In the mid-1990s, several like-minded individuals had the vision to see that a tract of scrubland scarred by deep gullies to the south of Manila might just, with the right architect in place, make a good golf course.
Tom Weiskopf was the man entrusted to transform the land into one of the best golfing layouts in the country and he duly accomplished the task in some style a couple of years later, routing the fairways around the natural contours of the terrain.
The Country Club is a very private facility that’s a training base for the Philippine golf teams and they put their home advantage to good use when the course was used as the venue for the golf tournament of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. After all the scorecards were tallied up, the host nation claimed individual and team gold medals in the men’s competition and individual and team silver medals in the women’s event.
In 2014, The Country Club hosted the Solaire Open, an Asian Tour event, which Canada’s Richard T. Lee won by one shot from Plaphol Chawalit of Thailand. Two years later, the Philippine Open, one of the oldest golf tournaments in the world, was held at the club for the first time, with Steve Lewton from England winning the event by one shot, posting a winning score of 287, one under par for four rounds.
The second iteration of the ultra-exclusive Country Club has officially made it the longest course in the country. Playing 7,650 yards from the champion tees, this beast was commissioned in order to host the 2017 Philippine Open and maybe a future PGA event. It is by far the hardest course I have ever played from the tips.
The wind here blows hard, links level despite being quite a way from the nearest sea. The greens are typically large, elevated, hard as rock, and putt fairly level. Fairways are wide, rolling and cut tight, and the bunkering is extensive both around the fairways and greens. It is not the prettiest course in town with a few views of the nearby industrial area and residential housing, but there are some scenic holes that would want to make you bring out your camera.
For me the best thing about the Country Club is its exclusivity. If you can get on, you will have a very good chance of having the course and maybe even the entire clubhouse all to yourself. The weekday average is 3-4 groups per day and less than 8 groups per day for the weekends.
Green fees are 3k for weekdays and 5k for the weekend. Caddies mandatory, as are with most courses in the Philippines. Playing with a member is the only way for non-members get on.