Wack Wack Golf & Country Club (East Course)

Course Data
Location Manila, Philippines
Yardage 7222 yards Par 72
Course Rating 75.2
Playing Date 23 Oct. 2018
Desingner Jim Black
Opened 1931
Caddy Yes
Golf Cart Yes (Can be driven on fairways)
Overall Rating
Course Layout
Difficulty Level
Greens Conditions
Fairways Conditions
Landscaping & Views
Satisfaction Level

The East Course at Wack Wack Golf Club is an old, classic course with each hole being separated by trees on a flat terrain. The club have two courses, East and West. The East is a true championship course while the younger West, built in 2008, is a user-friendly IMG design. The course name Wack Wack derives from the squawk of the large black crows, used to inhabit the land, locally known as “Uwak-Uwak”. The East is one of the premier golf courses in the Philippines and The Philippine Open has been held here as much as 33 times from 1956 to 2014. it staged the 1977 World Cup, too.

signature 8th hole

6th hole and high-rise buildings

13th green

The course has a vast layout whose challenge lies in elevated, small and often severely sloped greens, water hazards, and lengthy fairways flankered by mature trees. The fairways are nicely cut but they are Carabao grass, natural Philippines grass, which occasionally cause the iron heads to be stuck in the roots of the grass, and give players extra challenges compared to different fairway grass like Bermuda. The course has a major renovation for the last one decade and added some 200 additional yards now to an over 7,200-yard-long course by adding and reposition some of teeing boxes, notably Hole 8, 10 and 12. It has repositioned many of fairways bunkers that used be easily carried, and make them come into play. Two water hole 7 &16 has changed to look more natural. Now the greens are faster with good rolling, and the greenside bunkers get larger & deeper. Overall, the East course has improved a lot and has become much tougher.

Played in January 2005 (old version)

Hole 1 Par 4 422 yards

Hole 1 Par 4 422 yards (2)

Hole 1 Par 4 422 yards (1)
A gently downhill and slight dogleg to the left. If your tee shot curves to the left too much, a pond will catch it or trees in front will disturb your second shot and make it impossible to aim for the green. The bunkers on both sides of the sloping green come into play. The hole has a large mango tree.
Hole 5 Par 5 586 yards

An almost straight, long and difficult par five. The tee shot is over a creek, and three bunkers on the right side come into play and narrow the landing area. There is a ditch on the second shot, and the accurate shot is required. From around 70 yards to the green, the fairway turns slightly to the left. The green is elevated and guarded by two bunkers.


Hole 5 Par 5 586 yards (3)

Hole 5 Par 5 586 yards (2)

Hole 5 Par 5 586 yards (1)
Hole 7 Par 4 348 yards

Hole 7 Par 4 348 yards (2)

Hole 7 Par 4 348 yards (1)
An almost straight and short par four. At first glance, it looks easy, but this hole is demanding. The further your tee shot flies, the bigger trouble you will face. A pond 230 yards off the tee squeezes the narrow fairway on the left. If you hit to the right to avoid the pond, your ball will perhaps be in trees, making it difficult to aim for the green on the next shot. The green is swung to the left, facing the pond in the front and a bunker on the left. When you successfully place the tee shot on the fairway, the approach shot over the pond is easy.
Hole 8 Par 3 191 yards

Hole 8 Par 3 191 yards (2)

Hole 8 Par 3 191 yards (1)
A signature hole with an elevated green more than 5 meters high. The trees have squeezed the of opportunities off the tee. The green is an inverted saucer, and is narrow & deep and slants from the back to the front, so putting is demanding, too. If your shot doesn’t bite, it will likely roll down to the one of 6 bunkers guarding the green. Needless to say, an accurate shot is required on this hole.
Hole 9 Par 4 435 yards

Hole 9 Par 4 435 yards (2)

Hole 9 Par 4 435 yards (1)
An almost straight, and a tough par four. The tee shot is gently downhill, and the approach shot is uphill. The creek is running 300 yards from the tee, and since it is downhill, it is caught by the creek with a 270-yard drive. A large bunker in front of the green is in play. The green has an interesting inverted "U" shape, and the green surface is flat and easy.
Hole 11 Par 4 373 yards

Hole 11 Par 4 373 yards (2)

Hole 11 Par 4 373 yards (1)
A sharp dogleg to the left and a shortish par four. A bunker on the right side off the tee will be in play. The green is long with a pond in the front and bunker left and right.
Hole 13 Par 5 517 yards 

A straight par five reachable in two shots, which is a fair "risk and reward" hole. The second shot is downhill, so it's actually some 20 yards shorter. The front side and the part of the left side of the green faces a pond, and the second shot is very demanding if you decide to aim the green. If you lay up on the second, the approach shot is to hit from a little difficult downhill lie. The green is long & narrow, and is protected by bunkers on both sides. A large tree in the pond overhangs from the left toward the green, making the approach shot from the left side difficult. Seve Ballesteros made eagles with a two-iron for two days in succession at the 1977 World Cup, and won the championship.


Hole 13 Par 5 517 yards (3)

Hole 13 Par 5 517 yards (2)

Hole 13 Par 5 517 yards (1)
Hole 16 Par 3 210 yards

Hole 16 Par 3 210 yards (2)

Hole 16 Par 3 210 yards (1)
A slightly downhill, over-a-pond and long par three. The green is elevated with bunkers on both sides. It is a difficult approach to save par when you hit a ball over the green.
Hole 18 Par 4 446 yards

Hole 18 Par 4 446 yards (2)

Hole 18 Par 4 446 yards (1)
An almost straight and demanding par four. On the tee shot, the landing is narrow with coconut trees on both sides and two bunkers on the left. The approach shot is slightly uphill onto the long green with a bunker on the right. The view of high-rise buildings behind the green seeing from the tee ground create the unique beauty of the landscape.
19th hole

It takes 20 minutes both from Central Manila and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport by car. You need to be accompanied by a member to play at the East Course.



with Bob McCoy at restaurant

When the club opened in 1931, there was nothing but greenery surrounding the course. But with the development of the suburbs of Manila over the last 90 years new buildings have gone up one after another around the course. Nowadays, modern buildings surround the course, which makes the view from the course unique.

The top 100 golf courses (top100golfcourses.com) ranked 8th in Philippines Top 30 courses in 2020. There are about 100 courses in the Philippines. GOLF Magazine selected it within 1979 World best 50 courses.

Manila Marriott

Manila Marriott

Villamor Air Base GC

I stayed at Manila Marriott on the day before I played. This comfortable hotel is a just 4-minute ride by shuttle bus. Villamor Air Base GC can be seen from the room. The course has nothing spectacular, but Villamor Air Base GC is a public course, and very close to the airport. So it is suitable to play 9 holes before your departure when you have enough time at airport.

My member’s club in Hong Kong and Wack Wack GC are luckily reciprocal, so I hosted my friend from the US, Bob McCoy. Bob has been one of 100 GOLF Magazine panelists to choose World 100 best courses for many years. When GOLF Magazine announced the world best 50 in 1979, the East Course was ranked in at that time, so he wanted to play all those 50 courses. Bob is a legendary person who played all Word best100 courses by GOLF Magazine in 1997 in just 100 days. At that time, it was not easy to contact each golf course or a member of the courses at all, as it now though emails. All reservations were arranged by his telephones and faxes, and many were done during his move within 100 days. He didn’t even use a private jet, and used all regular transportations. What a vitality! The details are described in "100 Day Trip" on the below site.