Kawana Hotel Golf Course (Fuji Course)

Course Data
LocationShizuoka, Japan
Yardage6691 yards Par 72
Course Rating72.7
Playing Date 27 Sep. 2006 & 25 Mar. 2015
DesignerCharles Alison
Opened 1936
Golf CartNo
Overall Rating
Course Layout
Difficulty Level
Greens Condition
Fairways Condition
Landscaping & Views
Satisfaction Level

This picturesque course is set on the coast of a pine-covered plateau bordered by cliffs which descends down to the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Extensive bunkering is superb as they are deep, numerous and perfectly positioned to demand accuracy. You need to have good approach shot skills to hit onto the relatively tiny, elevated greens.

A view from Hotel

A view

A view seen from 2nd tee

You will also have to adapt to approaching from various lies. It also features fairways that are hilly and naturally undulating, many of which touch drop off cliffs to the Pacific Ocean. When sea wind is strong, deep bunkers across the course and mature pines guarding the fairways will give players decent pressure. The back 9 is one of the finest layout in the world and it is very fun to play. I think that the Oshima GC and Kobe GC, the oldest club in Japan are common in terms of letting us feel the origin of golf.

A view from Hole 15

A view seen from 17th tee

18th green

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms


Hole 1 Par 4 415 yards

1st Par 4 415 yards (2)

1st Par 4 415 yards (1)

A straight par 4 which drops significantly down to the Pacific Ocean. The tee shot is a sharp downhill made difficult by the narrow fairway with trees on both sides. Accuracy is a must. The second shot is slightly uphill and be careful of a large bunker on the right of the green which hidden from the second shot area.

Hole 2 Par 4 411 yards

2nd Par 4 411 yards (2)

2nd Par 4 411 yards (1)
A straight hole with the ocean extending on the right side. Off the tee, a carry of 210 yards is needed to clear the bunker with OB on the left. Trees & deep rough are strategically placed on the right. Bunkers guarding the front left & right sides of the green are in play.
Hole 3 Par 5 450 yards
A left dogleg. An uphill, long par4. The tee shot needs to clear series of 3 bunkers
The left side bunker is 210 yards from the tee, the middle bunker is 220 yards, and
The right hand bunker is 230 yards from the tee. Thus the target area is determined by your driving distance off the tee.If you are caught in one of these bunkers, it will be difficult to hit the GIR. The second shot is a steep uphill and you have to hit onto a narrow fairway with trees overhanging from the right.

3rd Par 5 450 yards (3)

3rd Par 5 450 yards (2)

3rd Par 5 450 yards (1)

Hole 5 Par 3 181 yards

5th Par 3 181 yards
A charming par 3 with links flavor. Because it is downhill and the flight duration is long, the tee shot is easily influenced by the wind. So the right club selection is important. The green is slightly elevated and surrounded by natural mounds.
Hole 7 Par 4 393 yards

A great hole with a slight left dogleg. You will be hitting down to the ocean. It comprises of a double-fairway with the left one being narrower. The strong undulations of the fairway were designed to look like waves. The green is small and significantly elevated, so an approach shot should be accurate. The green is protected by 3 intimidating deep bunkers on the left and a sharp slope off on the right. The ocean extending behind the green is breathtakingly beautiful.


7th Par 4 393 yards (3)

7th Par 4 393 yards (2)

7th Par 4 393 yards (1)

Hole 11 Par 5 619 yards

A lighthouse behind the 11th green

A long par 5, to hit down toward a lighthouse. The fairway rolls with natural undulations, offering players various lies to hit from. The green is double-tiered with a strong drop. It will become more difficult with the back pin position. You can enjoy watching the dynamic layout of the 11th, 12th & 13th fairways forming triangle and the ocean ahead of them. There is the famous white lighthouse behind the green, shaping like a tee peg. This lighthouse could be the most deeply connected in world of golf.


11th Par 5 619 yards (3)

11th Par 5 619 yards (2)

11th Par 5 619 yards (1)

Hole 12 Par 4 404 yards

A left dogleg with the ocean on the left. You should drive safely to the right side of the fairway. Four bunkers around the green come into play on the second shot. The green slopes from left to right and is probably the most difficult one in the course. The strong winds will increase the difficulty level further.


12th Par 4 404 yards (3)

12th Par 4 404 yards (2)

12th Par 4 404 yards (1)

Hole 14 Par 4 397 yards
A dogleg to the right. There is a mound and a bunker on the right, blocking the view ahead, but you should drive over the bunker to keep the fairway. The green is elevated with a deep bunker on the left and sharp slopes on both sides and in the front and a ravine at the back, so you need to hit the green and make it bite or it will be difficult to save par. The view of the green and the ocean sweeping away behind it is splendid.

14th Par 4 397 yards (3)

14th Par 4 397 yards (2)

14th Par 4 397 yards (1)

Hole 15 Par 5 480 yards

15th Par 5 480 yards (1) - Left tee

15th Par 5 480 yards (1) - Right tee
A signature hole extending along the ocean on the left. 2 tee grounds are provided, the right one usually used and the left one used for Japanese LPGA tournaments. Views and attacking routes are different depending on which tee to play from. It is a slight left dogleg over the ocean if you play from the left tee while it is a straight hole if play from the right. The fairway drops steeply from both tees with a cliff boarding the ocean on the left. Bailing out to the safer right side brings many deep bunkers into play. When the wind from the sea is strong, you occasionally need to be brave enough to hit toward the ocean off the tee. Because this is a short par 5, it is reachable in 2 if your tee shot is on the fairway, but the fairway is undulating with few flat lies to hit on the second shot. The green is shallow and only 18 yards deep. The green itself is split into two tiers by a ridge that runs through its center. It is a quite challenging hole. One can easily end up with a birdie or a double-bogey.

15th Par 5 480 yards (4)

15th Par 5 480 yards (3)

15th Par 5 480 yards (2)

Hole 16 Par 3 185 yards

16th Par 3 185 yards
A par 3 with a highly elevated green set on the top of a small hill. The tight green demands accuracy off the tee.
Hole 17 Par 4 410 yards

17th Par 4 410 yards (2)

17th Par 4 410 yards (1)

A straight hole that gently rolls up. A carry of 240 yards is needed to clear a large bunker located on the left half of the fairway. The fairway slopes sharply to the right. The right rough should be avoided as it is difficult to hit onto the green from there. The green is shallow and protected by bunkers on the front right, the left and at the back.

Hole 19

It is a 2 hours 30 minutes drive from central Tokyo. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to go to Ito Station by Shinkansen bullet train and a local train and another 20 minutes by taxi. Visitors can play a great 36-hole public course, the worldwide famous Kawan Course and the Oshima Course. You need to stay at Kawana Hotel to play at only the Fuji Course. This time, I played the Fuji Course in the morning and the Oshima Course in the afternoon in a day.

Mt. Fuji seen on the way to Kawana



Kawana Hotel, a pioneer of resort hotels in Japan, was built in 1936 by the finder’s son of Okura Conglomerate who longed for country lives of British peers. A seafood curry with lobsters & scallopers is delicious.



A view from a room

The greens are Korai and the condition was excellent. If usually relatively small Korai greens are changed into Bent grasses, it is easy to damage them with a lot of divots. Korai. If you force Kawana’s greens to change from Korai to Bent, the greens should be enlarged lot to end up with destroying the views and hazards surrounding them, which could lower its evaluation. Naruo GC uses Korai, too and both courses are reputable worldwide.

Bunkers as deep as your height are often called “ Alison bunkers” only in Japan, named after the architect. They are called deep bunkers elsewhere.

The course was awarded 4th place in 2004’s Japanese golf course ranking by the Japan Golf Classic Magazine. The other Charles Alison designed or supervised courses in Japan are Hirono GC (1st of the above ranking), Kasumigaseki GC – East Course (4th supervised), and Naruo GC (48th supervised).

GOLF Magazine ranked it the 80th best course in the world in 2005. The other selected courses in Asia and Oceania were Royal Melbourne GC (Australia, 10th), Kingston Heath GC (Australia, 20th), Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand, 27th), New South Wales GC (Australia, 34th), Hirono GC (Japan, 35th), Barnbougle Dunes GL (Australia, 49th), Royal Adelade GC (Australia, 54th), Kauri Cliffs GC (New Zealand, 58th), Tokyo GC (Japan, 94th), The Club at Nine Bridges (Korea, 95th) and Naruo GC (Japan, 100th).

GOLF Magazine ranked it the 68th best course in the world in 2015. The other selected courses in Asia are Hirono GC (Japan, 42nd), The Club at Nine Bridges (Korea, 43rd), Shanqin Bay GC (China, 47th), Ayodhya Links (Thailand, 76th) and Tokyo GC (Japan, 96th).

Fujiyoshi -Izuten

Fujiyoshi -Izuten

Fujiyoshi -Izuten




Stay Yokohama Fujiyoshi - Izuten and play Fuji course Package is available. It is a 15-minute drive. The inn is traditional Japanese style with open-air hot spring bath. The seafood at dinner was delicious..