SGCP History

The Scandinavian Golf Club was started by a group of golfenthusiasts on Dec. 26, 1975.

Some of the present members remember Kicki and Kalle Joensson, who were among the group that started the club. Other names are Ulla and Sven Goran Larsson, Atlas Copco, Balfe ?, SAS, Ralf Treffner, Asea, Karen and Karsten Willerup, Danish Trade Representative, Susanne Kohnen, Danish married to an American, a non-golfer, and ofcourse, Poul. There may have been others. But we cannot remember right now –Kalle and Kicki have photos from the first party held at their residence after the game, but the pictures are in their house in Sweden, and they will not go there until April next year. They promised to send copies then.

Susanne Kohnen and Karen Willerup were very active getting the club moving.

The club held monthly tournaments, always at Fort Bonifacio Golf Club, where everybody were members. In the evening, we all got together for dinner in the house of one of the members, and everybody brought along their better half, whether golfplayer or not. To keep the expenses for this dinner in check the rule was to serve only simple food like meatballs or sausages and potatosalad or Janssons Temptation. Beverages were absolutely only beer and softdrinks. The club would donate 1 case beer.

If you were a newcomer to golf, you were welcome to join, but since it was a tournament the maximum handicap given to players would be 36. Duffers were struggling along in the last flights with each other. Most of the learning came from playing outside tournaments.

Prices were also sponsored by the member, who held the corresponding party, and were kept to a specified minimum. It could for example be Philippine handicrafts or golfequipment like golfballs, Tees or similar – Always keeping it lowcost, so everybody could take a turn and join.

The number of members were only around 15-20 for the first several years.

We have a copy of BY-LAWS AND CONSTITUTION OF SCANDINAVIAN GOLF CLUB OF THE PHILIPPINES (SGCP), but it does not have a date.

We cannot remember when we started playing outside Bonifacio, but it may have been in the late 1980’s og early 1990’s because that was when the economy started booming here and a lot of new golfcourses were being built. I do remember, however, that we lost some members in the club because of the high greenfees that had to be paid. So in the beginning it was only on rare occasions that we played outside Bonifacio. But then came the sad day, when Bonifacio was closed, and the land was sold. That was a big loss to all of us. I do not have the date, but it should be easy to find somebody, who could tell you.

Calatagan was always a big favorit. Punta Baluarte was run by Intercontinental Hotels, and very efficiently. The manager Mr. Schnuppe and his wife became close friends of most of us Scandinavians, who frequented the place. I do not remember, when we started playing there with SGCP, but the golfcourse was opened in 1978 (I think). We became members there in 1983, and so did most of our Danish golfing friends, so it was probably one of those places that were chosen for tournament, when Bonifacio closed down.

I am sending a request to our old golfingfriends, who have lived in the Philippines for many years, to twist their brains and try to come up with some memories that you may be able to use.

Now my memories start flowing and following story is quite memorable, especially for us, who were there:

I think it took place around All Saints Day-weekend in 1986 –

So the time was just after Marcos was thrown out of the country and Cory Aquino had become president.

We had a SGCP tournament at Calatagan and most of us were staying at Punta Baluarte. Poul brought his little shortway radio to stay in touch with the world (that was before cable TV). Monday morning at 7 am BBC told the world that there was a coup detat (how do you spell that) in Manila – soldiers led by Honasan was trying to overthrow the government of Cory Aquino, and Makati was under siege, all tourist in Hotel Intercontinental were held hostage, and military loyal to Cory were attacking the area around Intercon with all their might.

Nobody else was up and around at 7 am that morning, so Poul went yelling and hollering for everybody to learn the news –

After much discussion, some of us drove back to our homes in Makati in a cortege and others stayed behind forgetting the bad world out there and had a couple of more rounds of golf before they heard it was safe in Manila again.

I am not 100% sure about the date, but that should be easy to check out.

Best regards

Poul and Tove