Hello to all of my fellow international travelers. Today’s blog is about golf, yes I said it -Golf. The dreadful, frustrating, incapable game of golf that the majority of us “try” to play but really we are just out there for a good time with friends and family.
The avid golfer might disagree with me but who are you kidding … only 5% of the golf community shoots under a 100 and of that 5% only 2% will ever break 80. But that’s not the point; golf has become a spectator sport as much as an active one.
Golf is a lifestyle; it is waking up at the crack of dawn, rolling out of bed, grabbing your beat up golf clubs and meeting up with your friends to give it another shot.
I had first visited the Riviera Maya 10 years ago spending 3 months submersing myself in the culture and surrounding areas. Out of those 3 months I can tell you the last thing I would have said about the Riviera was that it was synonymous with golf. After living here for a few months I noticed an abundance of golf courses everywhere I went. At first I didn’t take much notice thinking to myself “Really, how good can the courses be here, this is the Caribbean, people come here for the beaches not GOLF”. As my ignorance subsided, I started opening my eyes to a whole new world of options. Take my word for it these aren’t just any courses hacked out of the jungle with a machete, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the best signature courses in the world.
Within 10 miles of my home here in the pristine community of Puerto Aventuras (which by the way houses a signature golf course) there are over a dozen signature courses. These are a few of my personal favorites:
1- El Camaleon – Fairmont Mayakoba
First up you have the very popular and my personal favorite, El Camaleon championship golf course at the Fairmont Mayakoba. It is an 18 hole, par 72 course designed by Greg Norman. Also not to be overlooked as one of the first courses to be a part of the PGA tournament outside of the U.S. From February 19th-25th Mayakoba hosts the “Mayakoba Classic” that offers a $3.5 Million purse. I was fortunate enough to get tickets to go this year and later had the opportunity to have a meet and great with a few of the players. This course was by far the most beautiful and well kept course I have had the privilege of playing. There are numerous holes over looking the Caribbean Sea with miraculous views.
2- Bahia Principe – Robert Trent Jones Jr
Next on my list is the Robert Trent Jones Jr, 18 hole par 72 Championship course. It also features a 9 hole Par 27 Executive Course. This is a beautiful wide open course with excellent service and amenities. If you are lucky you might get to see foxes, coatis, raccoons and other local fauna during your round.
3- Grand Coral Resort and Golf
Grand Coral features a 18 hole par 71 course designed by Nick Price. Very nicely laid out course with full amenities for the moderately skilled golfer. Throughout the week twilight Rate start at 1:00PM and includes unlimited golf until sunset and on Friday’s they offer 2 for 1. A newly implemented online system allow expats to book their tee times through the web.
4- Playacar Golf Club and Spa
I had mixed feelings about featuring this course on my list. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from the last round I shot there a few months ago. Even though Playacar ranks as one of the most challenging courses in the Riviera Maya, it emanates a unique type of discomfort that is incomprehensible and entices you to keep coming back. At the very least it is still an amazing and even more beautiful course at that. The world famous golf course architect Robert Von Hagge designed this course. This championship golf course is a par 72 and consists of 18 holes.
5- Puerto Aventuras – Thomas Lehman
Last but certainly not least is my home turf, the Thomas Lehman signature golf course located in Puerto Aventuras. I walk right out the back door of my Villa and I am on the 4th green. As of right now the course is halfway completed: 9 holes/par 36. The remaining 9 hope to complete 18 are currently in progress and are schedule to be finished din 2017. Also, if you keep your eyes peeled you might have the unique opportunity to see the resident spiders monkey we call “Bruce” among other wildlife like packs of Coatimundis and the mysterious Basilisk Lizard.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Remember the Riviera Maya does not only provide some of the best beaches in the world but also has become a destination for golf enthusiasts alike. Cheers