Review & Rating of Moon Palace Spa & Golf Club's Jungle Course in Cancun, Mexico
Located just 10 minutes from Cancun International Airport, Moon Palace Cancun (a huge all-inclusive resort loaded with restaurants and amenities) is home to the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the Mexican Caribbean. Jack designed three very different nine-hole layouts that provide a unique golf experience that is both challenging and enjoyable for all levels of play and as Jack states “most of all, it’s memorable.”
Jack created the Dunes, Lakes, and Jungle nine hole courses comprising 10,798 yards that harmonize with the tropical lushness of native jungle vegetation, mangroves, and natural wetlands. You’re likely to encounter lots of wildlife including tucan, grey fox, iguanas, anteaters, marsh crocodiles, margay (small wild cat), and the infamous coati, a cute mammal that looks like a cross between a raccoon, a lemur, and an anteater. Make sure you hide any food or valuables you take on the course because these cute little mammals will clean you out before you get to the green. They like beer, too!
Part of what makes playing golf at Moon Palace Cancun fun is that each of the three nines is different, unique, and has a personality of its own. For example:
Moon Palace Resorts is a pioneer of the all-inclusive concept and their all-inclusive golf package includes: green fees, food and beverage in the grill as well as from the beverage cart, practice golf balls, and more. Stay 3 nights or longer and play unlimited golf at Moon Palace Spa & Golf Course and Riviera Cancun!
Jack did an excellent job of leveraging the native wetlands and lush Mayan jungle when he created the Jungle course's nine holes. This nine, as the name implies, bears the brunt of the treacherous and very dense jungle growth that lines both sides of the fairways and is ready to swallow up even slightly errant shots. In addition to the jungle, you'll have to contend with wetlands, 34 strategically placed bunkers, water on 7 holes, 3 huge natural waste/sand bunkers, well-guarded greens, But don't let that stop you from playing Moon Place's Jungle Course - there are 5 sets of tee boxes to choose from (on your first round move up a tee box), the fairways are ample, and there are no hidden gotchas!
All of the Jungle's golf holes are great but the ones we really loved included:
The greens on the Jungle course were excellent - in very good condition, soft and held the ball well, ran true and at a great speed of 9.5 or so. They seemed to be a little larger and have much more contour than the Dunes' greens. All are well guarded by jungle, water, and/or two to three bunkers - putting a premium on your approach shots.
The Moon Palace Spa & Golf Club Jungle fairways were also in excellent condition and ranged from ample to a little tight. You need some precise shots to avoid the jungle lining both sides, the 7 lakes, 38 strategically placed bunkers, and 3 large natural waste/sand bunkers. Miss the playable rough and you can kiss your golf ball goodbye.
The bunkers were in pretty good shape but some were a little wet. The sand was soft and thick and the lips were steep but manageable. They ranged in size from small ovals to some long multi-fingered monsters!
Rates: $187.00 to $303.00
The facilities are superb and include: a luxury spa, a good restaurant, a well-stocked pro shop, and excellent practice facilities. Service is outstanding.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.