Clark, Philippines: New Clark City is poised to become one of the region’s prime sports tourism destinations.
With a handful of outstanding golfing facilities to complement an excellent infrastructure, the area is being tipped to become a hotspot for golfing tourists.
“Everything is being put into place to ensure Clark takes off,” said Owen Hester, President of Green Dynasty, the company which has been appointed as construction manager for the redevelopment of all 36 holes at Mimosa Plus Golf Course.
“The plan is to upgrade all facilities and also accommodate a new lifestyle mall and casino as part of an integrated facility,” said Hester, speaking during a golf-focused episode of Candid with Quest.
Hester’s optimism for future tourism prospects of the Philippines in general and Clark in particular was echoed by fellow panellists Eric Lynge, the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Chief Executive Officer, golf writer Mike Besa and Roel Villa, Sales Director, Dynamic Sports Corporation, distributors of Titleist and FootJoy in the Philippines.
The episode was co-hosted by David Ross, Director of Golf, Mimosa Plus Golf Course, and Judy Sarmiento, Director, Sales and Marketing, Quest, Plus Conference Centre, Clark.
Hester, Lynge, Besa and Villa all highlighted the improving accessibility of New Clark City as well as access to a variety of golf courses in the vicinity.
Eighty kilometres from Metro Manila, developments at New Clark City will ease the pressure of population growth in the capital. According to reports, when completed, New Clark City will accommodate more than 1.1 million residents, create 925,000 jobs and account for about 4% of gross domestic product.
Besa said: “I think the Clark area is going to supplant Cavite as the next centre of golf in the country because you have courses that are easily accessible to the public – good golf courses in pretty good condition.
“Combine that with the infrastructure that’s already there – you’ve got an airport, you’ve got a port, you’ve got beaches in that area – and you have everything that a traveller to the Philippines is looking for. So, it could be the next golfing hotspot.”
With that in mind, Ross said Mimosa Plus Golf Course is placing an emphasis on sustainability and upgrading its courses with Nelson & Haworth Golf Course Architects appointed as course designer.
Furthermore, the club, said Ross, will become more guest-friendly with the development of an easy-to-use tee-time booking App.
“We’ve also invested in 115 Club Car golf carts with the GPS system – a first for the Philippines – and a Rain Bird irrigation system which helps save water. So, we’re becoming more sustainable and improving the golf experience for our players,” said Ross.
Based on past research, Lynge said Mimosa Plus Golf Course’s strategy would likely reap handsome dividends.
He said: “In conjunction with golf tour operators, we’ve conducted various surveys related to the preferences of tourist golfers. What we’ve found is that the number one consideration in choosing where they play is not pricing or locker rooms or food and beverage. It’s course conditioning.”
*The Candid with Quest webinar can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bFxNmHDN5g