Swinging in the Philippines

Swinging in the Philippines
Anvaya Cove Golf & Sports Club located in the West Philippines Sea.

PHILIPPINES - The country is home to Asia's oldest national golf championship - The Philippine Open - which was first played in 1913 at Manila Golf Club. Around its vast archipelago which includes more than 7,000 islands, there are a large number of superbly challenging first-class golf courses.

These include Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club, Sherwood Hills and the Sta. Elena Golf Club. BT checked out a few others worthy of inclusion in a golf itinerary.

Anvaya Cove Golf & Sports Club

One of the country's newest in its golf course portfolio and it is simply stunning. The first-class, 82-hectare layout is one that you will want to keep returning to - if not for its beauty then certainly its challenges, risk and reward holes, and amazing vista - the back nine holes sweep alongside the West Philippine Sea with views across Subic Bay.

Kevin Ramsey from California-based golf architects Golfplan started work on the course back in 2006 and it was officially opened at the beginning of December 2013. Mr Ramsey calls the site one of the best he's ever seen or worked on, with it being a real highlight of his career, especially with the special terrain, such as high grasslands, beachside holes and those perched on bluffs.

He has many favourite holes but cites the short par-4 11th because of the views and the setting. "I've always liked the challenge and the risk-reward factor of a short par-4 and I think that captures the essence of the design very well and it tempts you to hit the long shot but it's not really required.

You can take many different clubs with lots of choices plus a lot of thinking goes into how you want to play that hole. From an architect's perspective, I really like to create that thought process and make you mentally think about what you're trying to do."

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