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  • Writer's pictureGavin

Golf Courses in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya

Updated: May 8

Golf Courses in Cancun and Riveira Maya
The Riviera Maya (which starts at Cancun and follows the coast down past Puerto Morelos, golf Course shown is Riviera Cancun

The Riviera Maya (which starts at Cancun and follows the coast down past Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and ends in Tulum) is home to 13 spectacular golf courses.

The team at Cancun Golf Club Rentals is lucky enough to have played them all many times. Below we have put together a quick guide of what to expect followed by each golf course in the Riviera Maya.

General Overview: Cancun /Playa del Carmen / Riviera Maya Golf Courses

The following attributes are common to all the golf courses in the area.

  • Flat courses: The entire region is dead flat, hence so are the golf courses. (with a couple of exceptions)

  • Resort Golf Courses: The vast majority are attached to a large 5 star hotel, resulting in 5 star services, immaculately kept fairways and greens… with the price to match!

  • No Rough: Golf courses are either built by filling in mangroves or cut into the jungle. The upkeep costs are high which results in every inch of land being used. This means your ball is either in the fairway or the water / jungle!

  • Out of Bounds: Few things are as frustrating as slicing your drive out-of-bounds and playing 3 off the Tee. Luckily local rules allow you to take the drop where your ball went out.

  • Golf Buggies: All golf courses require the use of a golf buggy (maybe not such a bad thing as it can get a little hot!)

  • Wild Life: Crocodiles make you think twice about looking for your ball.....and yes people have been attacked!. Snakes, Deer, Monster Iguanas, Monkeys, Cotates....expect to see them.

Staring North of Cancun and working down the coast, these are all the golf courses, with the golf course marketing pitch followed by Cancun Golf Club Rentals verdict. (We don`t get any special rates or have any affiliation to any of the golf courses so will give it to you straight!)

Ocean Views at the Playa Mujeres Golf Course

Playa Mujeres Golf Course

Designed by Greg Norman

"This 18-hole course was conceived with full respect for both, the naturally abundant fauna and the environmentally sensitive areas that surround it. A great resort course with daily trade winds that demand pinpoint accuracy and challenges even the most experienced of players".

Our Verdict: One of our favorites; nice views of the beach & Isla Mujeres in the distance. Good variety of holes. Challenging without being too hard.

Puerto Cancun Golf Course 18th hole

Puerto Cancun Golf Course

"Designed by British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf, this 18 hole par 72 course is sure to challenge all levels of players while offering an unforgettable experience with the ultimate in privacy and exclusivity. Blending the perfect mix of nature and modernity, the course also features breathtaking views of the Caribbean, canals and mangrove."

Our Verdict: 14th hole runs parallel down the beach offering amazing views of Cancun. Unusual quirky design, (has 3 par-3`s within 4 holes) Still it`s a nice challenging course. Massive residential development around the golf course will no doubt ruin the surrounding views in a few years, so best to get out and play it now!

Cancun Golf Courses

Pok-Ta-Pok Cancun Golf Course

"Home to a wealth of archeological treasures dating back to the ancient Mayas of a thousand years ago, the internationally renowned Cancún Golf Club at Pok-Ta-Pok challenges even the best of players, who actually aim to avoid the 1,000 year-old ruins of luminous sandstone which serve as a natural historic hazard."

Our Verdict: Great location in the heart of Cancun`s Hotel Zone and Cancun`s first golf course. Has seen better days though and has a somewhat dilapidated feel. It`s Cancun`s quietest golf course as it`s not part of a hotel complex and has a few good views of the laguna & sea.

Iberostar Cancun Golf Course

Iberostar Golf Course Cancun

Designed by Isao Aoki "Feel the cool ocean breeze, hear the tropical birds, and watch the turquoise water blend with the light blue sky in the horizon as you firmly grip your favorite golf club and get ready to swing away at a sensational dream-like golf course."

Our Verdict: Not to be confused with the Iberostar Paradiso golf course, this is a well-maintained golf course with some nice holes. It`s one of the easier of Cancun`s golf courses with little more room to spray your driver about. What it lacks in ocean views it makes up for in wild-life with many crocodiles lurking in the laguna and often catching some rays on the fairways. When you consider the all-inclusive element which includes food & alcoholic drinks in the restaurant and on the course, it often makes this one of the better valve-for-money golf courses.

Riviera Cancun Golf Course

Riviera Cancun Golf Course

Designed by Jack Nicklaus

"The Riviera Cancun Golf Club is the most recent addition to Cancun. Jack Nicklaus has done remarkable job carving this gem using the natural contours of the terrain, this course boasts strategic bunkering, immaculate greens, wooden bridges and the peaceful tranquility of the natural reserve that surrounds the course. Golfers will also enjoy the ocean views on holes 14 and 15."

Our Verdict: One of the most difficult golf courses in the Cancun / Riviera Maya, we feel high handicappers would struggle a little here. However, sipping a beer (included in price) and taking in the beautiful view of the 18 hole from the bar afterwards would more than make up for all those golf balls you`ve just lost!

El Tinto/ Cancun Country Club golf course

El Tinto Golf Course

(Cancun Country Club)

"El Tinto" is the golf course within our development which was designed by the world-renowned golf professional Nick Price. This challenging field contains 7,435 yards and is ready to meet any field design standard and service to its players, whether amateur or professional, ensuring them an excellent golfing experience".

Our Verdict: This lacks any views of the ocean, but it`s a nice inland golf course a few minutes from Cancun airport with some fairly open fairways. It tends to be to quieter than other golf courses in Cancun as it`s not part of a massive hotel complex.

Moon Palace Golf Course

Moon Palace Golf Course

"The Moon Spa & Golf Club is home to one of the only two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses in Cancun. Players can enjoy 27 holes within the following combination of golf courses: Dunes & Jungle, Jungle & Lakes, and Lakes & Dunes".

Our Verdict: This is the definition of "Resort Golf" with four massive hotels making up this complex. It`s a fantastic golf course and great if you`re staying in the complex. If not, because of overcrowding and the high price tag we think you`re probably best playing other golf courses in the area first.

Ariel View of the beautiful Iberostar Golf Course

Ibèrostar Paradiso Golf Course

"The eminent golf course architect P.B. Dye designed this wonderful place, turning it into one of his finest creations. The majestic rolling fairways of perfectly manicured Paspalum grass stretch out as far as the eyes can see, and the stunning natural surrounding enhances the beauty of the carpet-like putting greens."

Our Verdict: Ok, so there are no ocean views on this golf course but it`s one of our favorites. Why? It`s one of the very few golf courses in the area which isn`t dead flat! We appreciate if you`ve visiting from a country with a few slopes on your local golf course this might not have the same novelty factor it has for us, but we still think you`ll love the variety of holes and beautiful surroundings.

Vidante Golf Course

Vidante Riviera Maya Golf Course

El Manglar Golf Coure

(formerly Mayan Palace Golf Course)

"Crafted by one of the legendary masters of the game, the Nicklaus Par Three Experience at Riviera Maya is one of the world’s most beautiful short courses. Of course, the scenery isn’t the only thing you’ll enjoy—2,923 yards of rolling fairways and devilish sand traps make this course an absolute pleasure to play. Paired with a pro shop and delicious restaurant, Riviera Maya Golf is a jewel in the jungle. You might never want to step off the grass."

Our Verdict: Let be clear, this isn`t a "proper" golf course: all holes are Par 3, so it`s hard to get too enthusiastic about it. Still it`s very scenic and a bit of fun if you can only spare a few hours for your golf.

Mayakoba Golf course

Mayakoba el Camaleon

"FASCINATING. ENIGMATIC. CLEVER. A masterpiece as unique as its creator, the legendary and world renowned Australian golfer Greg Norman, features three diverse ecosystems: the tropical Mayan jungle, mangrove wetlands and the beach. This 7,024 yards par 72 layout plays along several miles of crystal- clear fresh water canals surrounded by mangrove and limestone walls. The course boasts two ocean holes with astonishing views of the turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean Sea and Cozumel Island. El Camaleon made golf history in 2007 when it became the host site of the OHL CLASSIC at Mayakoba, the first PGA TOUR event to be contested outside the US and Canada."

Our Verdict: Undoubtedly the most well-known of all Cancun / Riviera Maya golf courses this certainly does`t disappoint. Although some of the worlds top players descend here once a year, the rest of they year the golf course is set up with average "tourist golfers" in mind,

with wide fairways and forgiving greens. The beach views and canals around the golf course make it a thoroughly enjoyable day out. The only downside is it`s the most expensive golf course in the area and whether it`s worth paying so much more than other golf courses is debatable.

Grand Coyote Golf Course

Grand Coral Golf Course

"Nick Price, renowned golf course designer and legendary hall of fame golfer, has created 18 holes of championship golf that winds its way through a magnificent natural jungle overlooking deep blue lakes. Admired for his ability to create golf courses that are fun to play, Price has created a masterpiece that will appeal to golfers of all skill levels."

Our Verdict: While we are sure Nick Price`s mother would agree with the golf courses marketing department in extolling he`s "Created a masterpiece", the rest of us would perhaps offer a more mundane "he done a fine job". The easiest of all the golf courses in the Playa del Carmen area and although lacking the scenery of its more famous neighbor El Chameleon Mayakoba golf course, never-the-less offers a more economical, fun day of golfing in the Caribbean.

Hard Rock Golf Course

Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya

Formerly PlayaCar Golf club

"Located in the ideal area of Quintana Roo, the Hard Rock Golf Club™ Riviera Maya features stunning natural beauty surrounded by exotic wildlife and ancient Mayan ruins and it was designed by Robert von Hagge as one of the first courses of the modern era."

Our Verdict: Put your driver back in the bag and get your 5 iron out because this is the tightest golf course in the Riviera Maya! It has some interesting holes and is definitely worth a round.

PGA Riviera Maya Golf course

Riviera Maya Golf Club

"Gathering the most splendid natural elements of the Mayan Riviera, water and rock, Robert Trent Jones II has managed to build a great golf course that leaves no Golfer indifferent from its beauty with a wide variety of trees, water holes in various shapes offering golfers both challenge and fun."

Our Verdict: Maybe we have just saved the best for last! Near the Tulum end of the Riviera Maya it`s a shame that this golf course is too far away from a lot of golfers hotels. Beautiful turquoise lakes, centotes and the woodland feel should make it high on the list of any golfer visiting the Riviera Maya.

We hope you have enjoyed our summary of the golf courses in the Riviera Maya. We aimed to give a fair view of each golf course which is based on our playing experiences over the last 15 years. It`s hard to do sometimes, because as golfers we know that playing a course is such a personal experience and often your playing partners can have a totally different view of a course, despite playing it at exactly the same time! (let`s face it, if you shoot a lights-out, best-of-life round you`ll probably rate the course that little bit higher)

We would love to know your experiences of the golf courses of the Riviera Maya so please feel free to post a comment below.

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