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Architect Bob Moore on the renovation:
“Manila Golf is a landlocked golf course sited on a small land area. We did lengthen the golf course slightly, but the land area simply would not allow a significant increase in length. It is truly an “inner-city members’ course”. It does not have the length to accommodate professional tournaments, nor do I believe the members would want to host professional tournaments. It has plenty of length to provide a great challenge to the members.”
“About the specifics of the renovation, we essentially constructed a brand new golf course. We worked very hard to save the historic specimen trees, which are the only preserved element of the original course. Four holes were re-routed. A new irrigation lake was constructed at the lowest point of the site (hole 14) to capture all runoff and storm drainage on the property. The native soil is adobe clay which is one of the poorest draining soils in the world. The course was often closed during the rainy season due to poor drainage. We capped the entire course with 30 cm of sand to create a golf course that can be played year-round. Although the course is primarily a walking course, we added paths to eliminate the wear patterns from maintenance equipment and provide some limited buggy usage. All bridges, rain shelters and tea houses were reconstructed with a consistent design style. Greens were turfed with Sea Isle Supreme paspalum and the remainder of the course was turfed in Salam Paspalum.
The signature hole at 16 is a nice hole, a par three of good length with a forced carry over water. The tee was originally a long runway tee box in the old Trent Jones Senior style. The small lake was located in close proximity to the green but was not visible from the middle or back tees. Because of the length of the hole and the location of the lake, some of the senior and women golfers would play a lay-up from the tee. To improve the hole we staggered the tee boxes from right to left and then reconfigured the lake to open visibility and eliminate the long forced carry from the more forward tees. The green complex was reconstructed with a large bail-out area to the left, a narrow approach on the centerline and a “Sunday pin position” to the back right.”