Rokko Kokusai Golf Club (East Course)
Course Date
Location Hyogo, Japan
Yardage 7416 yards Par 72
Course Rating 74.3
Playing Date July 27, 2015 and many other times
Designer Fukuichi Kato
Redesigner Jack Nicklaus
Opened 1975
Caddie Yes
Golf Cart No
Rating
Overall Rating
4.75
Course Layout
5
Difficulty Level
5
Greens Condition
5
Fairways Condition
6
Landscaping & Views
4
Level of Satisfaction
4
 

Rokko Kokusai Golf Club has 45 holes, East and West Courses and a 9-hole public course. Both East and West have a relatively flat and spacious layout in hilly terrain. The two courses have quite different personalities. East is a classic, tree-lined tough course over 7400 yards, originally designed by a Japanese architect, while West is more American in style, done by Nicklaus Design. The East Course is laid out in a hilly terrain surrounded by natural forest. Players will not only have to focus on their driver’s strength in order to hit long and straight but also exercise the good course management to avoid bunkers, lakes, roughs and trees. It also requires clear judgment as to the most appropriate route to take.



view from clubhouse (1)

view from clubhouse (2)

view

Most greens are elevated and surrounded by deep bunkers, and the aprons of the greens are narrow, so approach shots require a sense of distance and accuracy. Players still surely enjoy the nice course layout, the beautifully curved fairways, undulating high quality putting greens with backdrop of magnificent Rokko Mountains scenery as backdrop. After 20 years of the opening, The East course was redesigned by Lee Schmidt of Nicklaus Design in 1996. Lee built The West from scratch in 1997 but changed only green complex of the East Course. The renovation of the East has turned out excellent and become more challenging and sophisticated course. The East hosted 1983 and 2015 Japan Open and 2010 Panasonic Open that is a Japan and Asian male joint Tour.

Scorecard
 
Hole 2 Par 3 200 yards
A downhill par three with a heart-shaped green that is guarded by thee bunkers, and slopes from back to front.
 

2nd hole seen from green

Hole 2 Par 3 200 yards (2)

Hole 2 Par 3 200 yards (1)
 
Hole 4 Par 4 424 yards

Hole 4 Par 4 424 yards (2)

Hole 4 Par 4 424 yards (1)
A gentle uphill with a dogleg to the left. The green slopes from left to right and a bunker in the front left side comes into play. The tee shot needs to be placed on the left side of the fairway to have a better angle to the green sloping from left to right. A large bunker in the front left side is in play.
 
Hole 5 Par 5 541 yards
A great par five with a dogleg to the left. A fairway bunker is strategically placed at near the landing area off the second shot. The green slopes from front to back.
 

Hole 5 Par 5 541 yards (3)

Hole 5 Par 5 541 yards (2)

Hole 5 Par 5 541 yards (1)
 
Hole 8 Par 3 210 yards

Hole 8 Par 3 210 yards (2)

Hole 8 Par 3 210 yards (1)
The uphill par three with the horizontally long and tree-tiered green. The undulation green is concaved in the center. Surrounded by bunkers, the green appears to float amongst them. These bunkers enhance both the strategic and aesthetic elements of the hole. Both power, and accuracy are required for this tough par three.
 
Hole 9 Par 4 440 yards

Hole 9 Par 4 440 yards (2)

Hole 9 Par 4 440 yards (1)
A straight and long par four. A bunker starching out into the half of the fairway form the left will come into play off the tee. If players lay up in front of the bunker, the approach shot will become very long. Moreover, the relatively fairway is flanked by thick pine trees, so the tee shot is demanding. Finally, players will face a strongly undulated green.
 
Hole 11 Par 4 453 yards
A difficult par four with a gentle uphill from the second shot. Three bunkers on the left front side of the green will give players a sense of intimidation. This wide green is triple-tiered with the concaved center.
 

Hole 11 Par 4 453 yards (3)

Hole 11 Par 4 453 yards (2)

Hole 11 Par 4 453 yards (1)
 
Hole 12 Par 3 217 yards

Hole 12 Par 3 217 yards (2)

Hole 12 Par 3 217 yards (1)
A beautiful and downhill par three. The hole is set nicely in the middle of a forest. With a three-tiered green, players should also note that when the pin position is located left, a bunker on the left side will come into play. When the pin position is on the right, a bunker to the front right and a lake to the right will come into play.
 
Hole 14 Par 4 458 yards

Hole 14 Par 4 458 yards (2)

Hole 14 Par 4 458 yards (1)
The fourteenth hole is a straight and long par four. If players drive over 260 yards off the tee, the fairway drops and they must hit the approach shot from downhill lie, which is demanding as there is a lake in front of the right side. The green a little raised. The natural undulation of the fairway is nice.
 
Hole 18 Par 4 432 yards

Hole 18 Par 4 432 yards (2)

Hole 18 Par 4 432 yards (1)
The final hole is gently uphill with nicely placed four fairway bunkers, right and left. The green is elevated and guarded by three bunkers.
 
19th hole

restaurant

It is a 30-minute drive by car from Kobe city and an hour drive from Osaka city. Visitors must be accompanied or introduced by a member.

The 2020 edition of Top 100 Golf Courses (top100.golf.courses.com) ranked Ono GC as No.28 in its category of top 80 courses in Japan that has 2230 courses as of 2019.