So what can you do in Angeles during the day? There has to be more to Angeles than just bar hopping and drinking?
These are the type of comments I hear nearly everyday so I thought I would supply an answer. Here is one alternative to endless bar hopping and drinking, yes you guessed it, a game of good old golf.
Wether you play golf or not this is a truly fun activity and there are of course unique aspects to playing golf in the Philippines.
Since we were heading out to the base we decided to meet at the Clarkton Hotel a well known landmark.
We were planning to play on the base at the 9 hole Airforce golf course so it was up to the Friendship gate then left and follow the road up to the next set of traffic lights. At the traffic lights turn right and follow the road then its the first turn on your left. Follow this road through the airforce compound and you arrive at the golf course.
This is only a nine hole golf course and it has certainly seen better days however for part time golfers who are more like slash and hack merchants such as myself and Shagger it is the perfect venue.
They have a small club house where people meet prior to teeing off.
They have clubs and balls for rent and at very decent prices.
Initially we were told there were no golf clubs and no golf buggies but after 15 minutes the golf clubs miracuosly appeared and we were good to go.
They also have golf buggies for rent or at least they used to and as you can see by the picture their golf buggies have seen better days.
Perhaps the most fun thing about playing golf in the Philippines is that there is always a nice looking caddy ready to accompany you around the course.
It’s a bit hard to play golf without golf balls so we called over one of the local vendors and bought a dozen balls for 100 peso. Obviously at this price these are not new balls but there is a bunch of guys who hang around the golf course and everyday you can see them searching through the undergrowth and water traps finding balls to resell.
First to tee off was Shagger and I have to say he looked a bit tentative as he lined up the ball with his 3 wood. Seeing how uncomfy he was I asked have you ever played golf before and he replied what I do doesn’t rate as playing golf.
Shagger took 2 swings at the ball but eventually connected and then it was time for a stroll down the fairway with no nose Ronalie negotiating the bumps in her high heels whilst trying to take photographs.
After a while no nose got tired of following us around and decided to try her luck on the green. With putter firmly in hand, Shagger carrying the high heels and a little advice from the caddy she lined up the ball like a true professional.
Now Bodo lives in PNG and actually plays golf quite a bit. I think his handicap is 13 and I can’t figure out why he wants to play with hackers like myself and Shagger apart from a genuine love of the game.
As you can see from the pictures the course was brown and dry. When we commented on the lack of watering my caddy looked at me somewhat disdainfully and replied “Mr. Martin this is not a golf course this is a desert”.
Funnily enough after we mentioned the watering it began to drizzle and Bodo was found underneath the umbrella with his caddy.
The course runs adjacent to the old army barracks which are still very much in use for housing the current generation of Philippine soldiers.
The course has a number of obstacles including large ditches which are spanned by wooden bridges. These bridges proved a bit of a problem for Ronalie in her high heels.
There are still remnants of the American troop days but of course many of the facilities created by them have gone to ruin through lack of maintenance.
The course has several areas of roughage and the way Shagger and I played we seemed to be spending more time in the rough than on the fairway. In fact I thought Shagger was more like an intrepid explorer than a golfer.
Half way through it was time for a drink at the local canteen. This having to walk around the golf course was thirsty work.
Bodo didn’t bring his golf gloves so he had to make do with tissue paper borrowed form the canteen.
At times Shagger resembelded a true professional and he is now waiting a call from Tiger Woods inviting him to join the professional circuit.
By the time we reached the last fairway we were about ready for a nice cold drink and a sit down in the clubhouse.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity we hit the club house and relaxed with some nice cold drinks.
Having been dragged around the course in her high heels Ronalie was seriously unimpressed and had no hesitation in expressing her feelings to the men folk.
The caddys lined up for a final photo shoot and it was all smiles as they waved us goodbye.
To hire the clubs, buy the balls, pay the course fees and tip the caddy it cost us about 1500 peso each which is a very decent price for an entertaining nine holes.
If you are a golf enthusiast or if you are just looking for something different playing 9 holes here makes a refreshing break from the regular routine of bar hopping and drinking.
The caddys are actually quite good players themselves and will always offer advice and helpful hints as you play the course.
This is a fun day and a refreshing break from the normal mongering routine.