports poet alive by both Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports writers and broadcasters. Jay has played about 3 million yards of golf - or close to 2,000 miles. His pieces on travel and architecture appear in Golf Observer (www.golfobserver.com), Cybergolf, PGA.com, Golf Magazine and other print magazines. When not researching golf courses for design, value and excitement, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet and trademark lawyer and an Entertainment and Internet Law professor in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.