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Summit Point Golf and Country Club - The world in 18-holes

Few of us consider that golf courses are designed thematically, much like some restaurants. 

In his quest to build something unique at Summit Point Golf and Country Club, the esteemed architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr scoured the world for inspiration. The result is a golf course whose holes are inspired by the great courses from around the world. 

The list of golf courses that inspired the holes at Summit Point is impressive and diverse. At first glance one would think the diversity would be a recipe for mayhem given the inherent differences between the style and topography on which these courses are built.

But that is clearly not the case. The holes at Summit Point have blended seamlessly into a contiguous whole. If the tee markers didn't remind you of the fact that the hole you were on was inspired by another, I doubt that you'd even notice.

Summit Point's fairways are now carabao grass and the tifdwarf on the greens has been overtaken by zoysia but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Embracing native grasses dramatically reduces a golf club's expenses and enhances sustainability. The fairways are well mown and really don't affect play adversely. The green surrounds are mown quite tightly and will demand slightly different technique than playing off Bermuda. The greens roll very well and are deceptively quick and quite difficult to read.

The world 18 concept makes it incredibly difficult to choose a favorite or signature hole. I mean, how can you choose between holes from Augusta National, Pebble Beach, Oakmont, PGA West, Sotogrande or St. Andrews? It's an impossible task. 

The front nine is unusual in that you are confronted with a trio of par threes, fours and fives. The opening corner is beautiful with water in play on all of the first three holes. For my money, the third hole (inspired by the 15th at Spanish Bay) is my favorite of the three. It's a beautiful flowing par five with bunkers guarding the entire left side of the hole and water short and right of the green. It's a beautiful hole that rewards precision over power.

Four through seven represents the most difficult stretch of the front side. But eight and nine provide a measure of consolation with realistic chances to score.

The two holes inspired by Augusta National (12 and 13) are two of the most dangerous on the golf course. 12 (11 of Augusta National) is a medium length par four that plays dead into the prevailing wind. You need to play to the right half of the fairway to get a good angle to the green. Once on the dancefloor, the green has a number of undulations that make putting a very difficult proposition.

13 (number 12 at Augusta) is a medium length par three with water guarding the front and right side of the green. The wind comes out of the left making control of the tee shot vital. Miss it and you're looking at a big number on the card.

The par fives at Summit Point are the course's strength. The most perplexing of the lot is the sixteenth which draws inspiration from the 14th at St. Andrews. While St. Andrews is as flat as a pancake, it's ironic that the 16th at Summit Point sits on one of the most undulating parts of the golf course. Every shot here is challenged by bunkers. In true links fashion, the second shot is a blind one; you'll need to pick a target out in the distance and pray you hit a good shot. The green is no picnic either; it has a massive slope to it. It's imperative to keep the ball below the hole here.

The finishing holes on both nines circle a lake fronting the beautiful French colonial clubhouse. It's quite a sight and brings regret that the round has come to an end. Summit Point Golf and Country Club is unique in the landscape of Philippine golf and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a round of golf in the province of Batangas.