Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club – Golf Meets the Mountains and the Sea
By Mike Besa – FEBRUARY 23, 20170249


Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club is the Ayala Land Premier’s first foray into the leisure market and they’ve hit it out of the park.

Situated on 470 hectares of prime real estate where the mountains meet the sea in Morong, Bataan just outside of Subic Bay, Anvaya Cove combines an upscale leisure lifestyle with an ecologically sustainable philosophy. In the face of our vanishing ecosystem, this is an admirable goal indeed.

Driving around the property, one immediately notices that in spite of the development of houses, apartments and condominiums, remarkably few trees have been felled in the process. A strict building code is in effect that mandates that all structures use materials endemic to the area if possible and leave at least a third of their lot area open and undeveloped. Walls and fences are frowned upon here and if one feels the need for even more privacy then a green wall of trees or shrubbery is the way to go.

This philosophy extends to the golf course as well.

I had the pleasure of playing the course with Kevin Ramsey, Vice President of Golf Plan, Inc. and the architect behind the design and construction of the golf course. I gained a unique perspective of his work and the dedication of Ayala Land Premier to upholding their philosophy of keeping the development ecologically sustainable.

Ayala set out to build a world class golf course. To this end they devoted some of the best real estate on the property to the course. Kevin relayed that such a move is rare indeed. In fact, Anvaya is the only property that he’s worked on that has done this and he’s worked on some 200 golf courses in 70 different countries. The results are nothing short of spectacular.

The front nine meanders around the heart of the hills, offering glimpses of the ocean here and there. The back nine is far more dramatic and reveals the ocean in all its glory on holes 11 through 13. This mountains and the ocean setting is matched by only one other golf course in the country and that course is currently unplayable as it sits.

Keeping with the theme of sustainability, the fairways of Anvaya Cove have been planted with Zoysia or Philippine Bermuda. Since zoysia is an endemic species, this means that fertilizer and weed killers will be kept at a minimum, negating impact on the environment and keeping maintenance costs to a minimum. The trade was that zoysia takes longer to grow in but that’s a small price to pay for the benefits it brings. The bonus is that because zoysia is naturally lush, the ball sits up nicely on the fairways adding greatly to the golfing experience.

Putting is a key component of the golfing experience and a miniature Bermuda grass called mini verde was used on the greens. The grass is a relative of tiftdwarf and tifeagle and putts very, very nicely. The greens were rolling fast and very true with remarkably little grain in them. They were not particularly receptive to the approach shot but this will change as the greens mature and the root system deepens.

A minimum number of trees were removed to build the golf course and now that the course has opened the removal of a single tree now requires a discussion of the board en banc. That’s what I call commitment to the the original design concept. The net result is a new course that looks and feels like it’s been there forever.

The golf course, at just a hair over 7,000 yards from the tips is relatively short by today’s standards but that doesn’t mean that it is not without its challenges. This is a golf course that will tempt and beguile you. It will ask you to hit some very interesting shots and demand accuracy to put yourself in scoring position.

I have long been a fan of the short par four and Anvaya Cove seems to have more than its fair share of them. I remember 5 distinctly because of the demands it makes of the tee shot. The tee shots on 11 through 13 are stunning and care must be taken not become too distracted by the stunning vistas. 2 and 10 are fun par fives which are reachable in two given a well struck tee shot. The 600-yard 15 is a beast; the 1-handicap and a par 6 for most that will trod its fairway. It is a double dogleg that requires accuracy and length to make par. 18 is a beautiful finishing hole but beware the green; it has far more undulation that it would seem from the fairway.

My time on Anvaya Coves fairways came to an end far too quickly. I can’t wait to go back and play it again.