Litibu Golf Course - 18th hole
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Litibu Golf Course - 18th hole
Litibu Golf Course finishes in grand fashion with a par 5 that rolls to the ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - green shadows
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Litibu Golf Course - green shadows
The shadows of palm trees creep onto a green at Litibu Golf Course an excellent Greg Norman design. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 2
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 2
The second green of Litibu Golf Course sits near the Iberostar Playa Mita. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 3
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 3
The short par-4 third hole at Litibu Golf Course climbs to an elevated green overlooking the ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 4
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 4
Litibu Golf Course's par-3 fourth hole tumbles to a green near the shore. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 8
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 8
A huge island green challenges golfers on the par-3 eighth hole at Litibu Golf Course in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 9
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 9
The jungle surrounds the ninth green at Litibu Golf Course in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 13
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 13
A really cool tree frames the 13th green, the end of a demanding par 4 at the Litibu Golf Course in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 14
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 14
The 14th hole at Litibu Golf Course is a reachable par 5 even for shorter hitters because of the downhill approach. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - hole 11
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Litibu Golf Course - hole 11
The par-3 11th hole at Litibu Golf Course creeps into the jungle. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu G.C. - 15th
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Litibu G.C. - 15th
Bunkers block the 15th green at Litibu G.C. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Litibu Golf Course - Iberostar Playa Mita
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Litibu Golf Course - Iberostar Playa Mita
The views of Litibu Golf Course from the entry to the Iberostar Playa Mita resort are pretty good. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
12 Images

Litibu Golf Course: The best-kept secret along the Pacific Ocean in Riviera Nayarit

LITIBU, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico -- Litibu Golf Course sits hidden in plain sight virtually unknown to American golfers in one of Mexico's premier golf destinations.

What a shame.

The stunning Greg Norman course located 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta hosted a Canadian Tour event in 2010, a year after opening, but never could sustain any momentum. The two highly regarded Jack Nicklaus courses at Punta Mita just 10 minutes away steal all the publicity.

Litibu provides similar ocean views and conditioning as Punta Mita's Pacifico Course and Bahia Course at a more affordable price (there's no $600-a-night hotel stay at a Four Seasons or St. Regis required). The only knock would be its tiny pro shop and shabby rental clubs do need an upgrade.

The par-3 fourth hole is technically the only ocean hole at Litibu, although the panoramic vistas of the water from the third and 18th tees and greens are spectacular. The inland holes romp through virgin jungle and hilly terrain. The par 4s at no. 13 and no. 16 trudge uphill to difficult greens. No. 17, a tiny 130-yard par 3, sometimes requires an intimidating blind shot over dense jungle to a pin tucked back left.

It's delicious fun, something not always found on more penal Norman designs. The opening of the new adjacent Iberostar Playa Mita resort might someday help Litibu G.C. gain the fame it deserves.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Pacifico Golf Course rules the land and sea at Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Island greens come in all forms in the Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit region
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Litibu Golf Course: The best-kept secret along the Pacific Ocean in Riviera Nayarit