When you stand on the tee, you stare
at a huge bunker, which guards the left side of the green. The variety of curves
around the green is just like works of art. 2 trees on the center of the fairway
are your targets on the first shot. You need to carefully consider how to hit
the ball out of bad lies due to the heavy slope of the fairway on the long second
shot. One great tactics to avoid the bunkers front and back is to carry the fairway
on the right side of the green, and to bet on the approach shot.
It is not long but the fairway is
narrow. A creek, facing the right side of the green, is running from the back
of the green through the left side of the fairway. This creek helps enhance the
difficulty and creates exquisite scenery. It is possible to hit the green in two
but players need to prepare for bogeys if it fails. This hole reminds me of the
13th hole of the Augusta National.
A dogleg to the right. The tee shot
is over the pond and to clear it, 240 yards is needed. There is another route
to carry a ball on the fairway, left of the pond with a 4 wood or so. There is
a big pond stretching from the front of the green to the right side of the fairway.
It is impressive to see the beautiful contrast among the ponds at the right front,
the beach sand bunker on the back of the pond and an elegant clubhouse in the
It is a 1 hour drive from Central Tokyo and a
30minutes drive from Narita Airport. Vistitors can play though internet booking
agencies. I played here 12 years ago as just as the course was opening. This was
my second time. It was my first time to play a links-type course, which has great
degree of undulations on greens as well as fairways, so it was a delightful surprise
to me. I have played more than 150 great golf courses in Asia and I think that
I have accumulated in depth knowledge of golf courses compared to 12 years ago.
Nonetheless, I felt that this course combines challenges with beauty, just as
it did years ago.
The course is awarded the 86th place out of 2400 courses
in 2002’s Japanese golf courses rankings by the Japan Golf Classic Magazine.
The other J. Michael Poellot designed courses in Asia are Tomisato GC,
CC, GlenOaks CC, Prestige GC, Iwate Numakunai GC, Golden Palm CC,
Green Hill Seki GC in Japan, Agile
(雅居楽長江) G&CC - A Course, Long Island (長安)
Valley (紅峡谷) GC, Beijing (北京)
GC in China, Royal Kuan-His (老翁関西) GC in
Taiwan, Rajpruek C, Lakewood
CC in Thailand, Mount
Malarayat R&GC in Philippine and Rainbow Hills G&HR in Indonesia.