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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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13 May 2009

Hanafil to start Subic golf course rehab in June

Construction of additional facilities to transform the 18-hole Subic Bay golf course here into an all-weather championship sporting venue will begin next month when the rainy season starts.

The course, a favorite among golfers from South Korea, will be closed to customers during the construction period, according to Hanafil Golf and Tour Inc. chief executive officer Benjamin John Defensor III.

”We have scheduled the reconstruction of the Subic golf course during the rainy season to take advantage of the period when a minimal number of golfers play here,” Defensor explained.

He added the construction is part of the company’s agreement with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which awarded the operation of the facility to Hanafil late last year.

Hanafil, a Korean-Filipino joint venture backed by Hanatour, Korea’s biggest tourist agency, announced last year its $48-million commitment to redevelop the golf course at Subic’s Binictican area into an all-weather championship course, with full-blown country club amenities.

The firm said the six-year development program includes the construction of nine more holes, a hotel and some villas, and improving the driving range.

Defensor added that after building a new restaurant, acquiring new golf carts and other equipment, Hanafil is about to complete installation of a new irrigation system and establishment of a nursery.

“All these are just preparation for the reconstruction of the golf course. The nursery is necessary because the greens and fairways of the whole golf course will be replaced,” he said.

A typical 18-hole golf course consumes approximately 500,000 gallons of water every day, but the new irrigation system installed by Hanafil is eco-friendly and is designed to use wastewater for the greens and fairways.

“There is absolutely no impact on the underground rivers in the area and will not affect the supply of fresh drinking water in Subic Bay,” Defensor said, adding the expansion of the fairways was meant to eventually turn the Subic course into a venue for international tournaments, as well as to accommodate the increasing number of golfers visiting Subic Bay.

Since the firm’s takeover of the facility last year, the Subic Bay golf course has become the favorite of thousand of Koreans who were brought to Subic under “golf junket” flights organized by Hanafil in January to March this year.

He said the 18 trips from Incheon, Korea, had helped project Subic Bay as “the next big thing” in adventure tourism among big Korean groups.

”The new Subic golf course is just one of the many attractions Hanafil intends to build inside this premier free port. The company is currently making plans to build a five-star hotel and several luxury villas,” Defensor added. (Henry Empeno, Business Mirror)
IN PHOTO -- Hanafil President and CEO Benjamin Defensor III (right) is spearheading the redevelopment of the Subic Bay golf course into an all-weather facility.

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