How did your relationship with Casa de Campo begin and how did you become head coach of the resort?
In 2012, I decided to stop competing professionally on the circuit and focus on teaching golf full time. In September 2013, the Director of Golf for Casa de Campo, Mr. Gilles Gagnon, hired me for a week to help run the Country Club Open, which had more than 230 players enrolled. At the end of the tournament, I was fortunate to have been offered a permanent full time position as Assistant Golf Pro under Dave Pfisterer, and the rest, as they say, is history. In 2016 Mr. Pfisterer was promoted to the Director of Golf at the La Romana Country Club and I was offered to take over his position as Head Golf Pro at Casa de Campo. Since then, I have continued to do my best and have strived to help our team take Casa de Campo’s legendary golf courses to new heights.
#1 golf course in the Caribbean
What does it mean to be part of the most important golf resort in the Caribbean?
It is an honor and a privilege to be part, in my opinion, of the best Golf Resort in the world. I feel lucky to be a part of this project and this family. Many ask me where I look in the future and the truth is, it is very difficult to imagine a better place to work and develop than Casa de Campo Resort & Villas. I’m proud to be able to represent our company and be a part of this team.
What is your specific role as Head Coach??
My job as head Golf Pro encompasses many aspects of the game both on the course and off. Some of my responsibilities have to do with day-to-day operations, guest satisfaction, event organization, golf academy coordination, golf course setup, course promotion and dissemination, round projections, and staff hiring, to name a few. All of this would not be possible without having the legendary Pete Dye courses to work with and having an amazing team to support me. Each of my colleagues plays a very important role in getting this operation flowing and making it a success.
From your diverse experience in Latin American and the Caribbean, why is Casa de Campo considered one of the best resorts in the world?
I’ve had the privilege to play on many golf courses and golf resorts around the world, but none comes even close to Casa de Campo. There are many factors that position us as one of the best golf resorts in the world. Without a doubt, I think the most important is to understand the world of golf and the needs of golfers. Casa de Campo has more than 40 years of experience serving golfers from all over the world with the highest standards. Our community has it all, and even more so for golfers. We have three amazing golf courses all designed by the legendary Pete Dye, including his masterpiece and one of the best courses in the world, the Teeth of the Dog® . The Teeth of the Dog® started it all and without it, we probably wouldn’t be here right now. Dye’s creation has become regarded as one of the most visually stunning yet challenging courses to play in the world with 7 holes directly on the ocean. The other key aspect that makes us so unique is the addition of our second distinct watercourse, the Dye Fore, which is located along the Chavon River valley. I don’t know of too many golf destinations that can boast of two amazing watercourses all within one location. The Links is our third course and is regarded as another Pete Dye gem, but is always overshadowed by it’s more famous sister courses. I want to make it clear though that it’s not enough to have the best courses in the world without having trained staff to handle it. Something very important that makes us special and unique is the Dominican people. Without them, Casa de Campo wouldn’t be what it is. The charisma, warmth, and hospitality they carry in their blood are enviable. I would also like to mention that much of our success is that General Management understands the world of golf perfectly. Casa de Campo is unique and you have to live it to believe it. It’s paradise on Earth.
What’s so special about Teeth of the Dog® that most surveys and awards place it among the best fields in the world?
It should be noted again that Teeth of the Dog® was designed by the legendary Pete Dye and the truth is, he created a masterpiece. Of the 18 holes, 7 are over the Caribbean Sea and 12 have ocean views. Each hole is strategically designed for the golfer to face a real challenge, but in order to beat the course, one must play their very best. The wind is an important factor when playing the course, but the great fortune of being positioned in the Caribbean Sea is that the wind is never overpowering and allows you to play quietly. Teeth of the Dog® can be enjoyed by every level of golfer, from beginners to experts, and that’s very difficult to create on a golf course of this magnitude. Thanks to the vast experience of the golf course maintenance staff, Teeth of the Dog® , like all our courses, is always in excellent condition and that is another factor that positions us at the top. Teeth of the Dog® is special and for some reason, Pete Dye always said “Out of the 18 holes, I created 11, and God created the other 7”.
What is the technology used in the Learning Center to teach and/or improve the game?
In 2016, when we welcomed the Latin America Amateur Championship, we opened our brand new Golf Learning Center, featuring Trackman’s most advanced technology in the world. We have two covered practice areas, two Trackman’s, a Sam Putt Lab, TVs, and Titleist fitting technology, all on-premise. Our Driving Range has two practice areas with over 400 yards in length and two putting and Chipping Greens. Our Learning Facility is one of the best in the world and you can’t stop living that experience when you visit Casa de Campo.
What would be your wildest dream at Casa de Campo: maybe host a PGA TOUR event?
A dream come true would definitely be watching a Dominican champion golfer win the Latin America Amateur Championship in the next tournament while being played on the Teeth of the Dog® .
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