Golf is one of the most beloved sports of people who want to stay contemplative, cool and not perspire while playing a game. It is perhaps the only sport where players may stroll easily around a field of grass and greenery even while indulging in competition. For golf-enthusiasts in the Philippines, one of the best ways to experience the sport is to go golfing by the beautiful beaches of Puerto Galera at the Ponderosa Golf and Country Club.
The golf club was originally built for golf lovers from all over the country but now even non-golfers visit the place for tourism purposes. Imagine this: a lush and creatively designed golf course on a mountaintop 2,000 ft. above sea level with a view of the entire island of Mindoro and the turquoise South China Sea. It is located halfway up Mount Malasimbo, which itself is also a tourist attraction. Who doesn’t want to play golf against such scenic backdrop? The allure persists for non-golfers, since the Ponderosa Golf and Country Club offers a spectacular view in a relaxing environment. One could just sit down on the abundant greens while looking over Puerto Galera. And when the sky is clear blue, not-so-distant Batangas in Luzon becomes visible across the calm sea.
The golf club also has excellent amenities and facilities that could easily convince non-golfers to try their hand on the sport.
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A challenge to non-expert golfers, however, is the jungle surrounding the course. A wayward golf ball is lost forever inside the lush jungle, just another testament to one more unfortunate swing.
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For golf lovers and enthusiasts, Ponderosa offers world-class equipment, including golf balls and clubs, as well as a caddie and affordable accommodations, for a one-of-a kind golfing experience. Enjoy short golf games at Ponderosa’s par 3, 9-hole golf course. Admission per golfer or visitor costs Php1,400 (about USD32), which includes food and drinks. (Some beach resort packages actually include a tour to the golf course.)
The Ponderosa Golf and Country Club is located south of the famous White Beach. It is not very easy to reach the place but the trip is definitely worth it. From Sabang Beach or La Laguna Beach, take a 30-minute outrigger boat ride to Minolo Bay. From Minolo, there is a jeepney that goes all the way up to the golf course. It is an exhilarating 5-kilometer jeepney ride through winding dirt roads. As you go higher up Mount Malasimbo, the view becomes progressively more spectacular.
The Ponderosa Golf and Country Club is proof that Puerto Galera is not just about the beaches, dive spots and water. There are many other interesting spots to see and challenging activities to do. Other tourist spots include Mount Halcon, Tamarraw Falls, Python Cave, Excavation Museum, and Escarceo Point Lighthouse, to name a few. The fun activities that do not involve water include mountain trekking, jungle trails, biking, and shopping around the main town of Puerto Galera, popularly referred to as Poblacion. The cockfights in Poblacion also pull in hordes of visitors. If your thing is relaxation and indulgence in scenery, though, your best stop while in Puerto Galera is a visit to Ponderosa Golf and Country Club for a magnificent view of the island and sea, if not to play golf.