Mimosa Golf and Country Club could easily have been named Phoenix as it quite literally rose from the ashes that fell from Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The former US air base at Clark Field was severely damaged by fallout from the erupting volcano – causing its abandonment and subsequent return to the Philippine authorities – and it would take several years before the landscape returned to anything near normality.
Architect Robin Nelson writes:
There was an existing 18-hole course on the site at the current Mimosa Golf Club, built by the American Military at Clark Airbase. When we got involved, the Americans had already left the Philippines. The June 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo had covered the course with thick lahar (volcanic ash), rendering the fairways and greens useless. A group of local golfers banded together to bulldoze the material off the playing areas and brought back to life some of the grass by means of water trucks and hoses.
The Americans left the base in November 1991 after the eruption earlier that year. We completed our work in 1994 with 27 holes and the final 9 was added shortly thereafter. The huge Rain Trees (or Mimosa Trees) formed many of the new fairways, but there were no entire fairways that can be considered part of the original course. The 18th on the Mountain Course is probably the closest resemblance to an original hole, but it was lengthened, recontoured and bunkers added.
The course was fun to design and build because we were actually starting from scratch with a number of magnificent trees and terrain. A number of older corridors were connected and/or expanded, and very few trees were removed. In addition, for a number of years, whenever a rain event would occur, a "secondary eruption" - a very small spewing of the volcano would occur which would lightly dust the course with fine ash and, once watered in, would serve as a nice topdressing!
The government decided to rejuvenate the local economy by developing the property as a Freeport Zone and resort area, commissioning the respected architectural firm of Nelson and Wright to shape the recreational aspect of the project with a 36-hole golf facility. Amazingly, only one year after work began on such a devastated site, 27 of the holes were ready for play.
Routed around thousands of old mimosa rain trees that survived the volcanic blast, the 18-hole Mountain View course plays to a par of 72 with an overall length of 6,782 yards while the Acacia & Lakes layout measures up to 6,546-yards, also with a par of 72.