Budget Golf anyone?

Homeward bound! View from the 2nd floor of the clubhouse

Hole number 9 with its generous fairways lined by mature acacia trees. Framing it is the Sierra Madre mountains in the background. Truly a sight for sore eyes

I believe that playing golf is not an  expensive sport  if you know how to avoid the wallet bleeding blackholes of the game. When you finally  get started,  equipment can be lent  or even given to you  by golf junkie friends. Golfers buy equipment on an endless stream which leads to clutter in their homes.  Getting rid of a dusty set  after all, is a great relief to most of our golf widows. So when you get a freebie, say thank you and get out of your friend’s house before he changes his mind.

For the beginning duffer, a weekend golf excursion can set you back 5,000 bucks. A premier club can charge P3,500 for the green fee, P700 for the golf cart P500 for the caddy and probably if you are hungry throw another P500 for food.

With golf bag in hand and a swing that produces banana shots, we embark on our quest for a cheap place to play. The missus gave only P1,500 golfing allowance for the month so I have to really get a lot of mileage out of my meager resources.

Someone gave me a book which featured all the available golf courses in this country. If I remember right, its over 100 courses sprinkled all over the country. In that list,

I  remembered a club called Cattle Creek. It was the only course designed by the famous Ben Arda of 60’s and 70’s fame. The famous Bantam Ben comes to mind for I remember him giving me a swing tip in a driving range along Sucat road in Paranaque a long time ago. Never mind if the balls were going left, right or at worse rolling two feet from where I stood. Bantam Ben, with a trained eye told me to flatten my swing and with a Judo move tried to explain it me. The ball did go straight about 6 times but after he left I went back to my comfortable right, left, right left direction.

I tried looking for Cattle Creek Golf Club  using Google Earth.   Finally was able to locate it  in the San Jose, Bulacan area, but the directions to the place was hazy.

You drive up Commonwealth Avenue in QC all the way to SM Fairview. Turn right and drive all the way up to San Jose Del Monte. I made the mistake of turning left into a road that leads to Sta. Maria Bulacan.  Had to backtrack after several frustrating attempt at asking the locals about the the location of the course.

A brick clubhouse with a view! what more can we ask for?

After your game, the Veranda of the clubhouse beckons you to put your feet up and enjoy the cool, gentle and definitely clean mountain breeze. Am in golf heaven

Back to the main road, I drove straight up and finally located it when I found someone working in the club. The key is to ask people where the NAPOCOR area is. An access road beckons when you get there and the guard at the gate will allow you in if you say you are headed to Cattle Creek.

The clubhouse was a two floor, brick affair. Impressive on the outside but monobloc chairs in the rudimentary cafeteria for golfers. The green fee was P1,000 that weekend and the caddy will agree to walk around the course with you for P300.

The setting was fantastic, with mature acacia trees lining the generous fairways. Am in golf heaven indeed! A few hours later, with a smile on my face and a bit of change in my pocket, I finally completed one of the most economical golf excursions ever. Even if I can hit the fairways only once a month, am off to looking for even more reasonable golf courses in the metro area. Enjoy your game! Joe Ferreria

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