The hills and valleys of Rizal beckoned in the post-WWI years and Don Celso Tuason heeded the call.
If Wack Wack came out of Manila Golf, then Valley came out of Wack Wack as Don Celso and some of his friends decided to develop an area east of Manila into a golf course. Construction started in the late 1950s and by 1961, the Valley Golf and Country Club was open for play.
The South Course was obviously built in the classical mold, and it takes you on a route that explores the rolling terrain of the hills below Antipolo. The first three holes lead you out of the clubhouse to a downhill Par 3 that overlooks the course. From there doglegs that have become tighter and narrower over the years will test your shot making, ball placement and distance control.
The last three holes on the other hand are some of the more interesting and testing finishing holes in Philippine golf. The Sixteenth requires two well-struck and really accurate shots to get on the green with subtle undulations that are conducive to a 3-putt.
The Seventeenth is a Par 5 that has this huge penalty area that affects both your tee shot and second shot. Hit your ball as close as you can to the water so you will have a decent chance to hit the green in two. Otherwise, just play this hole as a regular 3-shot Par 5.
The Eighteenth is a unique finishing hole because these days you don’t see a lot of Par 3 holes to end a round. Playing uphill and all of 211 yards, only a well-struck shot is even going to make it on the green. To make birdie on this hole in tournament conditions only means you are either a very good or a very lucky golfer.
While Wack Wack was the primary host of the Philippine Open in the 1960s and ’70s, Valley was the alternative course and also was a regular venue of the local pro tours. It’s sister course on the other side of the complex has grown to have its own charm and character and now presents itself as an enjoyable alternative if there is a lot of traffic on the South Course.
There are only a few, true classical courses left in Philippine golf and Valley is definitely one of the places in the country where you get to play a course built in a bygone era.