Golfing the Filipino style

Written by FE Online | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 26 2014, 20:43pm hrs
The tropical islands of Philippines now gives a reason for the golf aficionados to visit their country. Almost all caddies in this country speak English, are knowledgeable, and their fees are very affordable. The best courses are designed by golf legends like Jack Nicklaus and the fun part is usually there is a snack hut after every five holes.

In Metro Manila

The public courses

The popular ones are those located inside military camps. The courses of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and at the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio are short, narrow, and tricky while the one at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City is longer and more forgiving of errant shots. Night golf can be played at Intramuros, the old walled city of Manila.

The private, championship courses

The Wack-Wack golf course designed by Jim Black in Mandaluyong is a favourite venue of the Philippine Open. Its championship-level east course requires long, accurate drives off the tees to carry its water obstacles. On the outskirts of Metro Manila, the Masters course of Southwoods in Carmona, Cavite, is a classic 'risk and reward' Jack Nicklaus design that punishes reckless shots with ravines, creeks, and artificial lakes. Nearby is the Santa Elena course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in Santa Rosa, Laguna, that will test the skill of long hitters.

Outside Metro Manila

Another Jack Nicklaus-designed course is Sherwood in Dasmarinas, Cavite. A touch of the famous Pebble Beach can be found at the Puerto Azul course in Ternate, Cavite. Designed by Gary Player and Ron Kirby, this seaside course demands long accurate shots to avoid landing at the sea or at the thick tropical jungle that borders the course.

Another seaside course is Fairways and Bluewater at the island of Boracay. Designed by Graham Marsh, golfers have to contend with strong sea winds and being distracted by the picturesque sea views. Up north in Baguio, golf is played among the clouds in its two mountainous courses at the Baguio Country Club designed by Luis Golem Silverio and the Camp John Hay Club designed by Jack Nicklaus. Both courses-although short-are hilly with tight fairways bordered with pine trees, elevated greens that require precision, and occasional wisps of fog.