Tokyo Golf Club

Course Data
LocationSaitama, Japan
Yardage6904 yards Par 72
Course Rating72.9
Playing Date14 Oct. 2004
DesignerMitsuaki Otani
Opened1914
CaddyYes
Golf CartYes (The limited number)
Rating
Overall Rating
4.95
Course Layout
5
Difficulty Level
4
Greens Condition
4
Fairways Condition
4
Landscaping & Views
5
Level of Satisfaction
6

 

A view from the clubhouse
 This Tokyo GC is the most exclusive golf club in Japan with more than 90 years of history. It is a flat woodland course with well-placed 100+ bunkers, so a good course management is required to mark a good score. The tee shots are not intimidating as the fairways are generous. However, approach shots to the greens are demanding as most greens are small, elevated and protected by deep bunkers that wait for your errant shots. The greens aren’t fast but the subtle undulations make putts difficult.

2nd  Par 4 388 yards
A slight dogleg to the right with the downhill tee shot from an elevated tee. A carry of 190-250 yards is needed to clear 3 bunkers crossing on a slant on the right half of the fairway. Another bunker is waiting for your pulled shots to the left 240 yards off the tee. The red pine tree next to the green is superb.
 

Red pines next to the green

2nd Par 4 388 yards (2)

2nd Par 4 388 yards (1)

5th  Par 5 579 yards
A gentle dogleg to the right with an OB on the right. There is a pond in front of the green.
 

5th hole seen from the green

5th Par 5 579 yards (2)

5th Par 5 579 yards (1)

6th  Par 4 420 yards

6th Par 4 420 yards
A difficult hole that doglegs to the left。A straight or right to left ball is required off the tee. The green is elevated. A bunker guarding the left side of the green is deep, so it should be avoided.
 
8th  Par 3 196 yards

8th Par 3 196 yards (2)

8th Par 3 196 yards (1)
This par 3 is characterized by the green. The right half of the elevated green have few slopes and the left half slopes sharply from the rear to the left front. When the pin position is at the center, a good shot to hit onto a little left of the pin, a slope will carry your ball down to left edge of the green. A bunker on the left of the green should be avoided as it is difficult to save par from there. A fade ball best suites this demanding hole.

11th  Par 4 363 yards
A relatively short but superbly designed par 4. If you are a risk taker who can hit a precise ball within 30 yards of trees on both sides, you can use a driver. If not, the best route is to hit 200 yards onto the left side of the fairway by using an iron or a fairway wood, and then trees positioned in the center of the fairway won’t disturb your second shot. The elevated green is swung to right and deep bunkers around the green come into play, so an accurate second shot is required.


11th green

11th Par 4 363 yards (2)

11th Par 4 363 yards (1)
 
13th  Par 5 570 yards

13th Par 5 570 yards (2)

13th Par 5 570 yards (1)
A long par 5 that could be almost straight or slight double doglegs depending on your course management as 2 bunkers are placed in the center of the fairway will limit your options. You should aim onto the left side of the fairway on the second shot as there is a big bunker in its landing area. The green is slightly elevated and protected by bunkers on both sides and trees on the left of the green.

 
16th  Par 4 440 yards
A straight, relatively long par 4. A carry of 240 yards is needed to clear a deep and long bunkers placed on the left half of the fairway. The green is elevated and slopes sharply from the back to the front.
 

16th green

16th Par 4 440 yards (2)

16th Par 4 440 yards (1)
 
17th  Par 3 171 yards

17th green

17th Par 3 171 yards
An impressive par 3. The green is elevated. Big bunkers, 2 meters (7 ft.) deep await your bad shot.

18th  Par 4 442 yards

18th Par 4 442 yards (2)

18th Par 4 442 yards (1)
A slight dogleg to the left. The green is deep & narrow and slopes sharply toward to the front.
 
19th hole

A picuture of Mitsuaki Otani

Inside the clubhouse

It takes 1 hour from Central Tokyo by car. The clubhouse provides relaxing atmosphere. The Salt beef salad I ate for lunch was delicious.

The picture below shows the successive club champions of this club in old days. The third person from the right in a upper row is the course architect, Mr. Mitsuaki Otani who has a presence like a “God Farther” and is different from Japanese in appearance. His family owns a historic temple. He came across golf when he studied abroad in England. He is the first person who introduced the golf rules to Japan by translating English rule books into Japanese and laid the basis of Japanese golf.

 

The course was awarded 4th place in 2002’s Japanese golf course rankings sponsored by Japan Golf Classic Magazine.The other Mitsuaki Otani designed courses in Japan are Nagoya GC – Wago Course (14th of the above ranking), Kawana Hotel GC - Oshima Course, O-Hakone CC and Kakogawa GC.

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