Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
· Stay & Play
Review and Rating of Riviera Cancun Golf Course in Cancun, Mexico
Riviera Cancun Golf Course opened in 2008 and is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. The course is currently owned and managed by Moon Palace Resort. Jack carved the course out of a property with dense protected mangroves and lagoons and as such it is characterized by narrow jungle-lined fairways, natural fauna and flora, lots of sandy waste areas plus plenty of bunkers and water hazards that come into play on almost half of the holes. The dense jungle isolates other holes from view and the long cart boardwalks through the jungle give the course a very unique and different feel.
Each hole is unique and different, the layout is fun and memorable, the course is challenging but fair, and the conditions are near perfect – all of which may be why The Top 100 Golf Courses website named it #28 in Mexico. The view of the ocean on one hole may have also helped the rating!
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!
Some holes that we really enjoyed included:
Riviera Cancun Golf Course is a sign of the "New Nicklaus" design which includes heavily contoured and very tricky greens. The smaller rolling greens are tricky to hold and tricky to putt thanks to plenty of contour and slope dropping off in various directions. The greens have a combination of tiers, ridges, and saddles plus plenty of slope – all of which requires careful study before each putt. The greens were in near perfect condition, ran at an excellent speed of around 10, held the ball well, and they ran true and smooth.
The fairways were also in excellent condition – a few had some minor damage or bare spots but nothing that impacts your play. Most are fairly tight thanks to ball devouring jungle on one of both sides, long natural waste areas, or water. All of the fairways have some contour. They were firm when we played and we loved the extra roll. The rough was dense and playable.
The Riviera Cancun bunkers were also excellent with soft, fluffy, and thick sand. The faces are steep and the bunkers range in size and shape from small pot sized to long and skinny. The natural sand/waste bunkers (on 14 of 18 holes) are everywhere and they can be challenging particularly if you land behind some of the native bushes growing everwhere in the sand.
After you play Riviera Cancun, you should also play Moon Palace Spa & Golf Club which has three excellent Jack Nicklaus designed nine-hole courses, each of which is very different from the other nine and all of which are a joy to play – read our review of the Dunes Course and the Jungle Course to learn more.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, it’s hard to beat Moon Palace Resort, a five star all-inclusive resort with luxurious accommodations, numerous activities, beautiful and enormous meandering swimming pools, a full size gym, lush landscaping, a wide variety of dining venues, fitness center, evening entertainment, and the best service we have ever experienced at any resort!
Rates: $151.00 to $255.00
Round trip transportation, golf cart, unlimited food and beverage in the restaurant, cart service beverages, and a round of golf are all a part of the all-inclusive package. The Pro Shop is well stocked with everything you need to look good and play well and the practice facilities include a driving range and putting and chipping greens. Service is unequaled!
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.