Ramsey-designed Anvaya Cove course in the Philippines opens for play

Ramsey-designed Anvaya Cove course in the Philippines opens for play
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The Anvaya Cove Golf & Sports Club, home to a new 7,030 yard golf course, has been unveiled on the west coast of the Philippines.

The 18-hole, 7,030-yard course was designed Golfplan partner Kevin Ramsey.

GCA has covered the project, developed by Phillipine real estate company Ayala Land, since plans were announced in February 2011. Ramsey said after the first nine holes had been constructed that the site in Bataan was the best he’d ever worked on and expected the finished eighteen to be a career highlight.

Several holes run directly alongside the beach, while others are located in bluffs up to 30 metres above sea level. Golfers will have to negotiate thick jungle on many holes, while others play along ridges 100 metres above sea level.

Speaking following the course’s opening, Ramsey said: “With that sort of elevation change, there are only a few holes that don’t have an ocean view, but it’s always a thrill to deploy salt water as a legitimate hazard, and we did that multiple times out here at Anvaya Cove.

“Truly great golf courses can exist in a single environment, but I prefer those that play through a diversity of environments,” added Ramsey. “The terrain here – the elevation change, the vegetation and Ayala Land Premier’s overall land-planning acumen – allowed us to create an uninterrupted string of really strong golf holes that play through five distinct environments, never repeat themselves, and never fail to elicit a strong emotional response.”

Ramsey is particularly proud of holes eleven through to thirteen at Anvaya Cove, saying these holes ‘form our own Amen Corner, only this one’s at seaside.’

Hole eleven is a driveable par-four that look out across the Subic Bay, while hole twelve, also a par-four, plays downhill to the beach. Hole thirteen is located on top of a bluff and features a peninsular green that falls off some 30 metres into the ocean, on three sides. Like the recently opened Laguna Lang Co course in Vietnam, Anvaya Cove uses native manila grass (Zoysia matrella) through the green, in the hope of achieving fast and firm conditions.

“From the tips, it’s long and tough enough to challenge tour pros, which is something the client specifically requested – but it’s very playable track from the multiple forward tees we created,” said Ramsey. “At 470 hectares, this is an enormous property. We were given the latitude to provide these golf holes the width they needed. By the same token, the homes here are barely visible from the golf course, which is a welcome anomaly in the golf real estate context.”

“With Anvaya Cove, we saw the opportunity to meet the demand in the Philippine domestic market while also competing effectively in the international second-home market,” said Jose Juan Jugo, head of Ayala Land Premier. “We’ve already welcomed retired expats who’ve chosen to make Anvaya Cove their primary homes. With a golf course of this quality now in place, we anticipate further interest in this sort of investment – from what we see as a global market.”