Golf Holiday Resorts in Mexico
Golf in Mexico was not something I had ever thought about until a family holiday there – which is when the research started for my very own Golf Holiday PLUS! We wanted to stop on the Caribbean side so, Cancun, Rivera Maya etc. What I found was vast, stunning resorts, many with their own golf courses and with exception of few it is like millionaire’s golf. On one of my rounds I tee’d off about 9am and apart from my playing partner, wildlife and a resort employee on a buggy offering refreshment I didn’t see anyone else until we came off the 18th. We went for the first 2 weeks in May and the week before checking the weather forecast my Wife was having kittens because apparently the first week we were there was going to be nothing but thunder and lightening but I think we saw 1 storm at night and it lasted maybe 20 mins, the rest of the time it was bright sunshine and over 30 degrees, so don’t be overly concerned by what the forecast may tell you.
A few tips if you go to Mexico for a golf holiday - take your own clubs, Club carriage for long haul is either free or much cheaper than you would be used to paying on the usual short haul flights. Take plenty of balls, not only because you will need them but buying balls from the pro shop will become very costly at $70 - £90 a dozen. Buy some sun block SPRAY this was one of the biggest things I found in Mexico and I have since found it in the UK, as it will be 30c plus whilst you are on the golf course you will want to put some sort of sun screen on but in the past I would get frustrated with having to apply lotion and then have the residue on my hands which we all know is not great for then trying to grip a golf club! These sun block sprays are like an aerosol which requires no further contact from your hands – it was an excellent addition to my golf bag, don’t worry if you are unable to find it here before you go it is available in resorts and pro shops for about $20.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort - Cancun
Ideal if you want a bit of everything in your Golf Holiday and only about a 30 min transfer from the airport. The place is humongous and has everything you would expect from a 5* resort, over 2000 rooms all air conditioned with flat screen tv’s, WIFI and a mini bar that is restocked daily at no extra charge. A true 24 hr all inclusive resort with 12 restaurants, 10 bars including 2 swim up bars. The resort also has its own nightclub or if you would prefer venturing out then Cancun town is only 10 mins away. Moon Palace is a very popular golf holiday resort in Mexico.
The golf holiday resort has a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf complex with 3 different loops of 9. Jack has built here what would have been called an American Resort Course with large fairways and greens, what is different in Mexico however is that there is no rough to speak of and if there isn’t water to swallow your ball then a few bounces off the fairway and its deep jungle! All 3 courses are pretty similar but with the Dunes course being more picturesque and the Lakes course being a lot tighter from the tee.
Grand Bahia Principe – Rivera Maya Golf Club
4 luxury hotels including 1 adult only located 3 mins from the golf club. This resort is large but not over powering as the 4 different hotel complexes are set apart from each other in different parts of the jungle / sea front. The one thing that always put me off huge resorts in the past was the thought of having to walk great distances but that was not the case here at all. Even though you could walk where ever you wanted to go there was a very well thought out small train carriage service, which were all colour coded and with maps up on the lobby fronts (as well as throughout the hotel grounds) in something similar to the London underground maps so you knew what colour line you had to get to take you where you wanted to go. They were so easy to use and were like clock work every 5 or 10 minutes so you are never left waiting very long for a ride.
The resort has an abundance of restaurants (something for everyone) and a true 24-hour all-inclusive property where room service is delivered at no extra cost along with branded drinks in your minibar re-stocked daily. Not only does the complex have many shops in the hotels themselves but also has its very own shopping complex with bars (which unfortunately are not part of the all-inclusive) a doctor and a chemist is also onsite.
Rivera Maya Golf Club
This club is situated in the resort grounds so probably does not get anywhere near the amount of traffic it deserves but great if, like me, you love that feeling of being the only one on the course. Robert Trent Jones Jr designed both the 18-hole championship course and the above average 9-hole par 3 course. When playing my first round here a Canadian that now resides locally told me this was one of the best and toughest courses that side of Mexico I went out played pretty well, shot under my handicap and as I was then sat on the balcony of the bar in the clubhouse I thought to myself I didn’t find that very difficult, yes I played well but didn’t really see any sort of difficulty. Well if I didn’t see any difficulty in my first round then I sure saw a different golf course in rounds two and three!! A lot of the fairways seem crowned or slope off into jungle or water so if you are not down the middle then you need to be lucky. You may feel a slight breeze but be careful as some wedge shots will come up 20 or maybe 30 yards short if you hit into exposed greens or above the tree line. The greens are very fast but also receptive, so you can be aggressive chipping as the ball will check up.
A quick mention also to El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club, this could also be a golf holiday destination in its own right, but if going to Mexico especially the Caribbean side why not play the championship course that hosts the PGA Tours Mayakoba classic. This place oozes class, pristine fairways and greens and some of the best views you will see on a golf course looking out to sea! Definitely worth a trip if stopping in Cancun or Rivera Maya but it may only be the one as it is pricey at between $200 - $300 a round.
Written by Dan Parker at Golf Holidays Direct, Golf Travel Guru