Early in November, the five fortunate winners of the 2018 Andalucía Golf Challenge Circuit Final, Destination La Romana Golf Club/Bahía Principe, travelled to the Dominican Republic, where for a memorable week they enjoyed the charms and golf of this picturesque Caribbean country, which has become one of the most attractive destinations in Latin America for golfers from around the world.
The circuit was played from May to August at Royal Guadalhorce, San Roque Club (Old Course), Royal Sotogrande, Royal Valderrama, La Reserva de Sotogrande, Flamingos (Villa Padierna) and Valle Romano, and the grand final was held at Royal Guadalmina (South Course).
The winners of the trip to the Caribbean were the two best finishers, in the first and second categories, and the scratch winner of the competition played at the aforementioned Marbella course, with the first five from previous tournaments, also in each category, having qualified for the grand final.
The winners of the trip to the Dominican Republic were: category one, Pedro Antonio Corral Pedruzo and Juan David Carretero Castillo; category two, Francisco López Castro and Rafael Rubio Lacambra; and scratch, Santiago Gutierrez Duque. The prize consisted of the week-long trip with an all-inclusive stay and four days of golf at three of the best courses on the island.
The host establishment was Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, a five-star luxury hotel located in the Nueva Romana macro-urbanisation, halfway between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. This resort has another hotel and a golf course inaugurated just over a year ago. year, La Romana Golf Club.
Despite being a new course, La Romana Golf Club surprised everyone in a positive way for its design and maintenance. The general comments were very complimentary about the layout, which has three very distinctive parts and several holes bathed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
In addition to this course, for two days of play, two additional rounds were played at possibly the two finest Dominican courses, which is effectively like saying in the Caribbean: Punta Espada in Cap Cana, and Teeth of the Dog in Casa de Campo (La Romana). Layouts that left those who did not know about them, but had heard of them, with open mouths.
The winners of the Andalucía Golf Challenge Circuit did not travel alone to the Dominican Republic as, in addition to their partners, they were accompanied by Andalucía Golf/España Golf publishers Stefan Tjellander and Antonio Sánchez, as well as a large group of golfers who decided to join this incredible journey of relaxation and golf. In total, the group consisted of 22 people, who undoubtedly felt one week on the island was too short.
In addition to four days of scheduled golf, there was also time to do "sea" excursions, enjoy the beaches and visit the country’s capital, Santo Domingo, a city that is home to the first cathedral built in the “New World” and a very well preserved "colonial area”.
Andalucía Golf/España Golf would like say a huge thank you for the excellent welcome we received at the magnificent Bahía Principe Bouganville Hotel, belonging to - as well as the entire resort, including La Romana Golf Club - the Piñero Group, one of the Caribbean’s premier hotel chains. Our special thanks also to Vanessa Vignali, corporate director of Bahía Principe Golf.
In 2019 the final prize for the Andalucía Golf Challenge Circuit will be a similar trip, but in this case to the Mexican Caribbean, where the Piñero Group also has spectacular hotels and a first-class golf course: Riviera Maya Golf Club.
PEDRO ANTONIO CORRAL PEDRUZO
"It was an incredible experience, very good. I really wanted to come here to play golf, and with your help I'm here at last. I've had a great time, the courses are magnificent and the Bahía Principe resort is perfect. Unbeatable… the spacious and luxurious rooms, and also next to a spectacular beach. I already knew about the Punta Espada and Teeth of the Dog courses and I knew they were very good. The one that surprised me especially pleasantly has been La Romana Golf Club. I did not expect it to be at this level. Sincerely, it is highly recommended. I will include it in my itinerary when I return here, which I hope will be soon."
SANTIAGO GUTIÉRREZ DUQUE
"For me the whole trip was a very pleasant surprise- The group that has been out together is magnificent. I have to thank Antonio Sánchez, from Andalucía Golf/España Golf, who has been looking after everything and everyone at all times, arranging the accommodation. Even though we were many people, everything worked like a clock. I have let myself be carried away as I have rarely done, and it has been very relaxing and rewarding. I found the resort very comprehensive, with facilities of all kinds: themed restaurants, quiet pools and others more lively (to choose from), spa, casino... what more could you want!
I have been very happy with the trip. I would highlight above all the kind treatment by all hotel staff and the courses. About the courses we have played, what can I say? If you ask me which was the best for me, I would not know how to respond. I could not choose between one or the other: they are all spectacular, three seriously good courses, for location, design, maintenance, service... A spectacular trip.”
FRANCISCO LÓPEZ CASTRO
"I have been playing golf for a long time and this has been by far the best prize I have ever received. I want, of course, to thank Andalucía Golf/España Golf for this trip, which my wife, Sandra, has enjoyed so much - even more than me. She has already ‘threatened’ me with the fact that she will be the winner of the next Andalucía Golf Challenge Circuit, which I think is very good because I will be able to go as her ‘escort’. I already knew about, in one way or another, Punta Espada and Teeth of the Dog, but what I did not expect was La Romana Golf Club. It has far exceeded my expectations. The holes by the sea, above all, I have found impressive and beautiful. It has been a spectacular week. I hope to be part of next year's expedition. I will never forget this trip.”
RAFAEL RUBIO LACAMBRA
"This prize in the Dominican Republic has been well above my expectations, and not only because of what we have experienced: playing at spectacular courses, a first-class resort, but also for the group that has been put together, with new and good friends. The whole deal has been incredible... everything in general. As soon as I can I will repeat this trip because it has been too short. The courses are the best I've played in my life. It has been a dream for me to have played them."
JUAN DAVID CARRETERO CASTILLO
"Above all, I would like to thank Andalucía Golf/España Golf for the trip you have offered us: an incredible hotel and first-class golf courses… everything has been spectacular and the golf course is even better. The La Romana Golf Club is a dream. It is a young course, but it is undoubtedly at the level of the best ones in the Dominican Republic. I give them a 10. And what about Punta Espada and Teeth of the Dog? They are incomparable. I honestly had not previously played at courses of this category."