The Country Club

The name says it all: This is THE Country Club. Exclusivity here is not just a word, it’s a mantra.

More than 20 rounds of golf a day on this golf course is extraordinary so if there is such a thing as golfing Nirvana this must be it. Unfortunately, perhaps 99% of Filipino golfers will never even get to swing a club here, much less see it in its pristine glory.

Yes Virginia, it is that exclusive.

Built amid the sugar cane fields of Laguna, along a golf and country club corridor that lists Manila Southwoods, Sta. Elena and Canlubang as occupants, the name says it all. There will be golf clubs, there will be golf courses, there will be country clubs, but this is THE Country Club.

American pro golfer Tom Weiskopf was called in during the golf course construction boom of the 1990s to transform this relatively featureless tract of land into a playground of the rich and famous and his original routing was essentially retained even after a comprehensive course renovation that started in 2013.

Something needs to be said about Weiskopf’s routing since it essentially embodies two schools of thought in golf course routing. The Front nine goes out and comes back in through the same route while the Back nine meanders through the rest of the property. 

As such, the holes of the Front 9 are laid out side by side with the Sixth hole starting the homeward stretch. The net effect is a succession of downwind then upwind (or vice versa) holes that will test your patience and fortitude.

The Front nine demands a lot of distance and accuracy. The fairways narrow as you approach the greens and there will be little or no chance to recover if you suddenly miss a step. That you will have to play some holes into the wind complicates things and many a fade has turned into a slice that finds itself in the penalty area when the gusts are up.

The Back nine, on the other hand, has a more open feel to it. The fairways are wider and there is more variety in wind conditions, but the testy nature of The Country Club remains. Well, if you can’t play it, at least you can read about it…

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