The Philippines boasts a fantastic array of golf courses, particularly in the Manila area.
Manila, the bustling capital of the Philippines, is not only known for its rich history and vibrant culture but also for its exceptional golf courses. The city boasts a variety of world-class golf courses that cater to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels. In this article, we will explore the best golf courses in Manila, showcasing the perfect blend of challenging fairways, stunning scenery, and top-notch facilities.
The metropolis is home to a selection of courses designed by renowned golf architects, each offering a unique golfing experience. From the rolling fairways of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club to The Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club, which features two Jack Nicklaus “signature” championship courses, not forgetting The Country Club designed by former British Open champion Tom Weiskopf. The Riviera Golf & Country Club once hosted The Philippine Open on the Langer Course.
These courses not only provide excellent opportunities for a challenging round of golf but also offer luxurious amenities and breathtaking views. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a novice looking to enjoy the game, Manila's golf courses are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Two golf courses designed by Nicklaus, ranking among the finest in the Philippines.
Awarded in 2020 as the top golf course in the Philippines by Golf Digest, this club is 41 kilometers south of Manila and takes around 1.5 hours to drive along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
Manila Southwoords, opening in 1992 and quickly gained international recognition. Asian Monthly awarded these courses the “Best Environmentally Responsible Golf Course” and the “Most Challenging Private Golf Course in the Philippines.”
Here you have two 18-hole layouts - the Master's Course and the Legends Course. Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus designed both Southwoods' courses.
The Master's Course is long, playing at 7,342 yards from the back tees. Jack has added many bunkers and narrow fairways. Fifteen holes have water hazards, and the Master's Course is one of the toughest Nicklaus designed 18 holes in Asia. However, despite the challenges, the Southwoods Master's Course is and fun to play.
The Legends Course is a shorter layout. Playing 6,912 yards with bunkers designed mainly on the left side of the fairways, water hazards on the right side, with its most difficult challenge being hole sixteen. This is a gentler challenge than the Master’s course, with some wonderful scenery but few trees so that it can be a bit windy.
The facilities are next to none, boosting two clubhouses, one for each course—everything from fine dining to steam rooms is offered here. Manila Southwoods is a must-play club and well worth a visit for any Manila golfer.
The "Golden Bears" favourite course in the Philippines
Situated just a half-hour drive from Makati City, Sherwood Hills is a must-visit destination. During a site inspection of the construction of two golf courses at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, both bearing Nicklaus' signature, Freddy Campos extended an invitation to Nicklaus to explore their ongoing development in Trece Martires, Cavite.
Impressed by the potential, Jack Nicklaus crafted 18 outstanding holes, consistently ranked among the top 5 in the country. In 2011-2012, the course received an impressive grade of 85 out of 100 from the "Rolex World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses."
Employing the natural landscape, characterized by sparse trees and dense brush, Nicklaus and his son created an inland links-style course spanning 7,265 yards. The layout features wide fairways and predominantly small greens, promoting a bump-and-run game synonymous with links golf.
The rough, covered in cogon grass, poses a challenge for golfers seeking to escape, especially when facing a considerable distance to the green. Volcanic gorges line the front nine, with the first hole showcasing a drop-off just before the green.
The back nine follows the shoreline of one of the three lakes incorporated into the course, culminating in a 452-yard par 4 with a green situated on another lake. The course strikes a balance with longer par 4s, including eight exceeding 400 yards, and shorter par 5s allowing for a two-shot approach to the green.
The clubhouse offers amenities such as a restaurant, pro shop, locker rooms, and showers. Golfers can hone their skills before hitting the course by utilizing the chipping and putting green conveniently located beside the driving range. Sherwood Hills stands as a testament to Nicklaus' design prowess, offering a golfing experience that seamlessly blends natural features with strategic play.
The Country Club Philippines
An exclusive private members club offering 54 holes
Situated in close proximity to Makati, approximately 50 kilometers away from Manila via the South Super Highway and the Silangan exit, The Country Club Philippines stands as one of the premier and exclusive clubs not only in the Philippines but also across Asia.
In 2017, it earned the distinction of being the second-best golf course in the country according to the Top 100 Golf Courses website. This prestigious club served as the venue for the 2017 Philippines Open and serves as the training base for the country's professional golfers.
Crafted by the former British Open champion, golf legend, and master golf course architect Tom Weiskopf, the course offers a challenging layout designed to test players' golfing skills. Weiskopf's creation, emerging from the sugar lands of Laguna, is hailed as a true masterpiece.
Playing at The Country Club Philippines provides a touch of "millionaires golf," offering an aesthetically maintained pristine golf course with minimal disturbances, allowing players to focus on their game.
The club caters to golfers of all levels with three types of courses: the Forward course measuring 6,083 yards, the Standard course spanning 6,706 yards, and the championship course, the longest in the country, playing at 7,650 yards. Notably, its 18th hole is acclaimed as one of the best finishing holes in Asia.
To enhance players' experiences, The Country Club Philippines provides various facilities, including a driving range, putting green, and tee houses on the fairways. The Clubhouse complements the golfing experience with amenities such as a restaurant, bar, male and female lockers, and showers.
Wack Wack Golf & Country Club
Home to two amazing championship golf courses which have hosted many professional tournaments
Wack Wack Golf & Country Club one of the country’s most exclusive and elite golf clubs. Located 9.2 km East of the capital, it takes roughly 45 minutes to get there.
The club was built in 1930 by the American resident William Shaw, who established the club’s two 18-hole championship courses, called simply the East and the West courses.
The East course is a bit longer running at 7,317 yards, and is a bit harder to play of the two courses here. It has hosted some of the country’s top tournaments including Asian Tour events, the Philippine Golf Open Championship, and the 1977 World Cup. Its small rolling and elevated greens, water hazards, and long fairways are what makes the course such a good golf venue for these elite tournaments.
A particular favorite among by players of all standards is its 8th Hole. A tricky Par-3, this hole has been known to be a “make-or-break” hole, even for the seasoned professional golfers.
The West Course is more suitable for the average golfer. It is a bit shorter in length running at 6,540 yards, and easier to play compared to the East Course.
The West Course is mostly played by the senior members, females and guests of the golf club. The course was upgraded into an all-weather championship course. It is where sponsored tournaments are generally held.
There are several facilities to accommodate players’ further playing and comfort needs. The club has a full driving range and tee houses on the two courses.
The clubhouse has a dining area, bar & lounge, banquet halls, function rooms, male & female air-conditioned locker rooms, gym, pro shop, gift shop, barber shop, beauty parlor, and swimming pool.
Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer showcase their design skills in two very differnt layouts
Nestled in a superb location, the Riviera Golf & Country Club is a golfer's delight, masterfully designed by two top architects to seamlessly blend with the harmony of nature.
Strategically situated in Silang, Cavite, approximately 55 kilometers south of Manila, this golf haven boasts two all-weather courses designed by Master Champions.
The Riviera Golf Club stands as an innovative concept, aiming to be recognized among Asia's most exceptional golf courses, setting it apart in the Philippines.
Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer, the renowned designers, showcase their diversity with each course, striking a balance between style and the demand for playing skill.
At first glance, the Riviera exudes a tropical resort ambiance, yet a closer inspection of the meticulously maintained greens reveals the serious dedication to golf on display. Featuring Bermuda 419 fairways and tif dwarf greens, the Riviera offers ultimate playing surfaces against the backdrop of scenic ravines and rolling ridges, challenging and delighting golfers of all skill levels. The club boasts excellent drainage and irrigation systems throughout.
The Couples course, adorned with tall coconut palms and delightful mango trees, presents a visually appealing landscape. However, be cautious as traps and out-of-bounds areas add an element of challenge.
On the other hand, the Langer course offers a slightly tougher challenge, with more openness but narrower landing areas filled with optical illusions. Prepare to bring your top A-game, as the holes here are genuinely challenging.
Notably, the Riviera Golf & Country Club has a rich history, having hosted The Philippine Open on the Langer Course, where golf legend Frankie Minoza showcased his exceptional skills.
Completing the golfing experience is a great clubhouse with top-notch facilities, solidifying the Riviera's well-deserved spot on any golfer's top-five list.
Situated just beyond the bustling Metro Manila area and nestled within one of the region's most frequented tourist destinations is the Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club.
Enveloped by the picturesque Malarayat mountain range, the club offers uninterrupted vistas of rolling hills and lush panoramas, creating a stunning backdrop.
Perched at an elevation of 1,200 feet above sea level, the property enjoys a refreshing mountain breeze, providing respite on warm days.
Envisioned with golf as its primary attraction, the Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club features a centerpiece—an all-weather 27-hole championship course. This golf haven is complemented by excellent club and sports facilities.
Since its inception in 1998, the club has garnered numerous accolades, including being recognized as the best course in the country by Golf Magazine. It has also proudly hosted esteemed tournaments such as the ASEAN Tour and the Philippine Open.
The 27-hole championship round comprises three courses—Mt. Makulot, Mt. Lobo, and Mt. Malipunyo—each meticulously designed by the J. Michael Poellot Golf Design Group (JMP).
Among these courses, Mt. Makulot stands out, notably for its seventh hole, ranked among the Top 500 Best Golf Courses in the World by Golf Magazine. This hole presents a challenging and award-winning landscape surrounded by bunkers, sand traps, and water hazards.
All courses are renowned for their tiered greens, some featuring up to three tiers. The golfing experience at Mount Malarayat is further enhanced by the option to walk the pleasantly laid-out track, although carts are available for those who prefer them.
Manila boasts an array of exceptional golf courses, each contributing a unique blend of natural beauty and challenging layouts. From the meticulously crafted fairways of Manila Southwoods to the prestigious challenges presented by Wack Wack and the exclusive allure of The Country Club Philippines, the city stands as a golfer's paradise. Riviera Golf & Country Club showcases the harmonious integration of top-notch design with scenic landscapes, while Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club offers a refreshing mountain retreat. Each course stands as a testament to the city's commitment to providing golf enthusiasts with an unparalleled and diverse golfing experience in the heart of the Philippines.