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Remembering the Makati Golf Club Driving Range

MAKATI, Philippines - It seemed like a long time ago that we were toting our clubs to this place along Malugay Street in Makati known as the Makati Golf Club.  It wasn't really a club in the sense that you owned shares to it.  Think of it more as a health club, only skewed towards golf.

It was a wonderful concept which unfortunately could not see eye to eye with its economic viability.  The property was actually owned by Insular Life and leased from them by a group of Koreans.

We remember the time when there was a spa at the ground floor, a music bar called the 7th Note, a North Park branch restaurant, golf shops on the second floor along with the lower level of the driving range.  The second floor also had a gym where members could work-out, and of course, male and female locker rooms.

On the third floor, there was the upper level of the driving range along with other golf shops which included Pacsports and Golf Depot.  Yet, the highlight of them all would be the club makers.  Yes, there was Jake Ong's shop.  Golfworks was also there in the early days.

On the top floor were the business offices.  Even the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines and the Federation of Golf Clubs Philippines found its address there.

Sadly, after a few years of being a central hub for golf and business in Makati, things just slipped into decline obviously related to the financial side of things.

I look back to fifteen years ago (yes, it's been that long!), and see that it could have been a concept just a little bit ahead of its time and just lacking a bit more of marketing pizzazz. For in just a few more years, the concept of Top Golf - a full complex of golf, plus bar, plus pool, plus fun, boomed in the USA!

Top Golf Las Vegas, 11 years after the photo above in Makati Golf.

Though there's no turning back the hands of time, I look back to time when my kids were still young and picked up the sport through coaches like Jun Cedo and Andre Casimiro.  This is where they first learned to swing a club.

Time has gone by and the property was finally sold to a condo developer.  The iconic nets of Makati Golf have long been removed and it is here that we realize what we are actually missing in the heart of Makati - a golf and leisure complex in the Central Business District, given that the closest driving ranges are in Fort Bonifacio and Villamor.

Well, maybe in the future, another visionary will put it together.  Who knows, this article could just be the seed of an idea for someone reading it.

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