Monday, December 29, 2008

Golf In Japan

After doing so many posts about my golfing experience in Japan, I thought I would do one entry that links back to all the relevant posts so that anyone wanting to do an in-depth review of Japanese golf could look in one place for all the write-ups.

A golf trip to Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is highly recommended. For the aficionado, golf in Japan is synonymous with Charles Alison, an English designer who did a lot of work in the country in the 1930s. His work is spectacular and is characterized by elevated, generally round shaped small greens, strategic bunkering, particularly around the greens, forced carries over ravines and routings that create a lot of shot variety. Alison is clearly one of the most talented golf architects that ever lived.

I was very lucky to be able to play at three private courses in Japan and also the public course Kawana, all worked on by Alison. The uniqueness of golf in Japan is also characterized by their highly ritualized protocol about play and the middle-aged female caddies in their distinctive uniforms.

Japanese Golf Etiquette

Hirono Golf Club
Naruo Golf Club
Kawana Golf
Toyko Golf Club

Japanese Caddies
Japanese Driving Ranges
The Bullet Train

Having a guide that speaks English is critical if you are to play in Japan. I highly recommend using Japan Golf Tours for their knowledge and professionalism and because they can help you gain access to private courses.

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