Taiheiyo Club, Masuko Course

Course Data
LocationTochigi, Japan
Yardage7005 yards Par 71
Course Rating 72.9
Playing Date16 Nov. 2005
DesignerShunsuke Kato
Opened1978
CaddyYes (Need advanced booking)
Golf CartYes (Can run on the fairways)
Rating
Overall Rating
4.75
Course Layout
5
Difficulty Level
4
Greens Condition
5
Fairways Condition
4
Landscaping & Views
5
 

A view form the clubhouse

It is a relatively flat, woodland course separated by plenty of trees. It has plenty of distance at 7000 yards plus. A long par 71 to say the least. The designer, Shunsuke Kato overhauled the course in 2001, upgrading it nicely. There are few straight holes as most are dogleg holes. The great layout of lakes scattered in the course and plethora of trees not just makes the course beautiful but also demanding. The green is superbly maintained and very fast.

 
2nd  Par 4 450 yards
A dogleg to the left with the green swung further to the left. You should hit the tee shot on the right side in order to have a clear view on the right side. The distance as well as the accuracy is required on the hole. The second shot is slightly downhill.
 

2nd Par 4 450 yards (3)

2nd Par 4 450 yards (2)

2nd Par 4 450 yards (1)
 
3rd Par 4 341 yards

3rd Par 4 341 yards (2)

3rd Par 4 341 yards (1)
A slight dogleg to the left. The landing area on the tee shot is narrow on this short par 4, too. The entire hole is surrounded by ample trees. The second shot is slightly uphill and bunkers protecting the front of the green is in play.
 
5th Par 5 536 yards
An almost straight hole. A large bunker on the left of the fairway is reachable 240 yards off the tee. The green is aslightly elevated with bunkers on both sides. It also features the double-tiered green sloping fairly from the front to the back.
 

5th Par 5 536 yards (3)

5th Par 5 536 yards (2)

5th Par 5 536 yards (1)
 
7th Par 4 378 yards

7th Par 4 378 yards (2)

7th Par 4 378 yards (1)
A slight dogleg to the left. Because the left trees hang over the fairway, so you should aim the tee shot to the right. The green is hidden behind a big mound and surrounded by a numerous mounds.
 
8th Par 4 415 yards

8th Par 4 415 yards (2)

8th Par 4 415 yards (1)
A slight uphill, sharp dogleg to the right. You should drive to the left side of the fairway in order to have a clear view on the second shot. A huge bunker in front of the green will come into play on the second shot.
 
9th Par 4 413 yards

9th Par 4 413 yards (2)

9th Par 4 413 yards (1)
A dogleg to the left with the downhill tee shot. The green strongly slopes from the back to the front, so a downhill putting is very fast.
 
11th Par 4 435 yards
lAn uphill, dogleg to the right. A big tee is positioned 60 yards off the green and you need a good game plan how to avoid it. The green is elevated.
 

11th Par 4 435 yards(3)

11th Par 4 435 yards(2)

11th Par 4 435 yards(1)
 
12th Par 4 405 yards
A sharp dogleg to the left with a tee shot over water. Two tall pine trees positioned in the left front of the green, are there to hinder your second shot. A good game plan to handle the trees is required to save par on this difficult hole. The long and narrow green is well guarded by a bunker on the right and gives a tight impression as it is surrounded by trees.
 

12th green

12th Par 4 405 yards(2)

12th Par 4 405 yards(1)
 
14th Par 3 195 yards

14th Par 3 195 yards (2)

14th Par 3 195 yards (1)
A signature hole over a lake and a mountain of stones. The green is elevated with deep bunkers guarding the front left and the back of the green, so it is needless to say the accurate shot is needed on this beautiful hole.
 
15th Par 4 443 yards

15th Par 4 443 yards (2)

15th Par 4 443 yards (1)
A dogleg to the left. There is a huge bunker on the left 260 yards off the tee. You need to pay attention to the trees hanging over from the left when you hit the second shot.
 
16th Par 4 452 yards
A dogleg to the right, long par 4. You need the distance on the tee shot, or it will be difficult to score a par on this gently uphill hole. Bunkers around the green come into play.


16th Par 4 452 yards (3)

16th Par 4 452 yards (2)

16th Par 4 452 yards (1)
 
17th Par 3 402 yards

17th Par 3 402 yards (2)

17th Par 3 402 yards (1)
A straight par 4. The tee shot should be accurate as the landing area is narrow. A bunker guarding the front side of the green is deep, so it should be avoided. The green is wide and concave, almost shaped like a dumbbell.
 
19th hole
It takes 2 hours from Tokyo by car. It takes 40 minutes form Utsunomiya Station by club bus. Visitors can play through an Internet golf booking agency.

I stayed a lodge next to the clubhouse on the previous day I played. The room is cozy and an open-air bath is available.

You need to inform the caddie master that you are a single handicap player in order to play from the longest tees.




Restaurant


Lodge

Lodge

The course was awarded 92nd place out of 2400 courses in 2004’s Japanese golf course rankings by the Japan Golf Classic Magazine The other Shunsuke Kato designed courses in Japan are Thaiheyo Club – Gotenba Course, West Course, Karuiza Course, Sagami Course, Takahara Course, Ichihara Course, Setonaikai GC, Hanna GC, and Kyushu GC – Yahata Course. He redesigned Katayamazu GC – Hakusan Course & Kaga Course. His overseas designs are Tomson Shanghai Pudong (湯臣上海浦) GC in China, Palm Lakes (棕梠湖) Resort, Lily (立益) G&CC, Yong Han (永漢) GC in Taiwan and Chung Ju (清州) CC in Korea.