Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, a country in Southeast Asia. Over 7,000 islands make up the country with the largest being Luzon and this is where you will find Manila. Thanks to Philippine and visiting golfers alike, many people enjoy playing golf in Philippines due to the fantastic selection of Manila golf courses.
Before we go into more detail about some of the top venues for golf in Manila, you must know the best time to visit Manila golf courses. If you want the best chance of dry weather and pleasant temperatures, December to March is the best time to visit. You will find the least amount of rainfall and the coolest temperatures, with February and March being the pick of the months.
Situated on Luzon Island, Manila is a mix of modern skyscrapers and Spanish colonial architecture. The main airport and entry point to the Philippines is Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Terminal 1 is used for most international flights.
There are direct flights from major European cities including Amsterdam and London plus north American cities including Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other destinations include Singapore, Dubai, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Auckland. Manila is well connected around the world and you will have little trouble reaching this fantastic golf destination.
Being a major global city, Manila has a huge choice of accommodation options ranging from big name, five star hotels to boutique bed and breakfasts. A true Asian mega city, there is sightseeing to savour around every corner and you are spoilt for choice in terms of museums, restaurants, bars and shops.
However, it’s the Manila golf courses which steal the limelight and all the major names in golf course design have added their touch to this region of Asia.
When planning a golf holiday to Manila, you are spoilt for choice thanks to the wealth of golf courses in this region of Philippines.
Arguably the best golf course in Manila can be found at Southwoods Golf and Country Club. Not only is the home to the first gated community in Philippines it boasts two superb golf courses, both of which have been designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The Masters Course is rated by many as being the best golf course in Philippines, which is some statement given the competition. The conditioning, water and bunkers make this course very pleasing on the eye but do not be deceived as you are in for a real test. The Masters Course has played host to Philippine Open tournaments plus the World Amateur Team Championship, so it is a challenge.
Water plays a role on 15 of the 18 holes and the they increase in difficulty as the round progresses. The Legends Course at Southwoods Golf and Country Club was the first Nicklaus golf course in Philippines and remains one the best. Regarded as being slightly easier than The Masters Course, dog-legged holes and gentle mounding are the two key features and make for a wonderful round of golf.
From one Nicklaus venue to another and Sherwood Hills Golf and Country Club is located to the south of central Manila and within an easy drive. The rough on this course is thick and there are ravines which can come into play, so keeping the ball accurate off the tee is a good idea. Look out for the group of bunkers off the 9th green as the putting surface slopes towards them and many balls finish in the sand.
From one great in the world of golf to two more and the Orchard Golf and Country Club features two golf courses designed by Gary Player and Arnold Palmer. It is tough to pick between them and if you have the time to play several Manila golf courses, you should try and fit both into your itinerary. They take roughly 45 minutes to reach from central Manila and both are excellent parkland layouts.
If you are forced to choose one, the Palmer course maybe just has the edge and you will find water, sand and mango trees around the 18 holes. The 18th hole is a par-5 and while it does present the opportunity to finish with a birdie, there is an abundance of bunkers along the fairway and around the green.
If you want to test your putting when playing golf in Manila, Mt Malarayat Golf and Country Club is the venue for you. This golf course has some seriously impressive tiered greens, with some having three tiers, both from front to back and side to side. Located a little further out of Manila than many of the other courses, travelling to Mt Malarayat Golf Country Club requires a longer journey but the peaceful nature of its surroundings combines with the greens to make it worthwhile.
If you are struggling to decide which of the Manila golf courses to include on your holiday, things are about to get much tougher thanks to Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club. While some Manila golf clubs offer one or two golf courses to enjoy you will find four different courses at Eagle Ridge.
They have each been designed by a major name, with Isao Aoki, Andy Dye, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman all getting involved. If you don’t know where to begin, the Andy Dye Course is considered by many to be a good place to start. This course caused plenty of controversy when it opened in 1998, mainly due to the length, which is 7,300 yards and the many challenges throughout. The greens tend to be narrow and often protected by sand, water or both. The fairways are undulating so you will do well to get a flat lie and the slopes on the greens make two-putting far from straight forward.
If the Andy Dye Course does not sound to your taste, you have three others to choose from at Eagle Ridge. The Nick Faldo Course is very enjoyable while the Isao Aoki and Greg Norman courses, which were the third and fourth to open at the venue, both offer something different. As you would expect from the Aoki Course, putting is crucial and the Norman Course requires good, strategic play to score low.
A little further outside Manila to the south you will come to Canlubang Golf and Country Club. The big names in golf design keep cropping up and the golf courses has been designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. There are two 18-hole courses to play, with the South Course being the more player friendly and picturesque, situated 200 metres above sea level.
The golf clubs highlighted above are just some of the tremendous Manila golf courses you can play when in Philippines. If you would like to play a round of golf at night, you could book at round at the floodlit Club Intramuros Golf Course but you also have Forest Hills Golf and Country Club, KC Hillcrest Hotel Golf Club, Riviera Golf Club, Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club and Summit Point Golf Country Club all within close proximity to the city.
These are just some of the top golf courses you can include in a tremendous Manila golf holiday.