The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia consisting of over 7,000 islands in the south Pacific Ocean. An archipelagic country, it has three main geographical regions which are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Playing golf in Philippines means not only the opportunity to enjoy the top golf courses in the country but also to explore the different regions.
It is possible to fly to Philippines for a golf holiday from anywhere in the world, with direct or one-stop flights available from most major European, American, and Asian cities. You can arrive in Manila and this is arguably the best place to begin playing golf in Philippines or you can travel to Cebu, Davao and Angeles among others.
The best time to play golf in Philippines is between November and April, which is known as the dry period. Most of the beautiful islands and remote areas of the country are accessible during this time and the golf courses are in their best condition. The cooler months are December, January and February, with the temperatures starting to pick up again in April and May, which can be very hot.
Now you know the best time to book a golf holiday in Philippines, it is time to take a look at some of the exiting regions and golf courses which await.
Manila is the capital city of Philippines and the perfect place to begin playing golf in the country. You will find over 10 golf courses in and around Manila and you could easily spend weeks in this region playing golf in Philippines.
For many people, the Legends course at The Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club is hard to beat. This is one of two golf courses at the golf club and has been designed by Jack Nicklaus. Located to the south of Manila and easy to reach from the city centre, the Legends course starts off with a couple of easy going holes but soon picks up to offer a strong challenge for most players.
The Masters course is also a very good round of golf and if you have the time, you should play both when in the Malina area. However, you may want to try some of the other courses in Manila and there are many to enjoy including the Faldo Course at Eagle Ridge Golf Country Club. Another top name in the world of golf, Nick Faldo, designed this golf course and it is one of four layouts at what is a huge sporting complex 50 kilometres south of Manila.
Regarded by many as being the toughest course at Eagle Ridge, The Faldo Course requires plenty of attention on every shot, with holes that reward and punish players appropriately. The bunkering is some of the most spectacular you will see when playing golf in Philippines. There are three additional golf courses to play at Eagle Ride and they have been designed by Greg Norman, Andy Dye and Isao Aoki.
If you wish to play golf at night in Philippines you can book a round under the floodlights at Club Intramuros Golf Course. Another Manila course designed by Andy Dye, Intramuros Golf Course is located within the old city walls and if you are staying centrally, makes for a great round at any time of day, including after dark.
Continuing the theme of top golf courses in Manila designed by big names, we come to Sherwood Hills Golf Country Club which was created under the guidance of Jack Nicklaus. This is a very pleasant golf course, with pod trees and water featuring on several of the fairways but many of the par-4’s play long, so choose your tee carefully.
Additional courses you must try when based in Manila include Orchard Golf and Country Club, designed by Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, KC Hillcrest Hotel Golf Club, Forest Hills Golf and Country Club, Riviera Golf Club, Royal Northwoods Golf Country Club and Summit Golf Country Club, the latter of which is designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Moving away from Manila and you have plenty of options for golf in Philippines. One of the most popular due to its proximity with the capital city is Tagaytay. This is a holiday town to the south of Manila and due to its location on a ridge above Taal Volcano Island, the temperatures are often cooler than elsewhere in Philippines.
This makes it a great place to play golf in Philippines if you are visiting during a hot period of the year. You have three excellent golf courses to play in Tagaytay and they each offer tremendous views of the surrounding nature, including the volcano and Taal Lake. Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club provides some of the best views while also challenging golfers thanks to the changes in elevation throughout the course, some of which can be dramatic.
If you want to work on your bunker play when in Philippines, Splendido Taal Golf Club is a must. This golf course was created by Greg Norman and although water does feature on a few holes, it is the bunkering which is the real challenge. Not many players complete the 18 holes of golf without finding their ball in the sand at least once and the greens are well-protected, making good approach play key.
The final course in Tagaytay is called Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club and the lush green forest provides a great scene for a round of golf. If you are planning on spending some time in Tagaytay when playing golf in Philippines, you can combine a round at Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club and Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club thanks to the 48-seater funicular transport system which operates between the two golf courses.
Having travelled to the south of Manila it is time to move to the north of the capital and a golf holiday in Philippines would not be complete without a trip to Clark-Angeles. You can reach Clark-Angeles in roughly two hours from Manila and if you think you have seen the name before but are unsure why, this was the former home of Clark Air Base, once the largest United States military facility outside continental America.
Ranked as one of the top places to live in Philippines, Clark-Angeles is blessed with some of the best golf courses in the country. One of the oldest golf courses in this region is Luisita Golf and Country Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and opened for play in 1967. The course was named after the wife of Don Antonio Lopez, who was head of the Tabacalera company that previously owned the property on which the golf course sits.
Water is the main feature on this golf course, as one would expect from a Trent Jones design and the several lakes perform an important role on the fairways and close to some of the greens.
In addition to Luisita Golf and Country Club, you will find Beverly Place Golf Club. Host of the Pampanga Golfers Association, Inc. in April 2015, the 18-hole course was designed by Gary Player and the well-maintained greens, man-made lakes, mounding, plants and flowers combine to make a first class round of golf.
You are not restricted to playing only the two golf courses highlighted above when in Clark-Angeles and you could add Clark Sun Valley Golf Country Club, FA Korea Golf Country Club, Mimosa Golf Country Club and Royal Garden Golf Country Club to any itinerary and have a great time playing golf in Philippines.
Remaining on Luzon Island, you can venture even further north when playing golf in Philippines to Baguio. Located a further 160 kilometres to the north of Clark-Angeles, Baguio is a mountain town boasting universities and resorts plus a pleasantly cool climate, offering relief from the heat found elsewhere in the country.
The natural scenery is lovely and we have two golf courses to enjoy in Baguio, the appropriately named Baguio Golf Country Club and Camp John Hay Golf Club, the latter of which was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Baguio Golf Country Club is another historical venue for golf in Philippines having opened for play back in 1905. It was created by legendary golfer Luis Golem Silver and was the number one golf course in the town. Complete with narrow, tree-lined fairways, elevated greens and lagoons, a round of golf at Baguio Golf Country Club should be high up your list when planning a golf holiday in Philippines.
The second course in Baguio, Camp John Hay Golf Club, is named after former U.S. Secretary John Hay. Despite being one of the oldest golf courses in Philippines, it is highly respected, especially following the redesign by Nicklaus in 1999. The course is kept in superb condition throughout the year and with the cool climate, you will have a great time playing golf.
Moving to a small island in central Philippines called Boracay, you will find stunning resorts and beaches plus Fairways Bluewater Resort Golf Club. The most western island in the Western Visayas, the quality of the sand and sea is beautiful and is matched by the golf club. The 18-hole championship course plays to just over 6,500 yards which is quite short by modern standards but the layout is highly regarded and you will find some tough holes. There are many elevation changes, especially on the back nine and the views will have you reaching for your camera.
If you would like to spend some time on an island and sample the beach life when playing golf in Philippines, Boracay comes highly recommended.
Travelling to the south of Luzon Island and you will find a plethora of other islands to visit, including the province of Cebu. The island is located in the Central Visayas region and features one main island and over 100 smaller islands. The capital city is also called Cebu and is one of the most developed provinces in Philippines, with the second largest airport in the country on the island of Mactan.
If arriving in Cebu via the airport you will be close to the outstanding golf course in the region, Cebu Golf Country Club. Jack Nicklaus has been prolific in his golf course design in Philippines and this is another one to add to his impressive collection. Cebu Golf Country Club is well-maintained and you can revel in high-quality fairways and greens plus immaculate bunkering. The coral rocks add a nice touch to the overall spectacle of the round.
When playing golf in Philippines you have the option of staying in some of the cities and sampling local life or you could stay in one of the exceptional beach resorts.
There are many beach resorts scattered throughout Philippines which would make for great stay including Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa plus Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island, both of which are in Cebu.
Whether you decide to stay in one place and use it as a base to play golf in Philippines or you opt to travel around the country and see everything it has to offer, you will not be disappointed. Philippines is a magnificent country to play golf and somewhere every golfer needs to visit.
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