They say you don’t get a second chance at first impressions.
Well, Cap Cana has made the most of its first and second impressions.
off the second Cap Cana Championship—an immediate hit on the Champions
Tour—the Punta Espada Golf Course was ranked No. 5 in Golfweek’s
recent list of the “Best Tour Courses You Can Play.” It is the
second such ranking of the best public-access courses played on the PGA, Champions,
Nationwide and LPGA tours in 2008-09. The list is a celebration of one of golf’s
grandest idiosyncrasies: the fact that amateurs can test their games on the
same courses and holes where the game’s greatest players have made history.
Espada, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that plays along the eastern
coast of the Dominican Republic, was named the No. 1 course in Golfweek’s 2009
ranking of the Best Caribbean Courses. It led a foursome of Nicklaus Design
courses to make the Best Courses on Tour list, followed at No. 6 by Harbour
Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C., which represents Jack’s first design
effort and has hosted a PGA Tour event each year since it opened in 1969. At
No. 16 was the Ocean Course at Ginn Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, Fla., and
at No. 27 was the Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.,
the host venue for The Honda Classic.
According to Golfweek, the top four public-access
courses that double as tournament hosts were, in order, Pebble Beach, New York’s
Bethpage-Black (the site of this year’s U.S. Open), Spyglass Hill in
Pebble Beach, and TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., which is playing
host to this week’s Players
Nicklaus Design has at least 90 courses that have hosted a professional
tournament worldwide or a significant USGA national championship. In 2009 alone,
15 Nicklaus courses will host a PGA Tour-sanctioned event—nine on the PGA Tour, four
on the Champions Tour, and two on the Nationwide Tour. Another two play host
in 2009 to events on the LPGA schedule; four host European Tour events; and
two more are played on the Canadian Tour.