For a golfer of such caliber, only a golf course with distinct prestige and unmistakable character receives his stamp of approval. Bringing his vast experience in course design to Eagle Ridge, he has crafted a golf course of masterful dimensions, one that is both natural in appearance and dramatic in scope.

Nick Faldo has designed an up and down course that will present a golfing test to golfers of any level. There is a potpourri of wide and tight driving holes that always seem to have bunkers in the most unwelcome spots. A well-struck drive, however, will most certainly be rewarded.

The greens will test both your approach shot and putting touch as some will slope radically away from the line of play. The Faldo course is maturing into one of the most challenging golf courses in the Philippines.

Hole No. 1
Par 4 Hcp 17
355   333   303   273

Here’s a chance to start your round with a par, though the severity of the green may protect against a birdie. The tee shot calls for a fairway wood or long iron, followed by a wedge to the green. Do your best to stay below the pin for an uphill put, as the green can be slick downhill.

Hole No. 2
Par 5 Hcp 7
556   528   501   444

Treat this hole as a bonafide 3 shot par-5 and you will walk away satisfied. Even shot is uphill and your approach to the sloping green must be precise. The green is protected on the right by a quartet of bunkers and a tall mound behind. Avoid recovery shots from the mound above the green at all cost, Try to stay below the hole on your approach.

Hole No. 3
Par 3 Hcp 15
205   175   144   119

A ridge running diagonally across the front lobe of this tricorner green separates the men from the boys, as the back side tends to fall away. The premium is on good clubbing and high approaches that will stop fast.

Hole No. 4
Par 5 Hcp 1
603   568   474   432

Risk and reward runs from tee to green on this daunting long hole. Risk running into the bunkers right or running out of fairway beyond and the reward is long carry shortcut across a deep ravine to a two-tier green. Even laying back and left affords a potentially rewarding long shot if you can thread the needle in the narrow neck in front of the green.

Hole No. 5
Par 4 Hcp 11
430   408   373   328

A well placed drive will carry over the bunkers and end up on the lower half of the dual fairway, leaving a wedge in on a perfect line. Bailing out onto the upper left fairway will leave a very delicate approach to a green that tends to follow the slope of the hill strongly from left to right.

Hole No. 6
Par 3 Hcp 9
249   221   153   126

No matter which tees you are playing from, this not-so-short short hole will test your skills and your patience to the limit. If the wind is blowing hard, you may want to think of it was a short par-4. The large green is really two smaller greens in one, with the left lobe slanting away and hidden behind a set of deep bunkers. There is also a distinct divider running right to left off the tall mound at the top of the right bunker.

Hole No. 7
Par 4 Hcp 5
442   410   372   322

This hole only rewards clear headed analysis and execution. Only a fairly long and accurate tee shot will put you in position for a short iron to a green that slopes away and toward the hazard behind. Consider using the fairway short of the green as a soft landing area. Letting the ball trickle on the green.

Hole No. 8
Par 4 Hcp 13
423   385   351   326

When the pin is on the right, play as close to the left-side fairway bunker as possible, but be aware that the tree left to the bunker can cause trouble if you are too far left. When the pin is on the left, hug the right side of the fairway for the best angles in. If in doubt, use the right greenside bunker as a target. Another well defined ridge divides the putting areas.

Hole No. 9
Par 4 Hcp 3
464   444   419   377

Mr. Faldo’s droll sense of humor may have been involved in the design of this long uphill slog, often played against the wind. Make a little extra shoulder turn, as you will need all the distance you can get off the tee. For the un-ambitious, the landing area between the fairway bunkers is generous and you can comfortably lay up to a wedge or even a pitch and run. Otherwise, with a long second and a deep hazard on the right, we are talking about pretty heroic stuff. It is all about confidence and good Fundamentals. Believe in it, do it and move on.

Hole No. 10
Par 4 Hcp 4
446   421   396   341

Reaching the inviting landing area tucked between the two bunkers calls for a power fade, but it is well worth the effort as it affords a good look at the sloping green from along the play line. Remember to add some club for the uphill second shot and for pin position. A ridge emanating from the right bunker and terminating in the left divides the green diagonally and will test your green reading abilities.

Hole No. 11
Par 3 Hcp 18
186   164   143   96

Perched on a slender precipice, the green looks like a thin sliver because of the raised lip of the flash bunker in the front left of the green that hides the meat. Though the green is relatively small, trust that there is enough room to land. Thank Nick for the small mounds running off the lips of the bunkers and the right front that will tend to funnel poorly hit shots towards the center of the putting surface, but beware of the thick, deep hazard surrounding the complex.

Hole No. 12
Par 5 Hcp 12
591   566   541   442

Successful navigate your way through the valleys accented by bunkers on this long par-5 and you will still have a very tricky green to contend with. Almost every player will play this hole conventionally, so get that thought in your head from the start and plan accordingly. The landing off the tees is generous and there Faldo’s generosity ends, as the fairway narrows the closer you get to your goal. There is something to be said for a bold second shot over the right bunker, but you will end up in medium rough with little control for your approach.

Hole No. 13
Par 4 Hcp 14
431   391   360   319

Ideally a nice draw that starts towards the trio of fairway bunkers guarding the landing area on the right will curl around the left bunker and leave you with a medium to short iron in. The green is small and several humps will deflect your incoming unless your distances are spot-on.

Hole No. 14
Par 5 Hcp 6
566   530   514   454

Your aiming point on this interesting long hole could be the fairway bunker on the right. Though it looks like it might be a good bold tactic to carry the left bunker there is less room beyond than meets the eye. Once the tee shot has been accomplished, several options are available: you can lay up short of the bunker fronting the green or play long and right, though that angle fights slopes in the green on the approach. If you are confident a third option is to try and carry the bunker leaving only a pitch to the green.

Hole No. 15
Par 4 Hcp 16
395   370   323   278

This short hole will confound you if you are not paying attention. The further from the tee you hit, the more the hazard impinges on the landing area, until at the end it is just a sliver. Short hitters may want to layup rather than force a long iron. The green slopes rearward so you might consider playing short of the green and let it dribble on, using the small fairway mound to deaden the run-on. Care with clubbing is essential on the downhill approach shot.

Hole No. 16
Par 4 Hcp 2
448   426   389   352

Power players must be careful of the run out at the outside corner of the dogleg on this long and tight driving hole. It is still a long iron for most players from a landing area that is squeezed by two bunkers. The target is a deep green that has some considerable slopes. It is divided nearly in half by a ridge that runs away toward the rear. Now is no time to practice, but if you have a running shot that you can land short of the green on the right, now might be the time to use it. Otherwise, a lay-up and a deft chip might be the answer to par on the toughest hole on the back nine.

Hole No. 17
Par 3 Hcp 8
219   202   140   99

The dramatic penultimate hole is as stern a test of your golfing skills as you will find. The length is often compounded by the everpresent Eagle Ridge winds swirling up from the canyon behind the green. Note the pin position as the green tilts steeply back to front and right to left. Anything long faces a treacherous downhill recovery.

Hole No. 18
Par 4 Hcp 10
434   355   275   175

First impressions are important and the feeling you get as you tee it up on this relatively short finishing hole is sheer terror. The huge ravine is probably filled with all manner of spiders and snakes. But the carry to the mesa-like fairway is really not all that long, if you are playing from the proper tees. Be careful on the left as you second shot can be stymied by trees and overhanging branches. Remember to take extra club for the uphill approach. The tendency of the slope on the small, complicated green is from right to left.