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Giant sand traps

Thousands of caddies, umbrella girls, tee girls and club employees were affected by the temporary closure of golf courses hit by Taal eruption last week.

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At least five golf courses have been closed following last week’s eruption of Taal Volcano in Talisay, Batangas that turned them into virtual giant sand traps.

Hardest hit were the Tagaytay Highlands and Midland courses due to their proximity to the active volcano.

Both courses remained inoperable while being cleaned up, according to sources.

Photographers were barred from entering the premises and calls were not returned.

It is uncertain about the extent of the damage or how long before the courses resume operation.

Meanwhile, three courses in Cavite and Laguna were affected by volcanic ash that covered the clubhouse, greens and fairways.

Manila Southwoods in Carmona, about 71 kilometers from Taal, partially reopened yesterday after being closed for five days.

Southwoods golf director Jerome Delariarte said about 120 players showed up at the Legends, but were advised to wear face masks and sunglasses because of lingering dusts on the course.

Play will be allowed at the Masters today.

Both Legends and Masters draw more than 300 players on weekends, according to Delariarte.

Canlubang, which has two 72-hole courses, remains closed and will reopen on January 29, according to club official Darlito Patalot.

As a result, the annual Jose Yulo Memorial tournament has been moved to March 14-15.

The status of the nearby The Country Club could not be ascertained as of this writing.

Sta. Elena Golf Club, on the other hand, is closed indefinitely.

Mary Grace Estuesta, the golf director, said they have rid the course of debris, but would need time to remove the dusts that rested everywhere.

Estuesta could not say when Sta. Elena would be opened.

Thousands of caddies, umbrella girls, tee girls and club employees were affected by the temporary closure as club officials raced to restore normal operations.

There were some golf courses near Taal that were spared by ashfall, including Summit Point, Splendido and Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club.

Splendido, in fact, offered its facility as temporary evacuation center, according to a Facebook post by former broadcaster Jay Sonza.

The Tagaytay city-based club is owned by the family of ex-Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile.

The eruption cancelled the final two legs of the Philippine Golf Tour Asia at Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in General Trias, Cavite.

Eagle Ridge general manager Antonio Ocampo said the sprawling golf facility is ready to host the events, but organizers did not want to take chances.

The penultimate stage will now be held this week at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.

In a welcome gesture, Luisita Golf Club opened its golf course to PGT participants preparing for the event.

Luisita general manager Jeric Hechanova made the announcement in his Facebook account.

Among the big names, only Clyde Mondilla has showed up, although the offer stands until the start of the tournament.

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