Discover the Unique Golf Courses of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya



For many, golf is an essential ingredient of a great vacation. Cancun and the surrounding area boasts 15 golf courses and has become a world class golf destination for both amateurs and professionals due to its unique courses which have been designed by such architects as Jack Nicklaus (El Manglar Golf Course), Robert Von Hagge (Playacar Spa & Golf Club), Greg Norman (El Camaleon Golf Club), Nick Price (Grand Coral Spa & Golf), and Robert Trent Jones Jr. (Cancun Golf Club at Pok Ta Pok and Riviera Maya Golf Club).

The Association of Golf Courses in the Mexican Caribbean has brought together local golf organizations in order to foster the construction of even more courses in the area. The local terrain and nature conservation regulations have presented challenges in the construction of new golf courses, however the result of ingenious planning has ultimately created challenging and unique courses which can include cenotes (natural sinkholes), tropical jungle, lagoons, mangroves, sand dunes, ancient Mayan ruins, local flora and fauna and views of the turquoise blut Caribbean Sea. The Riviera Maya, the area south of Cancun, hosts Mexico’s only PGA Tour, the Mayakoba Golf Classic, which has been held at the El Camaleon Golf Club since 2007.

 

 

 



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The Cancun Golf Club at Pok Ta Pok is located in the heart of Cancun's Hotel Zone at km 7.5 and is open 365 days a year from dawn till dusk. The golf club includes an 18 hole championship golf course, two practice putting greens and a driving range. These are the stomping grounds of the ancient Mayans, and you will come across their ruins as you make your way through the course. If you get hungry or thirsty while you are playing, don't despair, the roving bars will be by soon enough, or wait until you get back to the club and have a cold beer or cocktail while taking in the view of beautiful Nichupte lagoon.


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Formerly the Hilton, the newly renovated Iberostar Cancun is the only resort in the Hotel Zone that features an 18 hole, Par 72 championship golf course. It is located at km 17 and is easily accessible by taxi or bus if you are not staying at the resort. This is a good course for all levels and the upkeep has improved since Iberostar bought the property. Reasonable green fees (if you are staying at the resort you will receive a discount) include a cart and all inclusive snacks and beverages from the beloved beer cart which will pass frequently. The facility includes a practice range, a putting green, lockers, showers, storage room, a restaurant, a golf shop, and equipment for rent. Pay attention to where you step, many crocodiles frequent the course.


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This beautiful new (opened February 2011) 18 hole, Par 71 Nick Price designed course is part of the Grand Coral Resort in Playa del Carmen. Nick Price's vision was to create a golf course that integrated and was sensitive to the beauty of the natural environment. A team of wildlife consultants, biologists, civil engineers and environmental consultants were consulted on the project. The staff is friendly, courteous, and professional. Green fees include round trip transportation, a golf cart, two bottles of water, golf tees, a divot repair tool, fresh towels, dressing room with lockers and a safe deposit box.


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Moon Palace Golf & Spa
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/palaceresorts/photos#!/photo.php?fbid=483186885044681&set=o.90575494409&type=3&theater


 

The course at the Moon Spa & Golf Club is one of the only two in Cancun designed by Jack Nickelaus. Guests staying at the Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Le Blanc Spa Resort and Playacar Palace receive complimentary transportation to and from the golf course but you do not have to be a guest of the Moon Palace to play this course. Green fees include food and beverages at the club house, a shared golf cart and snacks on the course. The club also features rental clubs, a practice range, putting and chipping greens, lockers, showers, clubs storage, a pro shop and a Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy with certified instructors.


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This par 3 golf course was the first in the world to receive the Green Globe distinction for its operation and efforts in sustainable tourism. It was designed by ex-professional golfer "The Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus and is part of a large Mexican golf course developer; Vidanta. One of a kind hole 17 is surrounded by a lake, two sand traps on each side and one more in the center of the green. This course has predominant trade winds that demand accuracy and challenges even the most experienced of players. Facilities include equipment rental, a driving range and putting green, a pro shop and a snack bar.


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The Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club course is extremely well maintained. It is also home of the Canadian Tour Iberostar Riviera Maya Open. This 18 hole, Par 72, P.B. Dye course is located in the heart of the Mayan jungle, about 45 minutes south of Cancun in the Riviera Maya and features restrooms every four holes. Green fees include a golf cart, range balls, all food and beverages before, during, and after your round, as well as a souvenir yardage book and all taxes. You will see crocodiles, iguanas, and even monkeys on this course.


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Playa Mujeres Golf Club is located in Punta Sam, a newly developed area 20 minutes north of the Hotel Zone and is open from sunrise to dusk. The course is 18 holes, Par 72, and was designed by Greg Norman with respect for the abundant local flora and fauna. This course is one of the only ones in Mexico supported by the Executive Women's Golf Association (EWG) and is considered one of the best in the country. Green fees include cart rental, practice range balls, bottled water and tax. The course features SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum greens, tees and fairways. There is a restaurant called the Lagoon Grill Restaurant and bar carts offer soft drinks and snacks on the course.


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This golf club, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is located only 5 minutes from the Cancun International Airport at km 26 of the Hotel Zone. This course was built with habitat preservation in mind. There are large pipelines that run below the golf course that serve as artificial channels and maintain the water flow into the mangroves, which are an essential part of the local ecosystem and are abundant on this course. Crocodiles even use the pipelines to move from one area to another. This facility features a club house with a premium liquor bar on the 19th hole, a pro shop, a practice area, equipment rentals, bag storage and breathtaking views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.


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This is the only Tournament Players Club facility outside the United States and it boasts two 18 hole courses; a championship Nick Price designed layout and a Tom Fazio course is under construction. The club, located just south of Cancun and only 7 minutes from the airport, has an outstanding English speaking staff and is one of the best places to play golf in the area. Facilities include a pro shop, a grill, a luxury club house, a practice area, and a golf academy. The TPC Cancun Country Club is part of a much larger project which includes residential homes, a hotel and a beach club.


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This amazing golf course is part of the Five Diamond Mayakoba hotel complex in the Riviera Maya. Its terrain includes tropical Mayan jungle, mangroves, cenotes, lagoons, and spectacular views of the Caribbean. El Camaleon is home to the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the only official PGA Tour held outside the U.S. or Canada and is 18 holes, Par 72, covers 7,024 yards and is open daily from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. The course has received six Audubon International certifications for environmental stewardship and awareness. The Jim McLean Golf School is also located at the resort and offers group and private lessons, camps and free workshops for locals.


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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin

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