Make no mistake about it—Manila Golf Club is in Makati but it traces its beginnings in 1901 to a rough course built by English railway employees in Caloocan called Buayas Golf Club. It was after the Second World War that the club moved to its present location in what is now one of the highest-priced real estate in the country.
Initially routed by the same Jim Black who designed Wack Wack, the course has undergone a lot of renovations, but it still retains the classical course feel that old courses continue to exude. The remaining ancient acacias remind us of how long the club has been in existence and the course has become an oasis of sorts amid the concrete jungle that surrounds it.
As the only stretch of green left in the country’s business district, Manila Golf has taken its role in conserving the environment pretty seriously. A comprehensive golf course renovation that was finished in early 2008 included a water treatment plant that now channels and prepares wastewater from the surrounding areas for irrigation of the course.
The renovation also brought the course into the 21st century with modern turfgrasses like Paspalum and Salam grass. The new layout now has a more expansive feel as the old acacias that were diseased and others that had been uprooted by typhoons had been placed by flame trees and other exotic new tree species.
The fairways and greens have undergone a lot of change and the changes have certainly enhanced the playability of the course with wider fairways and more expansive greens that now have better shape and undulations. Watch out for the false fronts.
A whole lot of our golfing population will perhaps never get to play Manila Golf but then there has to be that golf course in every nation on earth that will signify elegance and class and exclusivity and for Philippine golf, it is Manila Golf. This remains so near yet so far…
Manila Golf will always be on any list of the top courses in the country because of its share value and a membership roster that includes the who’s-who in Philippine society.