MANILA, Philippines -- The national golf team that will compete in the 31st Southeast Asian Games flew to Vietnam for a quick familiarization trip over the weekend.
The team got the chance to study and play at the host venue, the Heron Lake Golf and Resort.
All but one of the seven-member golf contingent joined the trip for the opportunity to get acquainted with the 6,883-yard course, which opened 12 years ago.
"It's a resort-type course with the feels of Mount Malarayat back home," said national coach Miko Alejandro in describing the site of the golf competitions from May 13-18.
Several practice rounds introduced men’s team members Jet Hernandez, Jed Dy, Gab Manotoc and Kristoffer Arevalo and ladies team mainstays Lois Kaye Go and Mafy Singson to the course that puts premium on accuracy because of water on most holes and extensive greenside bunkering.
"Heron Lake is not too difficult being a resort-type course but the winds and the greens will play a big factor in scoring," said Alejandro.
"I think the boys and girls liked what they saw and they know what to expect when the competitions start," he added.
Heron played host to the 2019 Putra Cup.
Rianne Malixi was the lone member of the team not to make a trip, as she is still campaigning in the United States. She will fly straight to Vietnam to join the national team a week before the SEA Games.
This year's squad is the youngest ever to be fielded by the country in a SEA Games. Manotoc is the most senior member at 23 years old, while Malixi is just 15. The average age of the team is 19.
The Philippines won two gold medals and a bronze in the 2019 SEA Games held at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac City.
Bianca Pagdanganan won individual women's gold as well as team gold with LK Go. The men's team of Luis Castro, Aidric Jose Chan, and Sean Ramos won team bronze.
Ahead of the SEA Games, the team will compete in the National Stroke Play Championship at Manila Southwoods set on April 19-22.
The early Vietnam trip was arranged by the National Golf Association of the Philippines to make sure that the Philippine team is best prepared for their medal campaign.