Most golf courses in the Philippines are part and parcel of a golf and country club, normally requiring membership before they can be played. But, so many new golf clubs and golf courses were constructed during the 1990s that most would not survive today on their own golfing memberships alone. Accordingly, it is now possible to play golf at most golf courses as a guest, without being with or even knowing a golf club member. This is especially true of golf courses bequeathed to the various branches of the Philippine military by the former colonials and of golf courses located close to international airports around the Philippines.
Golfing holidays in the Philippines offer so much variety that it is hard to say which golf courses represent the best value for money. Some of the more notable golf courses are given below.
The Oldest Golf Course in The Philippines
The Iloilo Golf and Country Club golf course is the oldest existing golf course in the Philippines, located in Santa Barbara, about five minutes taxi ride from the new Iloilo international airport, on Panay Island. The Iloilo Golf and Country Club was built in 1907 by and for Scottish engineers and other expatriates, employed primarily in the then vibrant sugar industry. At the time the golf course was built it had only nine holes and it was not until the 1980s that the Iloilo Golf and Country Club achieved the full status as an 18-hole tournament golf course.
The Highest Golf Course in The Philippines
The Baguio Country Club is the highest golf course in the Philippines and together with the golf course at Camp John Hay, in Baguio City, jointly hosts the largest amateur golf tournament in the World - the Phil-Am Amateur Golf Tournament. Golfing enthusiasts arrive from all over the World to play in the refreshingly crisp mountain air, amongst the misty pines of Baguio City - the "summer capitol" of the Philippines. The Baguio Country Club once vied for the title of the oldest golf club in the Philippines, ahead of the Iloilo Golf and Country Club but, as it only had three holes when it opened in 1905, its claim was not upheld.
Nighttime Golfing in The Philippines
Nighttime golfing in the Philippines, as in most countries, conjures images of golf driving ranges populated by a thousand middle-managers desperate to whack something after a gruelling day at the office. The Philippines has those as well but one uniqueness is the Intramuros Golf Course, in old Manila City, that virtually surrounds the old walled city of Intramuros. At night the floodlights attached to the walls of historic Intramuros are turned on and serve to light your way around the many water hazards of the famous Intramuros Golf Course.
The Best Short Game Golf Course in The Philippines
The best short game golf course in the Philippines will be found at the Ponderosa Golf Club's golf course, in the rain forested mountains above Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island. The Ponderosa Golf Club offers a nine hole course that will really test your short game, as it winds around the mountainside at an average elevation of 600 metres - almost every hole is obscured from its tee and most have dense bushes along the steep fairways that make retrieving errant balls almost impossible. If you are not accurate then you can lose a ball on almost every shot at the Ponderosa Golf Club.
The Most Built-Up Golf Course in The Philippines
The most built-up golf course in the Philippines is the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club golf course in Mandaluyong City, right in the heart of Metro Manila. Surprisingly, because you could drive around Mandaluyong City for hours, between the buildings of the modern metropolis, before finding the sign for the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club actually has two 18-hole golf courses within its grounds (the East Course and the West Course). The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club is considered to be one of the finest golf courses in Asia and has hosted many classic tournaments, including the World Cup of Golf in 1978.
The Most Exclusive Golf Club in The Philippines
The most exclusive (and most expensive) golf club in the Philippines is the Manila Golf and Country Club, located in Forbes Park, Makati City. Surrounded by most of the most expensive houses in the country, the Manila Golf and Country Club absolutely requires that guests be accompanied by a member.
The Nearest Golf Courses To Airports in The Philippines
Starting in the North of the Philippines and moving South:
- the Fort Ilocandia Golf Club
a golf course with lakes within a few minutes by taxi from Laoag International Airport
Laoag, Ilocos Norte;
- the Mimosa Golf and Country Club
a picturesque golf course within five minutes by taxi from Clark International Airport (DMIA)
, Angeles City, Pampanga;
- the Villamore Golf Course
a former U.S. Air Force golf course, a few minutes by taxi from Manila International Airport (NAIA)
, Villamore Airbase, Pasay City;
- the Mactan Golf Club
an island golf course only ten minutes by taxi from Mactan Cebu International Airport
, Mactan Island, Cebu;
- the Iloilo Golf and Country Club
a historic golf course just five minutes by taxi from Iloilo International Airport
, Santa Barbara, Iloilo; and,
- the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club
a championship golf course about 15 minutes by taxi from Davao International Airport
, Davao City.
The Next Golf Course in The Philippines
There are two new golf courses slated for completion in the middle of 2010: and 18-hole golf course at the Seagull Mountain Resort, Lorega, Bukidnon, Mindanao, set amongst New Zealand pines with greens recovered from the previous Lanang Golf Course (recently sold for redevelopment) in Davao City, the Seagull Mountain Resort features dramatic mountain views and clean mountain air, at 4,200 feet, a 90-minute drive northwest of Davao International Airport
; and, at the Dakak Park Beach Resort, Dapitan, twenty minutes from Dilpolog airport
, the Dakak golf course is set partly on an island and partly in Dapitan, adjacent to the Dakak Casino and the soon to be constructed marina and retirement village.
When golfing in the Philippines it is almost a requirement to hire a caddie, who will take care of virtually all of your golfing needs; in the Philippines caddie fees are very low compared to the smiles and services they offer.
More Philippine Golf Information
You can find more Philippine golf information in the MyCam-Asia Travel Forum Golf