Below is the list of the top 10 toughest golf courses in the Philippines. These courses are renowned for their challenging layouts, intricate hazards, and unforgiving terrains that test golfers’ skills, precision, and strategic prowess. It’s worth noting that this list is subjective and based on various factors such as course difficulty, ratings, and reviews. Nonetheless, golfers looking for an exciting and challenging experience can look to these courses for an unforgettable round of golf.
Toughest Golf Courses in the Philippines
1. The Country Club (TCC)
The Country Club (TCC) in Tagaytay City, Cavite is considered one of the most challenging golf courses in the Philippines. The course, designed by the renowned golf course architect, Tom Weiskopf, features a hilly terrain with tight fairways and numerous bunkers that make it difficult to navigate. The strong winds that blow across the course also pose an additional challenge for golfers.
One of the most demanding holes in the course is par-3 Hole 12, which requires golfers to tee off from an elevated platform and hit the ball onto a green surrounded by bunkers and a water hazard. This is just one of the many obstacles that make playing at TCC a test of one’s skill and accuracy.
TCC’s greens are also among the most challenging golf courses in the Philippines. The greens are known for their undulating slopes and fast speeds, which can make putting a difficult task, even for experienced golfers. Furthermore, the course’s strategic placement of trees and water hazards adds an additional layer of difficulty that requires golfers to carefully plan their shots.
2. Apo Golf and Country Club
Apo Golf and Country Club located in Davao City is also a challenging golf course. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course features a variety of bunkers, water hazards, and elevation changes that make it a true test for even the most professional golfers. The narrow fairways and small greens, combined with the unpredictable winds, further add to the difficulty of the course. Apo Golf and Country Club has hosted numerous national and international golf tournaments, which attests to the level of difficulty of the course. Golfers playing at this club can expect a challenging and exciting round of golf that requires careful planning, strategic shots, and precise execution.
3. Sherwood Hills Golf Club
Sherwood Hills Golf Club stands out as a premier golf destination in the Philippines, located in the historic capital city of Trece Martires. It earned recognition in 2008, ranking 85th among the top 100 golf courses outside the United States, and was highlighted again in 2012 on the “Rolex World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses” list.
This prestigious course, crafted by the renowned American golfer Jack Nicklaus, features expansive greens and broad fairways, complemented by strategic water hazards and numerous bunkers, enhancing the challenge and appeal. The use of dense cogon grass throughout the course elevates the difficulty level, demanding precision and skill from players.
Each hole at Sherwood Hills offers a unique experience, ensuring a diverse and engaging round of golf. The course’s most challenging hole is the ninth, requiring a strategic approach to navigate water hazards and bunkers successfully. Meanwhile, the signature 16th hole, a 192-yard, par-3 challenge, ascends to a green bordered by bunkers, creating a memorable and testing play.
Located just under two hours from Manila, Sherwood Hills Golf Club serves as an excellent retreat for weekend golfers. It also provides facilities for hosting various events, including meetings, weddings, and parties, available through prior booking. The club maintains exclusivity, with access granted only to members or through arrangements for a golf tour or tee time.
4. Riviera Golf and Country Club
The Riviera Golf Club, particularly its Langer Course, is recognized as a standout golfing destination in Manila, Philippines, offering top-tier golfing challenges set against the backdrop of a stunning landscape. This course gained fame as the battleground for renowned golfers Frankie Minoza and Edward Michaels during The Philippine Open tournaments of 1998 and 2004.
With its fairways slightly more expansive than those of the sister Couples Course, the Langer Course is distinguished by its narrow landing zones that create deceptive visual challenges, making it more suited to experienced players than novices.
The course’s rigor is evident from the outset, beginning with a first hole characterized by a slender fairway, an obstructive tree, and multiple hazards on the left, setting a high bar for courage and skill. The second hole introduces additional elements like persistent winds, strategic bunkers, and doglegs, while the fifth hole demands a robust long iron due to its length and uphill nature.
The course’s sixteenth hole, extending 577 yards, is particularly memorable for its location in the most picturesque section of the course, combining beauty with a challenging layout featuring doglegs and a double green. The seventeenth hole, renowned as the course’s hallmark, poses a formidable challenge with its steeply descending fairway, particularly testing for beginners.
Beyond the golfing challenge, Riviera Golf Club – Langer Course offers visitors the opportunity to revel in the scenic beauty enveloping the course, with the fresh, crisp air and sweeping views of the Silang hills, enhancing the overall golfing experience.
5. Luisita Golf and Country Club
Located in Tarlac City, Luisita Golf and Country Club is one of the most challenging golf courses in the Philippines. The course, designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, features narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that require golfers to use strategic planning, skillful shot execution, and accuracy to navigate the course.
One of the most difficult holes at Luisita Golf and Country Club is Hole 18, a par 5 that requires golfers to navigate around a water hazard and hit the ball onto a narrow fairway surrounded by bunkers. Golfers then have to navigate through a dogleg to reach the green, which is also protected by bunkers on both sides. The hole requires a combination of power and precision, making it a difficult challenge even for experienced golfers.
The course’s undulating greens add an additional layer of difficulty that requires golfers to have excellent putting skills. The greens are known to be fast and challenging, with multiple slopes and undulations that make it difficult to read the breaks and plan the putt.
6. Canlubang Golf and Country Club
Canlubang Golf and Country Club, located in Laguna, Philippines, is a well-known and respected course for professional golfers during their Philippines golf tours. The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., features 36 holes divided into two championship courses, the North and South courses, each offering unique challenges.
The North course is known for its tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that require a high level of accuracy to score well. The South course, on the other hand, is more open and features wider fairways, but still offers challenging water hazards and well-placed bunkers that require precision and accuracy to navigate.
Canlubang Golf and Country Club has hosted numerous national and international golf tournaments, including the Philippine Open, which attests to its suitability for professional golfers. The club’s practice facilities, including a driving range and putting greens, are also top-notch, providing ample opportunities for professionals to hone their skills.
7. Orchard Golf and Country Club
Orchard Golf and Country Club features narrow fairways that are lined with trees, requiring golfers to hit the ball with precision and accuracy. The greens are fast and undulating, and the bunkers are strategically placed, making it difficult for golfers to score well. The course also features water hazards that require strategic planning and careful execution to avoid.
What makes it one of the toughest golf courses in the Philippines is Hole 11, a par-4 that requires golfers to hit the ball over a water hazard to reach the green. The green is also protected by multiple bunkers, making it a challenging hole for even the most experienced golfers.
8. Summit Point Golf and Residential Estate
Renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. masterfully crafted this course, incorporating elements from 18 iconic golf holes around the world, including those from St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Augusta National, and Cypress Point.
Located in the temperate region of Lipa City, Summit Point offers an inviting climate throughout the year. The course affords players the unique opportunity to take in the stunning vistas of the Mt. Malarayat Mountain Range. It is a place where the soothing sounds of bamboo trees rustling in the breeze can be experienced, providing an idyllic backdrop for golfers. The club’s well-maintained gardens, refreshing air, and spectacular landscapes ensure a delightful visit for all. In addition to golfing, the club offers a range of amenities such as a driving range, swimming pool, restaurant, locker rooms, and a lounge area.
Being a private establishment, Summit Point Golf and Country Club requires that guests be accompanied by a member to access the course. Alternatively, arrangements for play can be made through GolfLux, facilitating entry for those eager to experience this exceptional golfing venue.
9. Sta. Elena Golf and Country Club
Sta. Elena Golf and Country Club, located in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, is a challenging golf course that offers a tough but enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., known for his world-class golf course designs, and features narrow fairways, well-placed bunkers, and water hazards that require strategic planning and precise shot execution.
One of the most challenging holes at Sta. Elena is Hole 8, a par-4 that requires golfers to hit their drives over a water hazard to reach the fairway. The approach shot to the green is also challenging, with bunkers and water hazards that require careful planning and execution to score well. The course’s signature hole is Hole 16, a par-5 that requires golfers to hit a long drive to reach the fairway, which is lined with trees on both sides, making it challenging to stay on the fairway. Its greens are also a significant challenge for golfers, as they are fast and undulating, requiring golfers to have a deft touch and a keen eye to read the breaks and slopes.
10. Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club
Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, located in Carmona, Cavite, is a championship golf course that is known for its challenging golf hazards. The course was designed by the renowned golf course architect, Jack Nicklaus, and features narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that require precise shot execution and strategic planning.
One of the most challenging holes at Manila Southwoods is Hole 17, a par-4 that requires golfers to hit their drives over a water hazard and onto a narrow fairway. The approach shot to the green is also challenging, with bunkers and water hazards that require precise shot placement and execution, making this course one of the most challenging golf courses in the Philippines.
Philippines Golf Tournaments & Events
The Philippines is a popular destination for golf enthusiasts, with numerous golf events and tournaments taking place throughout the year. The Philippine Golf Tour is a professional golf tour featuring the country’s top golfers, with several events taking place annually. Another prominent event is the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions, which has been hosted in the Philippines in the past.
The country also hosts the Philippine Open, which is the oldest golf tournament in Asia, and the Philippine Amateur Open, which attracts top amateur golfers from around the world. In addition to these events, there are several charity golf tournaments and corporate golf events organized in this country every year, providing an opportunity for golfers to give back to the community and network with other golf enthusiasts.
Overall, this country offers a vibrant and active golfing scene, with a variety of the toughest golf courses in the Philippines. Interested in a golf holiday in the Philippines, you can check out our best Philippines golf tours or contact us for a tailor-made golf holiday.