Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Dorado Beach East Course Celebrates Grand Reopening Following Robert Trent Jones II Restoration
(Dorado, Puerto Rico) - Dorado Beach Resort and Club, a 72-hole premier destination resort in Puerto Rico, announced today that the famed East Course is open for play after undergoing a complete 18-month renovation project of all 18 holes. The restoration, led by Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects, Caribbean Property Group and KemperSports, brings the course back to the original Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design, while providing immaculate playing conditions, greater flexibility for a wider range of players and enhanced natural beauty.
"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 18-hole golf course was carved through tidal wetlands with wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in 1958, and was enlarged to its current 36-hole routing in 1966. The East and West courses consistently rank among the best golf courses in the Caribbean. The resort also includes the Plantation Sugarcane Course and Plantation Pineapple Course.
"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 included:
• Tee adjustments for length and angle.
• Significant pruning and removal of vegetation to highlight views of the Atlantic Ocean and to uncover course features. The course now features ocean views from 15 of the 18 holes.
• Re-establishment 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 areas of fairway to make the course more flexible for a wider range of players by allowing a greater variety of shot options.
• Rebuilding of 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.
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."
The Dorado Beach East Course has hosted numerous prestigious events since its inception in 1958, including the 1963 Canada Cup, the 1964 Shell's Wonderful World of Golf event, the Senior PGA Tour Championship from 1990 through 1993, the Champions Tour's Tournament of Champions in 1995 and 1996, the PGA TOUR's World Cup of Golf in 1994 and the Chrysler Senior Match Play Challenge in 1999 and 2000. By adding length and significant physical improvements to the course, Dorado Beach East is once again poised to host world-class golf events.
The renovation of the East Course is the first phase of a complete transformation of the property that 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 the West Course (also redesigned by Robert Trent Jones II) will begin renovation 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 famous 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.
Dorado Beach offers Resort Residences available for sale and overnight stays overlooking the golf courses. Ritz-Carlton Reserve beachfront residences and golf townhomes are also under construction and are available for purchase; these residences are expected to be completed with the opening of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in December 2012. To book a visit to Dorado Beach, call 787-626-1001.