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Excellent Golf Courses in Cancun
By Bob Enzel

We played four course during the week of early October. The weather was ideal, the rates were low season and the courses were empty. It was only on the last day at Iberostar Playa Paraiso that we experienced a delay on the final three holes. A small tournament was underway when we arrived which moved us to the back nine to start the round. Even so, we had no one in front to slow us down and no one behind to move us along for sixty-nine holes over the four rounds.


Our first outing was at Iberostar Cancun it being the closest to our lodging at the Royal Mayan Resort. The complimentary pick-up was on time and there was no delay teeing off. Everyone was pleasant and helpful...reminding us that there are alligators on the course and to be watchful. We saw neither hide nor snout of any 'gators. The course is populated by water fowl and many iguana lizards who scurry out of the way, but love potato chips. Being one of very few golfers that day the beverage cart seemed to be available every other hole almost begging us to take something, all of it gratis. We did indulge in a complimentary lunch and two drinks at the 19th hole. Hard to beat the free pickup and delivery, unlimited free drinks and food, plus a golf cart included in the hundred dollar fee. We've played this course several times before because of its close proximity to our resort, but also because it is an enjoyable course to play.

The second round was at TPC Cancun. Once again we were collected at our hotel on time and returned at will. The hundred dollar green fee included round trip transportation, unlimited bottled water, use of the practice facility, golf cart and a welcome fresh facial towel after the game. Once again, fine service and a really great deal on a super fine golf course.

TPC Cancun is a Nick Price golf course design within a country club resort. There are tee box options for 5 levels: Black tee yardage is 7,435, dropping down to 7,110 for gold, 6,788 for blue, 6,378 for white and 5,616 for the red tees. It is a long ride to the first hole and a long walk between tees. Not recommended as a walking course. Playing the middle blue tees we were faced with four-500 yard holes, the longest at 560 yards and ten par four holes. Long wide fairways and multiple sand traps blocking the greens. Quoting the brochure, there are "84 strategically placed bunkers and six lakes". The fairways were still being fine tuned and the greens were being aerated when we played in October. TPC has excellent practice facilities; chipping green, driving range and putting green. Also available are showers and lockers, restaurant, beverage cart, golf shop, rental equipment and club storage. TPC is located a relatively short distance from the Cancun International Airport inside the Cancun Country Club on Carretera Federal 307 along the highway towards Tulum.

We headed toward Cancun City for our third round. The course was Playa Mujeres Golf Club deep inside the 930 tropical acres of Playa Mujeres resort. Transportation, golf cart and water was included in the $125 fee. Another great early October deal. The location of the course is inside a private remote jungle-like setting. Rather neat we thought. The course was fairly wide open and not as challenging as TPC Cancun, but a fun course to play. Also, compared to the TPC course is was sparsely trapped, but then again most courses by comparison would have less sand traps. The traps were hard-sand-fine gravel-natural traps and the greens were large and not tricky. Tee to green was visible on many holes and appeared to be longer to the eye then they actually were. Five tee box choices with the lowest at 5,195 yards to the black tee boxes at 7,218 yards. We played the silver tees at 6,342 yards. The scenery is spectacular, with abundant wildlife, a loping, largish mammal, birds and iguanas possibly displaced by civilization, yet still with abundant wild jungle to live and hide in.

A storm blew through on our fourth day giving us a chance to see and do island-type things. eat, drink and relax, plus rest any aching parts.

Our fourth and last course was another Iberostar Resort owned course, the Iberostar Play Paraiso located further up the highway on the road towards Tulum. Once again, an all-inclusive rate of $125 covered our transportation, meals, unlimited soft and adult beverages. They gave us a beautiful layout course booklet and a going away trinket. We were well treated by the staff and our clubs were cleaned for us. Actually, they were nicely cleaned at all the courses. It is also an alligator breeding habitat with ample warning signs and a variety of iguana lizards. Despite all the alligator signs warning us, we thankfully saw none of them, and I suspect they were content to not see us. The Iberostar Playa Paraiso is featured on the Golf Channel's "Big Peak" show.

All in all, we recommend late September-early October for cheap, all-inclusive fees with courses almost empty of players. Maybe best of all, some really fine golf courses designed by some of golf's great course designers. Lastly, the weather was warm, but not overly hot and compared to summer months the sun didn't scorch us.



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