Golf In Subic Bay - Bring Your Big Wallet!

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Posted

When I first moved here in 2013, Subic Bay Golf Course, the old U.S. Navy course, was open and playable, but rundown.  Most of the facilities appeared to be from the Navy days, and the course looked very dry and beat up.  I have no idea what it cost to golf back then.  I brought my clubs with me but they have been gathering dust for years, before and after the move.  I thought I might take it up again during retirement.

So the course was then leased to a new investor.  They made some improvements to the course for a while and made some cosmetic improvements.  After a year or two, the infamous signs appeared "Under SBMA Control".  That basically means they have foreclosed on the lessee for non-payment.

A year or two ago, they found a new, big money investor.  I suspect the money is from Taiwan but I can't be sure.  A complete renovation was started and the place was re-built from the ground up.  Everything was bulldozed and there was probably some re-design of the layout.  New  fairways, greens, water hazards, CRs, etc., and a brand new clubhouse and driving range was built.

So the have a soft opening on Dec. 1, I think.  There is still a lot of work ongoing but I guess the clubhouse is finished and the course is playable.  The course does look very nice with brand new fairway grass, greens and bright white sand traps.  Now they are building a brand new concrete perimeter wall to keep it all hidden from view.

I read an article about the course opening and there was a link to their FB page, where they had their "promo" rates.  p5000 weekday, p5500 weekend, which includes cart and caddie.  That seemed ridiculous to me.  Golf used to be really cheap in the Philippines and these prices are much higher than many really nice courses in the U.S.  I'm not sure who their market is, but it sure isn't many locals.  There is a big Korean golfing community here and I can't imagine they are going to be thrilled at those prices.

I looked at some golf prices around.  In Manila there are some private clubs for more, and for less.  I was surprised to find that Anvaya Cove, the very fancy resort I wrote about before, has really nice rates for Philippines residents and friends of members.  If you are a non-resident foreigner, it will cost p8000 weekdays.  However, if you are Filipino or a permanent resident, you can golf for p2400 + p500 for cart.  If you golf with a member, it is only p1800 + p500 for a cart.

Only time will tell if this new course will be a winning business model.  I'm not seeing it.  Thoughts?

Now, a side topic.  One of our local Kalayaan residents just posted this in our neighborhood FB group:

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Almost appears that if you golf, you get a date!

Ironically, when I used to drive by the old driving range, there were a lot of lady golfers practicing.  As I said, there is a big Korean golf presence, and many Korean ladies golf.

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Posted

I've just been looking at the courses in Manila, decent ones charge about the same as that, cheapest seems to be around 2k pesos. I used to pay 3500 pesos per month in the UK, that allowed you to play anytime at 1 course and off peak at about another 10 courses in the area.

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4 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

Screenshot (370).png

Almost appears that if you golf, you get a date!

Ironically, when I used to drive by the old driving range, there were a lot of lady golfers practicing.  As I said, there is a big Korean golf presence, and many Korean ladies golf.

I can remember golfing at the old Binictican golf course.  I bought 2 brand new balls -- the first was sliced deep into the jungle and the 2nd and last ball was stolen by those damn monkeys.  Probably the same family stealing your side view mirrors.....he, he.  

It didn't matter, I was too drunk and having too much fun laughing at myself.  By the way, I am severely handicapped....so am I allowed all 3 of those caddies?  

 

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Posted
18 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

Only time will tell if this new course will be a winning business model.  I'm not seeing it.  Thoughts?

Myself and 3 shipmates played this course around 1978 or so. Only one of us had ever played golf before so it was a pretty much fiasco from start to finish. There was a go kart track right next to the course so that's where we went next. Crazy but fun. Then , of course we all went out of the gate, crossed shit river and went bar hopping.:cheers: 

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Your cost estimates are about right for Filipino golf courses. Many of the "better" private courses will charge 5000 peso for a round if you're a tourist. Locals and non-tourist foreigners can get better prices and there are ways to get guest rates on some courses on specific days. Some courses are cheaper but not always by much.

It's another example of the Philippines over-pricing itself. They should be making hay with golf tourism, particularly at this time of year when the South Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese are too cold to golf. To be fair here in Cebu we do get quite a lot of them but it should be another big tourist opportunity if properly priced and marketed.

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53 minutes ago, JDDavao said:

I wonder how much it is to have your balls washed?

Might depend on how dirty and smelly they are?:Caught:

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14 hours ago, Jake said:

I bought 2 brand new balls

Jake, that is the great thing about this new course!  You never need new balls!  As JD said, you can have your old ones washed as part of the deal!  :hystery:

BTW, my neighbor across the street needs a new set of balls, due to cancer.  Where did you get yours?  :shock_40_anim_gif:

(sorry, bad joke!)

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The sh*t continues to hit the proverbial fan!  They HAD a catalog published and you could pick your caddie by picture and number.  Probably make a reservation too!  I wonder if the caddie rental was by the hour or by the day?  Is there a bar fine?  The article I posted below also tell how the "caddies" are all fresh out of school without golf experience, and they all went to "training" for a few months.  Maybe it was Geisha training in Japan?

This is not sitting well with our ladies and the SBMA chair"man" is a lady!

Screenshot (372).png  Screenshot (374).png

Here is a new Business Mirror article.  Japanese money, not Taiwanese.  The promo rates I quoted are for only the finished holes!  There are still more to be finished.  The proposed rates when fully opened are p10,000 weekends and p8,000 weekedays!

https://businessmirror.com.ph/subic-international-golf-club-our-next-world-class-golf-destination/?fbclid=IwAR3zETVTQJxJmeIsRNdT3sLF3XZMBxwRdZsiSDQhqb7ILvYeK-_qV6J-7U0

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Posted
11 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

The proposed rates when fully opened are p10,000 weekends and p8,000 weekedays!

Does it say what the "golf fine" would be if you wanted to take the caddie home? :whistling:

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