The Santa Barbara Golf Course is the oldest existing golf course in South East Asia. Built in 1907 by a group of Scots, English and American expatriates, who were working in the Panay Railways. The Sta. Barbara Golf Course started as a 9 hole golf course carved from the rolling hills of Santa Barbara . Today, it is a challenging 18 hole golf course (6,056 yardage), and plays to a par 70.
The Iloilo Golf and Country Club, Inc. is the home of the Sta. Barbara Golf Course. The Iloilo Golf and Country Club is celebrating 100 years of golf in the Philippines this 2007, you can view their schedule of events here.
The presence of the British Vice Consul in Iloilo , in the person of Mr. Nicolas Loney, since the 1850′s, engaging in the trading of various goods from the Visayas, specially sugar, is proof of early and active British presence in the Philippines. Mr. Loney,who gained recognition as the ‘Father of the Philippine sugar Industry’, enhanced foreign access to Philippine products and promoted the growth of the local economy thru improved transport mobility by sea and land. In particular, this would have led the Philippine Commission’s American colonizers at the turn of the century to pursue the construction of railroads in the Major Island of the Visayas due to the existence of vigorous trade and economic activities in Panay and the adjacent islands. Such historical undertaking pursued by the early American colonizer, as the widespread construction of railway systems for transportation, sugar production and mining, employing existing British expertise and technology in steam locomotives, bought about major peripheral influences to the lifestyle of the Filipinos. By all accounts, the start of the Panay railways construction coincided sharply with the Scottish engineers picking a track of rolling fields in the hills, reminiscent of Scottish glens in Sta. Barbara, to play their ‘national past time’. Thus was the game of golf born in this parts of the world. (taken from the Iloilo Golf and Country Club Official Website) Offial website of the Iloilo Golf and Country Club has also posted two interesting videos about their centenary: [Video 1] [Video 2]