More Fun in the Philippines

The moat that once secured Intramuros, the Walled City of Manila, from the onslaught of rebellion by the Filipinos against the Spanish colonial administrators has now become a golf course. Still a symbol of the deep divides in Philippine society, the golf course is nonetheless among the top golf destinations in the Asia-Pacific. With over a hundred golf courses in the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, the country has become an increasingly important hub in the global golfing map.

Golf was first played in the Philippines in 1886 by British expats employed by the Manila Railway Company. By 1901, the three-way golf course had given way to a nine-hole course beside the railway station. This gave birth to the Manila Golf Club — and the Philippine Open, the oldest national golf championship in Asia.

The story goes that the first Filipino who won the Philippine Open, Larry Montes, in 1929, was asked to vacate his seat at the awards dinner because of a club rule stipulating that caddies could not enter the clubhouse. This led to the founding of another golf course, the Wack Wack Gold & Country Club, which welcomed all golfers.