ALL ROADS leads to Cagayan de Oro City on February 20, 2011, as the 64th edition of the PAL Inter Club Golf Tournament reels off at Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club alternating with the classic Del Monte Golf Club in between rounds of the most prestigious and the countries’ most attended golf tournament.

It was learned during the 1st Captains Meeting last October 1, 2010, from Atty. Domingo Duerme, Senior Executive Vice President for Sales for Philippine Airlines that the 64th edition will return to Cagayan de Oro City after last year’s absence due to peace and order reasons resulting from that infamous Maguindanao Massacre which causes so much safety and security apprehension from the international club participants and that also resulted to various European and US Government issuance of travel restriction advisory to Southern Philippines. The 63rd edition was called off and instead was held in Bacolod City.

With more than 700 participants consisting of players from 90 Senior Teams and 79 Men’s Regular Teams plus tournament officials, the Philippine Airlines Inter Club Golf Tournament will be the biggest sporting event to come to Cagayan de Oro City early next year.

Schedule of tournament is February 20 for the Seniors Team and February 26 for the Men’s Regular Division. Two weeks duel of the countries established par busters and their international counter parts will bring in valuable prizes from the sponsors and will spell cash registers ringing among the host golf clubs as well as the hotels, restaurants, bars and transport services that will be patronized by the various players.

Golf is a sport considered for the rich and famous due to the astronomical membership shares in the exclusive Golf Clubs. Playing this sport with ordinary resources is not possible unless you are an extra ordinary Caddy or a Ballboy who learned the rudiments and blessed with a financial sponsor.

Other personalities who are up in the game are golf schooled individuals who have time to practice for ball precision, physical conditioning, the right stroke and mind discipline. Whoever are into this game, are either a competitor or a businessman and a sportsman with money, character and resources.

Money alone is not a sole guarantee of acceptance for membership to the clubs as there are sets of rules to be followed for admission. This is the profile of the golfers that we are expecting to welcome to the City.

Many of the participants for the 64th edition will be coming from US, Canada, Australia, Japan and the Middle East. They are up against the regulars of the leading Golf Clubs member in the Philippines.

En puco dinero! Value for money is the battle cry of the host golf clubs that have undergone greens upgrading. Purchase of new Golf Carts and manning build up of Caddies, Umbrella Girls and other club facilities.

The accredited hotels to be used for the tournament have likewise invested on new linens, toiletries and Spa massage in-house services.

Golf is not only a sports competition between competing individuals and teams; it is goodwill among citizens of nations. For some it is also marketing and promotions for businessmen to forge a deal. How benevolent and shady these deals, only the greens can tell?

However, for the benefit of the doubt, major events of this nature which contributes to the publicity and promotions of the City needs public support and local government intervention to project the City of Cagayan de Oro as an oasis of golf with a clean and green environment.

An orderly and supervised traffic flow of vehicles and a disciplined community should be in order before and during the events.
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article by Pete Quiamjot

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