Happy Easter everyone! Was originally scheduled to play South Forbes with Donnie and Mark this morning. However, when we realized that SLEX northbound would most likely be slammed with vacationers heading back into the city, Mark coincidentally received an offer from Jack Madrid, CEO of Multiply, to join him at the members only, Manila Golf and Country Club (MGCC). Jack was nice enough to extend the invitation to Donnie and I as well. Was a bit hesitant because the tee off time was at 6:30AM meaning I had to wake up when it was still dark, but decided that I couldn’t miss this opportunity!
One of, if not the most exclusive golf club in the Philippines, MGCC is located in ritzy Forbes Park on the borders of Makati City and Fort Bonifacio, Taguig and is said to have a membership fee of USD1.2 Million per share. Taking that into account, the course is as well maintained and the service is as great as one would expect!
You can always tell the quality of a golf course by it’s tee boxes. The ones at MGCC were perfectly flat and not all dug up and covered in sand.
Fairways and surrounding grass were so clean and well manicured that hitting shots from out of the rough were no different than from the tee box.
Greens were extremely firm and fast, which makes putting tricky if you’re use to playing the hacker courses around the Metro. On a side note, I’m use to playing at Sun Valley and South Forbes, which are both really mountainy and tree-filled (those are actual words right?) so it was really surreal golfing with huge buildings around. I would like to tell you that I sank this putt but then I’d be lying…
Donnie faired much better on the 12th sinking this putt for par:
Can’t say the same for Mark. hahaha:
Jack ended up winning the round with an 86. He’s a monster off the tee with his driver! Here he is on the 11th, par-3:
Manila Golf is definitely a great course to play at least once in your life if you know someone who can get you on. Few things to keep in mind if you do:
1. Air quality is good but because the course is surrounded by massive condos and buildings, it gets really hot with little wind coming through. This poor little froggie can attest 😦
2. MGCC is currently renovating two of the holes so the course temporarily plays as a par-70:
3. Despite being a par-70 (par-72 once renovations are complete), Manila Golf is still a rather short and flat course with not too many water hazards, which is good because you don’t lose a lot of balls. That doesn’t mean it’s still not challenging though as the fairways get really narrow on certain holes in addition to the tricky greens.
4. Front 9 plays a bit easier than the back 9 so be sure to pace yourself so you can close out strong.
5. Bunkers are well maintained and pretty firm so best to be careful hitting out of them to avoid skying your shot over your target. Don’t be too hesitant though or you’ll end up hitting multiple shots in the same bunker like I did on two of the holes… arghh…
5. Tricky holes include:
- Number 2 is a 463 yard, par-4 that plays a lot longer than it seems. Handicap-1, so technically it’s the hardest hole on the course.
- Number 13 is a short but narrow 354 yard, par-4. Stay left and watch out for the water on the right, which balloons out behind trees further down the fairway.
- Number 14 is a doozy. 176 yard, par-3 over water from the blue tee. Better to go long though you’ll be left with a fast downhill putt to a front pin.
- Number 15 is the 2nd hardest hole on the course. Be careful with your 2nd shot as there’s a creek surrounding the front and right side of the green.
- Number 16 is a long 200 yard, par-3. Best to stay left as there’s water guarding the frontside of the green.
- 18 is the longest hole on the course at 534 yards. Must stay center on your tee shot to avoid trees on the left and the bunker on the right, which is exactly 250 yards from the tee box (I ended up in this). Green is annoyingly guarded by bunkers on just about all sides so must be dead on with your approach.
Shoutout to my caddie, Yvonne, who was funny. After hitting this bomb of a tee shot on the 12th hole, she looks at me and goes, “good shot… you deserve it!” haha
Tried to snag a photo of her after she said that to me but she was shy.
Many thanks to Jack Madrid for bringing us on the course.
Would definitely recommend playing this course if you can. Happy, Sunday all!