Colleague Mike Johnson is back from a recent trip to Puerto Rico. I asked for his thoughts on the East Course at Dorado Beach, so he filed this report:
As with most resort golf, the fairways are generous, but the bunkers all seem to be in the right spot to snatch an errant shot; the greens pool table smooth, if not lightning fast. Among the highlights are the first tee where I walked just a few paces to wet my towel in the ocean (Why? Because I could), the zig-zag par-5 fourth hole where the ocean and 70-foot-tall palm trees serve as an endless backdrop to the green and the par-5 11th for no other reason than I bashed a 4-wood from 235 yards out to 4 feet and made eagle.
Still there's more to Dorado than a fine course in a tough-to-beat setting. I'm not saying it's affordable (through March, resort guests pay $250), but normally when the ranger pays you a visit in the middle of the fairway you cringe. At Dorado he offered a butter cookie the first time we saw him and a mint the next. The forecaddie (ours, a young man named Chen, was tour quality) tools around in his own cart, adding to their efficiency and after returning the cart at the Plantation clubhouse a cool, almond-scented towel is offered.
So what's better than a buddies golf weekend in Puerto Rico that includes playing Dorado East? Still noodling on that one.
--E. Michael Johnson