Dakak, international golfing destination

THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

It will be a one-of-a-kind golf course when completed, with seven holes of the front nine facing the sea. The layout is almost completely empty of man-made structures. It is in a secure, enclosed, private resort. It is in a historic place. It is hours away from any other golf course. Most importantly, it is only 20 minutes away from Dipolog airport. And it is opening very soon.

Dakak golf course, inside the sprawling, largely untouched resort of the same name, has had its front nine in play for three years. On Nov. 24, the other half of the course will be inaugurated with the Chairman’s Cup, in honor of former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos, whose vision started this project five years ago.

“Construction process on our ‘Ocean 9’ is now reduced to shaping and grass turfing on three fairways with cart path development and landscaping on-going and scheduled to be mostly completed by the end of September,” reveals Dakak Golf president Rick Gibson.

“The Habagat seasonal winds have brought welcome rain showers to assist the grow-in of our newly planted tees, fairways and greens, and a newly adjusted maintenance program has greatly improved the condition and playability of the greens on our now in play ‘Hillside 9.’”

The initial design came from the mind of golf legend Greg Norman, with modifications made along the way to maximize the natural features of the area. Paths and earth bridges to connect islets for challenging greens were created. The grass for the fairways was grown nearby. And of course, training for employed locals was continuous.

“The transition of our umbrella girls into fully trained caddies is on-going, with the additional benefit of many of our young ladies becoming respectable golfers as well,” adds Gibson, himself an Asian Tour winner. “Competition on-course within the staff is becoming fierce, while revealing talents otherwise hidden before the introduction of golf at Dakak only a few short years ago.”

As the course nears completion, the Dakak Golf Club Monthly Medal tournament started in July, with second edition happening on Aug. 18. The champion of each Monthly Medal receives free entry into the Chairman’s Cup. Dipolog City Golf Association also enjoys its Monthly Medal event at Dakak Golf Club, as many groups from across the country and outside it show more and more interest, as less and less remains to be done.

Dakak Golf Academy design has been completed by John Cope of Cope Design Group, and the site is merely awaiting further fill materials before shaping, drainage, irrigation and grassing are completed before the end of 2019. The design also includes options to play either a three-hole practice course, or a nine-hole par 3 course, along with covered hitting bays for driving range practice and a short game practice area. And the area will have lights to allow play and practice at night, a feature rarely found in the Philippines. 

Dakak Resort has package tours including meals and stays at the various beachside and lakeside casitas. World-class amenities in all the spacious rooms guarantee families can stay together and relax. Barkadahan packages allow groups of friends to enjoy special rates, as well. 

This early, international golf organizations have already inquired about holding tournaments at Dakak Golf when it is fully operational. If all goes as planned, it will quickly become an international golfing destination within the next few years.

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