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Your Golf Trip Golf Courses in Manila Area, Philippine
Course-by-Course Introduction to Golf in-&-around Manila including
Clark, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Bulacan, Rizal, Pampanga & More!
Index to Golf Courses:
Camp John Hay
'It is one of the oldest golf courses around (read: was already around at the turn of the 20th. Century).'
'It recently (read: the last twenty years or so) underwent a facelift (read: thanks to rapid economic boom during period).'
'It is usually short by today's standards (read: was much longer before but was somehow convinced to cut and donate land area when most in the country have yet had a chance to see a real golf ball).'
'It is usually found somewhere within the city sprawl and surrounded by houses and buildings.'
'It smells strong of colonialism re-packaged by local elites.'
'Not many remember who the course designer was.'
If you find these traits in any of the golf clubs in Southeast Asia, it is likely to be one of the following:
- The RSGC of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- The Rawamangun of Jakarta, Indonesia
- The Dalat Palace Golf club of Vietnam and
- The Royal Cambodia Golf Club of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
And, the Manila Golf & Country Club is no exception. Established in 1901 and situated in Forbes Park, "..it is only a 5-minute drive away.." from Manila's central business district of Makati, according to some drivers. Much has also been mentioned already about the history of this club in our Philippine's main page. This 18-hole 6,325-yard course has recently re-turfed its greens with Zoysia japonica grass and had many more trees planted to line the fairways. Some holes have also been moved and reconstructed following the re-contouring of the course's layout. In all, the renovation has uplifted the standard of this course and making it a testy and challenging venue for any kind of tournament. Some believe, it is already 'one of the finest in Asia'.
Baguio Country Club of Baguio City - It is one of the oldest and finest courses in the country. Located near the heart of the mountain-top city of Baguio, it is just a 15-minute's drive from Loakan Airport. At Par-61 and measuring 4,038 yards, it has no Par-5s. The course is disected at some point by the city roads going round the hilly terrain on which the city sits. Owing to the restrictive layout, the fairways are tight and the greens are small but the scenery is breathtaking. The road leading to Camp John Hay skirts the sides of fairways before going past the entrance to the club house. Being an established club, it enjoys reciprocal privileges with many other clubs across the globe.
Canlubang Golf & Country Club of Laguna - This 36-hole golf complex was once the largest in the Philippines. Designed by R T Jones Jr., it is made up of two 18-hole courses, the North Course measuring 6,872 yards and the South Course at 6,795 yards long. The course is undulating reflecting the natural terrain of the area. Coconut trees, the mainstay of what was once a vast coconut plantation, line the fairways amply reminding the landscape of the past and history of the land.
Masterfully designed, the North which has a rating of 72.4 is a Championship course. The memorable holes are the Par-5 552-yard Hole#9 and the Par-4 429-yards Hole#18. It also has ravines over which some Par-3 shots will have to carry over. Albeit shorter, the South has its own features in the numerous sand traps, and ravines as well. Common to both 18s perhaps is the unpredictable wind which often determines the outcome of the play.
Situated about an hour's drive south of Manila along the South Superhighway, the course is in the region of many large hotels and resorts. This makes the course a popular and covenient choice with easy access to comfortable and quality accommodation.
Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club of Cavite - With four 18-hole Championship courses designed individually by four famous names in golf this has to be 'the course' of the Philippines and it sure is the largest golfing ground around. Because of its diversity: Isao Aoki Course (6,473-yard), Andy Dye Course (7,255-yard), Nick Faldo Course (7,343-yard) and Greg Norman Course (7,007-yard), there's always something to suit every type of play. Little wonder that it is currently the most popular golf venue in the country. Otherwise comparable in some way to Shenzhen's Mission Hills' golf complex, it is also a sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna.
Eastridge Golf Club of Rizal - This James Martell Jr.-designed 18-hole 7,161-yard Par-72 Championship course is in itself an architectural wonder being a combination of the latest in golf course design and natural as well as man-made attractions. Sprawled on an exciting stretch of mountain ridges some 200 meters above sea level, the course spans 80 hectares of golfing challenges and enjoyment. Relax in the charm and beauty of the highlands, the magnificent panoramic views of Laguna Lake, the Ortigas and Makati skyline and Rizal town as well are visible from almost every hole here. If you knew your way around, ancient historic caves are only a short drive away from the second nine of the course.
Sta. Elena Golf Club of Laguna - Another of Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s creation is this 27-hole all-weather Championship Course. The 120 hectares of gently rolling terrain gave the designer the opportunity to create a number of memorable holes that flow effortlessly along the contour of the land. There are three distinct 9-hole courses making up the complex. By further combining the three, three 18-hole courses are identified for tournament play. Thus: the 18-hole Makiling Course is the First 9 (3,604-yard) combining with the Second 9 (3,636-yard), the Banahaw Course is the Second 9 with the Third 9 (3,601-yard) and the Sierra Madre Course is the Third with the First. If this is not interesting enough, the course also boasts of an efficient drainage system in the layers of sand and pebbles underneath the top soil and turf, and so there will be no puddles and hopefully less chances of having to replace the ball because of embedding on landing from high.
The Evercrest Golf Course of Batangas - The Evercrest is an Arnold Palmer-designed course which has tight fairways blanketed with Tifton grass and guarded by steep hills and deep ravines. The greens, which are turfed with Tifdwarf grass and well protected by big bunkers, are overlaid on a graduated bed of the finest beach sand with state-of-the-art drainage and irrigation systems in use to ensure play in all weather. This championship course is 6,704 yards long from the Gold tee. It is also amply equipped with other sets of tee so all levels can play here.
Forest Hills Golf & Country Club of Antipolo City - Nestled on top of the Sierra Madre Mountain range, this 27-hole golf complex comprises an 18-hole 7,102-yard Par-71 Jack Nicklaus-designed course and a 9-hole 3,373-yard Par-36 course designed by Arnold Palmer. With a course rating of 74.7 the Nicklaus Course flows gently on rolling terrain on the first nine holes and then sweeps across moderate hills on the way back. Scenic layout is a common feature on most holes with the finishing Par-4 429-yard Hole#18 the most memorable having a bunker in the middle of the green! The Palmer Course however is rather different being at a higher level than the 1,000-ft above sea level of the former. A hill course in essence, it has naturally more steep slopes and therefore calls for a higher level of play. Albeit shorter than the front nine of the Nicklaus Course, with a rating of 72.8, it certainly is no push-over.
Club Intramuros of Manila - Just like the Wack Wack Golf Club and the Manila Golf Club, Club Intramuros is very much part of the history of modern day Manila if not a piece entirely by itself. Fringing Fort Santiago and across from Rizal Park and the Manila Hotel, this 18-hole 4,326-yard Par-66 well-maintained antiquity was founded in 1907. One could easily surmise the popularity of the sport then if you think there were already more than one golf club around, albeit the game was mostly enjoyed by the very few in position and inclined to it.
Not unlike its counterpart elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the old Jakarta Golf Club for instance, the course plays to tight fairways with out-of-bound areas abound owing to its proximity to the city center and therefore the encroaching developement surrounding it. There's only one Par-5, the modest 427-yard Hole#7, and the round can be completed in just about two hours. Needless to say, big hitters and power play do not always win the game here; well drilled short game appears the open secret to a good score. Only 20 minutes from downtown Manila, Club Intramuros also features night golf.
Camp John Hay Golf Club, Inc. of Baguio City - 'Play at Camp John Hay, take your game to a new height!' so says its promo. Well, with Baguio City situated at 5,000 feet above sea level, no one would be accused of any misrepresentation. This 18-hole 5,066-yard Par-69 all-weather cool beauty embodies mature foliage, rolling hills, sparkling lakes and towering pine trees. Recently re-designed by Jack Nicklaus, the fairways are now carpeted with Tifton 419 and the greens, cool seasoned bent grass.
Luisita Golf & Country Club of Tarlac - This is one of the finest 18-hole par 72 championship courses in Central Luzon, or as the promoters would like to say, in the country! Designed by Robert T Jones Jr., it has staged top events like the President Cup and other major tournaments. The main feature here is the water. Eleven of the holes have strategically-placed water hazards, the most memorable of which is the Par-3 214-yard Hole#17. The greens, which are relatively flat throughout, are turfed with a mix of Tifton and local Bermuda grass. The wind, particularly during the windy season, often decides the winner on this course. Luisita is sited within the Hacienda Luisita and is about 2 hours' drive north of Manila. Golfing visitors on the way to Baguio highlands would be tempted to stop here.
Club Malarayat of Batangas - This J. Michael Poellet-designed 27-hole golf course in Lipa City is set amidst a lush terrain some 370 meters above sea level and within a 190 hectares of breath-taking scenery of Mount Malarayat as the backdrop. Because of its location, it promises 'flood-free' play throughout the year. Apart from golf, recreational facilities here are superb and the complex is particularly suitable for family outings - and so goes the buy-line of 'Beyond Golf'.
Mimosa Golf & Country Club of Clark Field, Angeles City - Set in the shadow of the once devastating Mount Pinatubo, this once little known course is situated within the huge former US Clark Air Base compound. Since the departure of the Americans, it is being managed as a Special Economic Zone by the local development authority which assumed all assets left behind by the former. Visitors to the air base still go through a military checkpoint whose function today appears only to prevent certain type of commercial vehicles from entering. Also distinctly within the compound is the absence of road-side food or small merchandise peddlers or the rental motor-cycles for pillion-riding so ubiquitous anywhere in the country. There is a fine restaurant, a many stars hotel and a casino all within a 'long Par-3' distance from the clubhouse if a good round of golf here is not satisfying enough.
But otherwise this Robin Nelson-designed 27-hole course with a 6,793-yard Par-72 standard layout for championship tournament is well-liked by many especially investment-happy foreigners from its more dynamic neighbouring countries. The main feature here is the lake that provides some water play. In particular, the Par-4 395-yard Dog-leg left Hole#6 of Lakeview Course (N.B. The main championship 18-hole course is the Mountain Course and the other is the Acacia.) is the most memorable. Of late, time allocation for play on this course between club members and the ever-increasing foreign touring golfers appears to have put a serious strain on the resources, confided officials of the development authority when GOLFnTours.com visited there. Bookings often had to be on a selective basis for visitors. There was no such problem however when Tiger Woods played there some time back.
Royal Northwoods Golf Club of Bulacan - Surrounded by majestic views of Sierra Madre and Mount Arayat, this championship course is a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary technologies. Designed by Graham Marsh, this 18-hole 6,989-yard Par-72 masterpiece meanders on rolling terrain showcasing the innovation, distinctive form and personality of the designer. With the architecture matching functional aesthetics, it is also fondly known as the Jewel of the North of golf courses.
Challenging and yet playable it features strongly on strategically placed and artistically designed bunkers, water holes and landscaped greenery. Both the fairways and greens are generally wide with the former turfed with Tifton 419 grass and the other Tifdwarf. As with many other well-maintained clubs in the country, Royal Northwoods Golf Club stresses members' exclusivity even though visitors are generally welcomed.
The Orchard Golf Venue of Cavite - The Orchard is the venue of the 1995 Johnnie Walker Classic. It comprises two 18-hole courses, one designed by Arnold Palmer, and the other by Gary Player. The Player Course was carved out of what used to be a sugarcane field. Measuring 6,813 yards, this Par-72 course, also known as the The Tradition, was designed as a heathland course, reminiscent of where golf first started. It was purpose built with wide but mounded fairways and steep bunkers. With not too many trees, high winds always come into play. As a consequence the OB areas and water holes frequently attract errant shots like magnets.
Otherwise known as The Legacy, the Palmer Course features a traditional parkland layout. This Par-72 7,013-yard course was set in rolling hills with fairways winding through the mango groves and punctuated by ponds and waterways. The Palmer is a testy course for shot-making skills.
Puerto Azul Golf Course of Cavite - Spurred by the development of tourism golf of the earlier days, The Puerto Azul Beach & Country Club is among the first of championship courses built in the Philippines. It has a regular Par-72 layout but adjustable to Par-71 for more serious play like the Philippine Open Golf Championship. Being a product of the mountain and the sea, it is definitely one of the most scenic courses around. The front nine follows the contour of the rugged mountain terrain disected at points by streams of pristine water whereas the other hugs close to the sea. The Signature Hole of the course is the Par-3 225-yard Hole#17 which has part of the South China Sea in between the tee-box and the pin for a huge and confident carry-over.
Apart from being 'the beach resort' about 75 kilometers from Manila, Puerto Azul enjoys reciprocal arrangement with Discovery Bay Golf Club of Hong Kong and Saujana Golf & Country Club of Malaysia.
The Riviera Golf Venue of Cavite - The Riviera is a very scenic course endowed with rolling hills, verdant foliage, coconut trees, cool springs, and waterfalls. Set alongside residential lots, this 36-hole course was designed for the first 18 by Fred Couples and the others by Bernhard Langer. Not much we know of this course except that The Couples is an 18-hole 7,102-yard Par-72 while The Langer is slightly shorter at 7,057 yards but is a Par-71. At about 1,000 feet above sea level, the entire complex is somewhat on a 'highland' and enjoys a relatively cool weather all year round.
Sherwood Hills Golf Resort of Cavite - This is a Jack Nicklaus-designed course with links type layout featuring wide fairways and large greens. Measuring 7,265 yards long, this Par-72 course has no blind spots and all the holes are visible from almost any direction. The trees by the ravine add perspective to an otherwise unique course layout and at the same time making the entire scene looking rather relaxing. Only four holes have some kind of water hazards. Owing to the openness overhead winds can be strong here sometimes. Often in fact the extent of damage the winds cause can be a few clubs' difference. It only makes sense to take your time and read the wind well for good scores. Other than that, if you do not feel the course has been rather condescending on the fairer sex by placing their tee-boxes mostly after some purpose-built hazards (Ask the course designer or the Club Captain?), it is a truly relaxing course to play on.
The Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club of Cavite - Venue for the World Amateur Golf Championship in 1996, The Philippine Opens of 1994-1996 as well as 1999 and the Casino Filipino Open in 1999, Manila Southwoods is made up of two 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed courses. "The Master", which measures 7,225 yards long for a Par-72 is punctuated by traps and water hazards. At least 15 holes are water guarded. Strength and finesse are keys to a good score here. Touring pros of the Asian Tour voted it "Venue of the Year" for 1999 and 2000. "The Legends", which is a Par-72 7,093-yard course accentuated by high mounds, is a more forgiving one. It is also a good ground for low handicappers to have a go at a 'confidence-boosting' low score. Both courses have large greens and wide fairways.
Amongst the many accolades these courses have been awarded are:
- Best Golf Club in the Philippines - 2001/1999 by Golf Digest (USA)
- International Award for Environmental Stewardship, 1999 by Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
- Best 500 Holes in the World (Masters' Par-4 429-yard Hole#10) by Golf Magazine 1999 (USA)
- Best Course in the Philippines (The Masters Course) 2001/2000 by Asian Golf Monthly
Splendido Golf Club of Tagaytay - This relatively new and scenic course of hilly terrain with superb views of Taal Lake was designed by Aussie great, Greg Norman. The sloping ravines and hillsides at times make this a rather challenging course. Otherwise it is suitable for most golfers.
Summit Point Golf Club of Batangas - This course is the creation of R T Jones Jr. It replicates Hole#10, 11 and 12 (of the infamous[?] Amen Corner) of Augusta National, the popular Hole#12 of Sotogrande in Cadiz, Spain, the classic Hole#14 of the ancient Saint Andrews in Scotland, Hole#10 of Pebble Beach, Hole#16 of Carnoustie and some others of famous courses. So, if you've played here, you can't complain haven't been there and done it! Otherwise, if the good-sized greens, which make for more relaxed and leisurely approach shots, still do not guarantee a pleasurable round here, the cool weather of the course being at an altitude of some 1,200 feet above sea level likely will.
The Tagaytay Highlands Golf Club of Batangas - At some 500 meters above sea level, Tagaytay Highlands sits atop the ridge of the highland. The numerous hills and gullies make natural hazards to the course. This 18-hole 6,119-yard Par-71 course will surely test power and accuracy to the fullest. The difference in elevation between the last and first holes of each nine is so dramatic that a cable car system is in place to ferry golfers from the 9th and 18th holes to the 1st. and 10th. tees. The sand bunkers and the five specially built ponds will simply do the rest of the damage.
The club is located some 70 kilometers south of Manila on a huge site overlooking the scenic Lake Taal with the volcano majestically providing the backdrop.
The Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club of Batangas - The Midlands is an 18-hole 7,027-yard Par-72 course designed by Richard Bigler. It offers a spectacular view of the Taal Lake. The design makes full use of the gentle terrain and rolling hills with over two million plants of a wide variety and some 40,000 trees planted to create this a make-believe paradise of golf courses; and if so, there must be comforts. The course is fully covered with a full-length cart-path for those who prefer not to walk. The course is turfed with Tifdwarf and 419 hybrid Bermuda grass. The most memorable on this course is the Par-4 463-yard Hole#4 with the shoreline of the lake following all the way from the tee-box to the green which is heavily guarded and often enforcing a third-shot landing while the grand Mount Makiling watches on in the distance.
Valley Golf & Country Club of Antipolo City - The Valley is actually a 27-hole course comprising the standard 18-hole 5,396-yard Par-70 championship course called the The Executive and the Par-36 South Course nine of 3,492 yards. Together they spread over 70 hectares of rolling hills and meandering streams while the topography gives the course its distinctive character. Of interest is that the greens are turfed with supposedly 'bite to the pitch' and 'fast to the putt' Tifton 328 of the best local variety. If at all, it only makes play on this course very interesting.
Wack Wack Golf & Country Club of Mandaluyong City - The Wack Wack is one which has a long string of foreign golf clubs with which it has reciprocal arrangements; Anyang Benest Golf Club of South Korea, Zhong Shan Hot Springs Golf Club of China, Honolulu Country Club of Hawaii, The Club 300 of Japan, the Royal Selangor Golf Club of Malaysia, just to name a few. But not necessarily for this reason alone that the club is well-known internationally. Located in Metro Manila, it comprises two 18-hole courses, the East and the West. Of the two, the former appears the more prominent and contributes much to the club's image elsewhere amongst the world's famous. In 1977 the World Cup of Golf was hosted here. The main feature of the East Course is its vast layout in which water holes, undulating and small greens and long fairways make up the main obstacles. Measuring 7,053 yards, this Par-72 course has only two Par-5s and two Par-3s. And of these, the Par-3 168-yard Hole#8 is fondly or otherwise referred to, even by seasoned players, as the 'do or die' hole for its ballpoint-shaped small green around which hungry sand bunkers impatiently await roll-offs.
At Par-70, the West Course measures only 6,540 yards long. It is the friendlier of the two and well-liked by the senior players and those of the fairer sex. Of particular interest on this course are the abundant fishes in the ponds and exotic birds and animals in the mini jungles dotted along the fairways. For this reason perhaps, fun events like sponsored tournaments are usually held here.