THE Bravo Golf Club, the newest course in the Visayas off the famed Tanon Strait in Dumaguete City, will have its grand inauguration on April 7.
"Finally, we have completed the rehabilitation and expansion of the old Dumaguete Golf & Country Club,” said Bert Bravo. “We are excited to open it next month so that my fellow golf-loving Dumaguetenos could resume their love affair with the game we all love.”
Bravo, the owner of the iconic U-BIX Corporation that pioneered in the country’s photocopying technology some 40 or so years ago and who bankrolled the Philippine Golf Pro-Am for years in the ‘90s, bought the golf course in 1996.
“After first playing there in 1979, I immediately fell in love with the course,” Bravo said. “I told myself that one day, I’m going to own this.”
After acquiring it 17 years later, Bravo immediately started expanding and refurbishing the course — slowly but surely.
He consulted many world experts on golf course design, before finally sticking with Youchi Nagato.
Nagato is Japan’s globally-renowned designer, whose clients included golf courses in Japan and the US, such as Crown Hills (Kyoto), Shin Raku Country Club (Shiga), Cherry Hills Golf Club (Hyogo), Mizuho Golf Club (Gifu), Shiga Country Club (Shiga), Japan Classic Country Club (Mie) and Kauai Island Lagoon Golf Course (Hawaii).
Together with Nagato, Bravo embarked on an ambitious mission to transform the Dumaguete course from nine holes to what is now admittedly an 18-hole beauty down South.
Designed and built in 1945 by Don Serafin Teves and Simplicio Manictic, it was one of the earliest golf courses erected in the country.
It is now even a haven of flora and fauna and Bravo Golf’s fairways are lined by majestic 50-year-old mango trees, whose fruits are sun-ripened and organically-nurtured as well.
Bravo’s baby is conveniently located just outside Dumaguete City in Sibulan, sitting on a scenic, naturally rolling terrain where you can get a stunning panorama of Cebu, Siquijor and Sumilon Island along with the renowned Tañon Strait.
With the expert guidance of Nogato, a certified landscape management engineer, the course is another testament to Bravo’s resolve to help make Dumaguete “the new hub of ecotourism” in Negros Oriental.
Complementing the Bravo Golf Club is the Bravo Hotel within the course, the only four-star hotel in Dumaguete located just 10 minutes from the airport and marina.
“My Dumaguete dream of a socio-ecotourism growth for the region seems now in near-fruition,” said Bravo. “In my own humble way, I’ve done my bit towards that end.”