I just played the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club on the Maya Riviera, about 30 minutes south of Cancun. This course is one of eight lining the highway from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen.
Most of the tracks are signature courses and pretty expensive. The majority have a true resort look and feel with the exception of maybe nearby Playacar Golf & Spa Club that plays more like a championship course.
Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club was designed by P.B. Dye, finished in 2005 and is a beauty. It is one of the newer tracks on the Mexican Riviera. The golf course features a lot of undulating greens, some that are almost crazy but fun to experience. Like other P.B. courses, this one is packed with bunkers, curved fairways and hollows in front of the majority of greens.
The par-5 14th is one of the best at 485 yards, featuring a steep, hard dogleg. The course is carved out of the jungle and looks like Dye moved a lot of dirt. The greens this day were in perfect condition.
Unlike many of the courses in the Maya Riviera that have large fairways right up to the jungle, Playa Paraiso has first, and sometimes second, cuts of rough. This works to frame the holes in a more aesthetic fashion and makes errant shots more playable.
The course plays 6,683 from the tips with a 72.4/136 slope rating. The staff inside the pro shop and outside were terrific and totally customer focused. A round, including cart, with snacks and drinks, including beer, runs $180 in the morning and $130 at twilight, which starts at 1 p.m.
Compared to some of the other tracks like, El Cameleon at $259 a round, Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club is definitely worth playing.
- Elliot DeBear
January 7, 2009