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Sta. Elena Golf Club
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Design Style: Parkland Course Type: Private
Setting: Inland Tropical

Built in sugar cane fields south of Manila, Santa Elena Golf Club was named for a member of the Yulo family, who owned the original hacienda on the property. The number one social club in the Philippines, this 27-hole facility also boasts the country's finest greens. Robert Trent Jones II helped Sta. Elena become the first course in the country to use dwarf Bermuda grass (Tiff Eagle) on its greens, and that has since become the local standard.

Our main challenge in building the golf course was to route and construct the holes among a series of large arroyos 60 or 70 feet deep that cross the property. We integrated a number of the arroyos as dramatic features of the golf course so that many holes run alongside or play across these hazards. In a few instances we were forced to lay drainage pipe in the arroyos and fill them in to make the golf course work on the rugged terrain.

The course plays through thick vegetation amid feathery bunkering that displays gentle, graceful curves. The open, linksy layout features a lot of wind, which Robert Trent Jones, Jr. refers to as "the unseen enemy." RTJ II left the course open so that the wind would remain a factor and because the tropical vegetation grows so quickly. With ample hazards and impressive length (often matched by width that allows for occasional spraying of the ball) Sta. Elena proffers many playing challenges­-such as at the par three seventeenth, where the green hangs between the edge of a baranca and classic Jones style bunkering.


Sta. Elena Golf Club Awards
    • Golf Digest—Top 100 Course Outside the US
    • Golf Digest—#1 Course in the Philippines
    • Golf Magazine Asia—#1 Course in the Philippines
    • Asian Golf Monthly Readers’ Choice Award—#1 Course in the Philippines
    • Asian Golf Monthly Readers’ Choice Award—#3 Course in Asia
    • Asian Golf Monthly Readers’ Choice Award—#3 Best Maintained Course in Asia
    • Site of World Amateur Team Championships
    • Audubon International Certified Cooperative Sanctuary Course