Vidanta Norman Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 73
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Dsc_4672 Dsc_4673 Dsc_4677

Vidanta Norman Golf Course Review

During a fun vacation to Nuevo Vallarta, we stayed at the Vidanta Grand Mayan Resort and played their Greg Norman golf course.  Vidanta sits on 2500 acres, several of which are along Banderas Bay, and Vidanta is home to five resort hotels, two spas, a shopping plaza, and dozens of pools, restaurants, and bars.  Better yet is has the Greg Norman Signature Course which opened in 2016, an 18 hole Jack Nicklaus course, and a new 10 hole par three course that has lights for night play. 

We loved the Greg Norman course and we weren’t surprised when we found out that it is rated as #32 in the “Top 100 Mexico Golf Courses!” Some of the reasons we really liked this course included:

  • It’s quiet, peaceful, and tropically tranquil with no residential homes
  • It’s scenic with a variety of indigenous trees, native grasses and colorful plants, jungle, and palm trees swaying in the breeze plus views of the Sierra Madre Mountains from every hole
  • The conditions from the tee boxes to the cup were near perfect and the course is meticulously  maintained
  • It’s challenging but fair and forgiving and can be a very fun and relaxing round
  • The rolling greens were in very good condition and guarded by immense bunkers which is typical of a Greg Norman design

The cart ride to the first box is fun as it twists and turns through dense vegetation and jungle and a drive across a one-way narrow suspension bridge over the Ameca River, which is the only way to get to the course and it’s the longest suspension bridge in the world.   Once you arrive at the first hole, which seemed like a 10 minute Disney ride, you’ll be greeted by wall-to-wall paspalum playing surfaces and during your round you’ll find and need to manage 15 lakes, 98 bunkers plus huge sandy waste areas, indigenous vegetation that likes to devour golf balls, greens that are large,  undulating and well protected by cavernous bunkers, forced carries, dog legs, and lots more to keep you on your game. The course can be brutal or benevolent based on which set of tee boxes you pick – there are five sets of tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5256 to 7287 with a slope of 67.5 to 75.1 and rating of 110 to 143.  The front nine is a par 36 and back is a par 37 with 3 par 3s, 3 par 4s, and 3 par 5s.

The Vidanta Greg Norman course is home to several fun and challenging holes, some of our favorites included:

  • #1 is a 398 yard par 4 that sets the stage for what to expect during your round – an excellent risk-reward opportunity off the tee box thanks to a fairway that horseshoes around a lake with 2 big bunkers in your landing zone plus three more bunkers guarding the raised and contoured green plus 3 large oblong bunkers on the left front side of the green
  • #12 is a fun 617-yard par 5 (#2 handicap) that requires some shot making to avoid the waste bunkers and 10 other bunkers, the dog leg right, several mounds, and the deep valley across the middle of the green
  • #15 is a challenging 459-yard par 4 with water from the tee to the green, 8 bunkers which include a huge waste bunker on the left side of the tee box, a bunker in the middle of the fairway, and 4 more surrounding the green

The greens on the Greg Norman course range in size from average to huge, have plenty of slope and contour (including tiers and valleys), and were in very good condition.  Most are raised with lots of false fronts and all are well guarded.  They were running a little slow thanks to some recent rain from a nearby hurricane but they ran true and held the ball well.  Thank God for the forecaddie who told us where to putt to manage the breaks.

The fairways were also in very good condition, a little firm giving us some extra roll, and wide and forgiving.  They are all littered with bunkers ranging from huge long waste bunkers to small pot bunkers.  Plus many of the holes are lined with lakes. The rough was cut amd very playable. 

The bunkers at the Greg Norman course were in good shape with gritty heavy sand and the lips were manageable – in a couple cases our ball hit in the bunker and rolled out.   They range in size from small pot type bunkers to some multi-fingered monsters and the waste bunkers are long and challenging.

Forecaddies are required at the Greg Norman course and we were sure glad we had one.  Our forecaddie was excellent I don’t think with all the twists and turns on the cart path leading to the course, I would have ever found the first hole without his back seat driving.  And without his help reading the greens, I would have had a horrible day putting.  And I love not having to rake the sand.

Service was excellent with the friendly cart lady showing up when needed.  The pro shop is well stocked and the practice facilities are very good.  The Greg Norman course is also home to a world-class golf academy and a beautiful new restaurant.

To learn more about Vidanta Golf, check out our review of the Nayar Course.

Dsc_4691 Dsc_4689 Dsc_4681

Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,287 143.0 75
Blue 6,221 125.0 70
White 5,748 116.0 67
Gold 6,793 135.0 72
Red 5,256 121.0 69

Course Information

Course Architect:
Greg Norman
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 11 holes and the 98 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.7 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$100.00 to $150.00

Service was excellent with the friendly cart lady showing up when needed. The pro shop is well stocked and the practice facilities are very good. The Greg Norman course is also home to a world-class golf academy and a beautiful new restaurant.



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! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

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.