* On March 25, 2018 I took over as editor of Island News, a weekly newspaper based in Dumaguete City. I am sharing with the readers of www.fullpointcebu.com some of the articles that we have published.
By NIMROD NL QUINONES
This is not just another piece about golf nor is this just another piece about a golf course.
In the course of my career as a golf journalist that spans over two decades, I have been to many places and played in many courses here and abroad.
In the Island of Negros, I have played at Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club fondly called Marapara in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City; Bacolod Golf and Country Club in the town of Murcia; and The Victorias Golf Club.
It was only recently, that I experienced the jewel of Negros Island in the town of Sibulan – Bravo Golf.
When I first saw the course from my hotel room late last year during a visit to Bravo Hotel, I was awed by the view. For somebody like me who holds my regular office at Alta Vista Golf and Country Club in Pardo, Cebu City, I am not easily impressed with great views.
Bravo Golf was different as the scenery is more rural and I see more green even if I do get a glimpse of the Tanon Strait and the mountains of southern Cebu as well as those of Negros.
It was laid out by Japanese golf course designer Shoichi Nagato, said Atty. Ediilberto’ Bert’ Bravo.
“Nagato has built courses in Tokyo, Okinawa, and Hawaii,” said Bravo, who takes pride in this executive course.
The course is 18 holes, but plays a par-54 as all are par-3s. To the golf nuts, this is a short course built over 13 hectares, but is it easy? Well, you might want to try it to see for yourself as I surely would say it poses challenges despite being a rather short course.
Use your irons wisely and if you are not a very long hitter, bring a few woods or even your driver as you might have to use it for the 11th hole, which is the longest in the course as it plays over 200 yards.
There are not too many water hazards unless you hit the canal that runs through the first hole and on the side of the third and fourth holes.
Fully-grown mango trees line the fairways setting the boundaries and serving as added obstacles on certain holes as you have to learn how to hit over them or in some cases under them when you miss the green.
The greens are small, but then the grass tends of bite, which makes it important to pick the right club so you do not hit short or long.
Bravo Golf is open to the public. Green fee is at P 1,500 for a round and there are caddies, who will guide you around the course and carry your bag.
Carts are available, but this course that will have you go up and down the slope offers a very good walk.
Of course, reading about it and playing the course are two different things. While this may have tickled your fancy, playing the course is definitely so much better.
Going to Sibulan is not that hard. If you come from Cebu, drive south to Santander and take the 30-minute ferry ride going to Negros. Once you exit the port, turn right and in just over a kilometer, you will find the course.