More commonly known as El Manglar, this Jack Nicklaus design course on the Riviera Maya is about forty minutes south of Cancun and twenty minutes north of Playa del Carmen and is situated on the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast. Opened in 2003, El Manglar is the only par-3, 18-hole golf course in the region (par 54 in total). It is a challenging executive course and is probably the most difficult of its par in Mexico.
On the other hand, with a low overall par it takes less time to complete the course, which, if golf is not the only thing on your mind, is a good thing. You’ll have more time to enjoy the many attractions and activities on the Mayan Riviera, including the Great Mayan Reef for snorkeling, the spectacular Xcaret eco theme and archeological park, and a wide array of water sports.
The excellent location also leaves you a stone’s throw from all the attractions of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum, and several Mayan archeological sites. Getting back to the golf, the fairways at El Manglar are flanked by lush tropical vegetation and the course allows you glimpses of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean along the way. Ten holes have water hazards and sand traps abound, with the silky white sand (similar to that on the beach) contrasting dramatically with the verdant greens and fairways. The greens are designed so that the breezes coming off the sea will always work against you, meaning that this relatively low par course is no picnic.
Hole 7 is pretty tough with the prevailing winds and three sand traps, hole 17 is protected by a lake, two lateral sand traps, and one right on the green, while the 18th hole is on an island in a lake with an entry trap, meaning you have to land perfectly or not at all. As you would expect, El Manglar clubhouse features excellent practice and rental facilities, first-class instruction, and snacks and beverages.
Luxury accommodations are close at hand at the Grand Luxxe Riviera Maya, which is integrated into the same beautiful resort, along with excellent services and amenities, spa, fitness center, restaurants, shopping, pools, the beach, and lots of land and water activities. On top of all that, there’s the aforementioned golf – not a bad combination for sun-loving, golf-loving, luxury-loving, beach-loving travelers with some time on their hands.