Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club

It's surely the ultimate golfers’ destination and place to live

The course and the weather make this the ultimate golfers’ destination and place to live.

Designed by American golf course architect Michael Pollet, the Lobo, Malipunyo and Makulot nines are named according to the mountains that dominate their routes. They exude an airy, relaxed, vacation-golf feel and atmosphere amidst a growing subdivision community that features the pleasant, temperate climate of the place.

The Mount Lobo course is the shortest of the lot but not by much. Pollet has carved out a marvelous test of golf in this nine and the main challenge of Lobo will be the greens.  A lot of Lobo’s greens are tucked away or elevated and feature some of the craziest undulations you will ever see in Philippine golf.

The Sixth and the Seventh greens both feature sinkholes which will gobble up anything played short or long of the target depending on where the pin is located, and the Eight is a tricky par 3 where you better be on, or you will be faced with a nippy pitch or bunker shot. The last hole of Lobo will be a respite of sorts but the par 5 will still require an accurate shot because of the lake on the left that extends to the front of the green.

The Mount Malipunyo course starts off adjacent to Lobo and makes the most of the relatively flat terrain of the property. But bunkers and mounds appropriately sprinkled along the routing will certainly affect your shots and strategy.

Malipunyo gets interesting on the par 3s as they both will be testy. The Second may look benign and easy off the tee but will require a shot that gets the distance right to even stay on the green while the Sixth is long with a kidney-shaped green with mounds and hollows galore.

Everything leads up to the Ninth which should be one of the toughest finishing holes there is. There’s water all the way on the right coupled with several bunkers that make both tee shot and approach an exercise in ability.

The Mouth Makulot nine looks to be the more accomplished one compared to the other nines given that one of its holes was recognized in 2000 by Golf Magazine as one of the Best 500 holes in the world. Considering the number of golf holes in the world, that must be one of the recognitions that local golf needs to keep in mind.

The par-5 Seventh looks like a challenge and plays like a challenge. A good and long drive can offer you a chance to go for the green but the water hazard that cuts to the front of the green will create some doubts as to if you can make it. Playing safe will still require delicate pitch to get close to the hole. Understated but effective design that does deserve the recognition.

The rest of the holes are an elegant mix of challenges. Pollet uses bunkers here and there to frame and provide aiming points and everything essentially builds up to the Seventh and Eighth holes as the penultimate hole requires a carry over water to a green that will show no mercy if you end up on the wrong side.

Any golf course that includes Makulot’s Seventh should be among the Top 25 Golf Courses in the Philippines. The icing on the cake is that Mt Malarayat also hosted the 2005 Philippine Open which was then a leg of the Asian Tour.

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