The Philippines is quickly becoming regarded as a top destination for golfers looking to sample a different style of golf course.
There are several top-quality golf courses to be found within the Manila region and I have picked out a few of my favourites for you to consider when planning your next golfing escape.
Tagaytay Highlands International
The first of these is the Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club, which is about a 75km drive from the city itself. A good road network, make this an easy drive and it is well worth it.
The entrance to the golf club is grand, with a 3000-metre entry road leading to the clubhouse, which overlooks the Taal Lake and volcano, it is a very exclusive location.
Tagaytay Highlands Club offers golfers the opportunity to enjoy two unique designs, The Midlands and my personal favourite The Highlands Course.
Testing it most definitely is, and it is the challenge that grabs golfers, but if you can pull yourself away from the golf and take a moment to enjoy the unbelievable scenery you will have an experience that will last long in your memory.
Tight, well protected fairways place a premium on accuracy, and while the course is relatively short you are always presented with a challenge. Elevation changes are ever present and provide spectacular views of the surrounding terrain. A well-appointed clubhouse and practice facility finish the experience perfectly. Although a way from the centre of Manila this is a course that you must absolutely take the time to visit.
Another delightful course is the Jack Nicklaus design Sherwood Hills Golf Club. Located about an hour from the city centre this is a course that you can easily drive to and return in time to experience the nightlife Manila has on offer.
It is a long course from the back tees, but if you are sensible and choose the tees that best fit your ability you will have an enjoyable round at this inland links styled golf course.
If you are not a fan of Nicklaus design courses, then this is the one that will change your mind. The signature large greens, wide fairways and enormous bunkers have been scrapped in the design, making way for more use of naturally occurring undulations and lines. The greens are relatively small and undulating and in year-round superb condition.
Throughout the round, you are required to keep the ball on the fairway, as the rough is tough and will penalise any wayward shot, the inclusion of cleverly placed water hazards and the large native trees that frame the fairways are delightful. It is without doubt a course for all abilities and a great place to enjoy a wonderful day of golf.
KC Hillcrest Hotel
Finally, in my list of must play courses is the KC Hillcrest Hotel Golf Club, although it is a two-hour drive from Manila, get up early and get yourself to this course, you will not be disappointed with what you find.
Previously the Evercrest Golf and Country Club the course, designed by Arnold Palmer measures around 7,200 yards and is a true test of golfing ability and nerve.
Nestled between the steep hills and ravines the holes are perfectly placed to take advantage of the tremendous views of the surrounding Nasugbu region, here Palmer has created a truly remarkable course.
Accuracy from the tee is the key to scoring well at Hillcrest, as the fairways are narrow and well protected by large bunkers and tough rough, which will gladly gobble up anything that is offline. The greens are large and inviting, allowing for an attacking style of play if you find the fairway although miss-hit your shots and you will inevitably find one of the enormous bunkers that protect them.
If the thought of a four-hour round trip to and from the golf course is too much, you could book a night at the on-course hotel which has undergone renovations in the recent past making it a delightful stay at a superb hotel. The clubhouse offers everything you could need before and after your round and the cuisine here is highly regarded.
If you do decide to visit KC Hillcrest Hotel Golf Club you will not leave disappointed, it is a truly spectacular course that you must try.
Planning your next Asian golfing adventure? Be sure to check out golfsavers.com for all the latest course information and to book your tee times.