When you hear about a Robert Trent Jones II designed golf course, you expect a quality and fulfilling golfing experience. When you find out that it is Mindanao you are even more impressed that “The City of Golden Friendship” has a golden opportunity to play a round of golf.
Down south in Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro City, there’s this golf course that, even if it was then just a few years old, was attracting attention and admiration. Such was the strength of its design and construction that Pueblo de Oro was named one of the Top 10 Golf Courses in the Philippines way back in 2006 by the Inquirer Golf Magazine.
Built a few kilometers from the city proper, the course is right on the final approach to the Lumbia Airport which used to be Cagayan de Oro’s primary airport. Making a quick trip to play a round of golf here used to be quite simple but the domestic flights have since been moved to Laguindingan which is about 46 kilometers away from the city in the opposite direction.
Robert Trent Jones II has designed a lot of golf courses in the country, but Pueblo de Oro has got to be one of his more outstanding designs. The site was a golf course waiting to happen and he did create a beautiful course with minimal earth moving.
The ravines that snake their way through the property have been aptly used to frame the fairways or they can come smack between you and the hole. A recurring theme on RTJII courses is that he likes to build Par 3s that require a carry over a ravine to a green framed by a spreading tree.
For Pueblo de Oro, that hole is the Fourth hole. Measuring 180 yards from tee to green with a huge balete tree that guards the side of the green, the Fourth is the golf club’s signature hole.
This course is a fair challenge for golfers of every level. There are no gimmicks here; everything is spelled out up front and pretty much obvious from the tee.
Pueblo de Oro is the home course of one of the Philippines’ golfing greats, Frankie Minoza. This is where he hones his game in preparation for his forays into the Senior Japan Tour and the local tour.
When the PAL Interclub first came to Cagayan de Oro, the theme for the tournament was, “The old and the new” signifying a contrast in the host clubs that year. The “old” referred to Del Monte which is one of the oldest golf courses in the country and the “new” was Pueblo de Oro.