Playing golf in Philippines does not mean staying in Manila and you should explore other regions of the country. It is easy to travel between the cities in the mid and northern regions of Luzon Island. You will find many direct flights between Manila Ninoy Aquino and Luzon Clark International, the gateway to Baguio City.
Once in Baguio City, you will be well placed to enjoy a round of golf at Camp John Hay Golf Club. This golf club was named after former U.S. Secretary John Hay when it was established back in 1905. The golf course has a long history and is one of the oldest in the country.
However, it has been well-maintained and upgraded over the years, mainly thanks to Jack Nicklaus, who has been very active in Philippines. The legendary American golfer got to work in 1999 and redesigned the golf course to make it one of the best conditioned, not only in Baguio but the whole of Philippines.
As one would expect from a Nicklaus design, you will find water hazards. However, it is the bunkering which takes much of the credit at Camp John Hay Golf Club and you will be challenged by the numerous sand traps around the course. Each of the 18 greens are well-protected, with some of the bunkers very large and if you manage to get around the course without landing in a bunker, you will have done a great job.
The 6th is arguably the pick of the pick of the holes at Camp John Hay Golf Club and is a great example of the bunkering. A uniquely designed bunker is strategically placed and very difficult to avoid when trying to find the putting surface.
The pine trees and elevation make Camp John Hay Golf Club one of the most pleasant golfing experiences in Philippines. The cool air makes playing a round of golf a treat but be prepared for many changes in elevation, which players consider to be the major test on this golf course. Uphill and downhill holes provide plenty of variety and good club selection is key if you want to score low.
A golf cart is recommended and you are rewarded with some tremendous views on the more elevated holes on the course.
The rustic style clubhouse is lovely and the food in the restaurant has received many good reviews. There is also a driving range, accommodation, walking trails and horse riding among the other activities and facilities available. This makes Camp John Hay Golf Club a great place not only to play golf but to spend additional time away from the course.