We have to start learning to celebrate history, we have to start recognizing our roots.
If top means first, then the first golf course in the Philippines deserves to be one of the top golf courses in the country.
The Iloilo Golf and Country Club was built by British engineers who were working on a railroad that was to connect Iloilo City to Capiz. It was then known as Sta Barbara and was open for play in 1907 which makes it one of the oldest golf courses in Asia.
By 1913, it had affiliated with the Royal and Ancient GC of St Andrews which was the governing body of golf then and up to the present. This made it the first golf course in the country to have attained that status.
Iloilo started out as a 9-hold golf course, but it was slowly expanded in the 1980s to the 18-hole course it is now. Short as it is at 5,623 yards and a Par 70, the course is still a stern test of accuracy and ball placement.
There are vestiges of the old course in the redesign as seen by preserved sand boxes beside the teeing ground of some holes. In those days, plastic and wooden tees were nonexistent so sand was used to raise the ball off the ground.
Iloilo needs to be recognized; Philippine golf needs to celebrate its history.