Born in the Ibaraki prefecture, in the northeast part of the Kanto region, Osamu Ueda studied Forestry and Landscape Architecture in the Faculty of Agriculture at Kyoto University before setting up the Ueda Landscaping Office in his hometown Osaka.
Here he designed gardens, playgrounds and golf courses – as well as managing their construction – and his golfing projects were based on creating courses in harmony with the surrounding environment and the local topography.
It’s known that Osamu helped restore the Hirono course after the ravages of World War II but some think he may also have been involved in its original development while working as an assistant to Seiichi Takahata, the Secretary of the Japan Golf Association, during C.H. Alison’s visit to the country at the start of 1931.
He participated as a swimming referee in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, after which he took the opportunity to travel on to Great Britain and examine the English inland courses and Scottish links layouts, comparing their design to what existed in Japan at that time.
"Osamu Ueda in the West" and "Seiichi Inoue in the East" would become the leading golf design brands in Japan, with Ueda designing more than fifty courses over five decades between Hokkaido in the north to Kagoshima in the south.
Our international consultant Masa Nishijima adds the following:
“Hirono was completed in 1932 and Ueda worked there as a green keeper. Then, with the trust of the members, he was promoted to club manager status.
He was commissioned to design the Moji GC in 1934, with the introduction of Mr. Seiichi Takahata, one of Hirono's founders. This was his first solo project. Nine holes were completed the following year and the layout was eventually expanded to 18 holes in 1953.
There is something worth mentioning here.
Ueda was not a golfer, like Seth Raynor, but a famous swimmer in his school days. He was requested by the IOC to participate as a swimming judge at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
After the event, sponsored by Mr. Takahata, he went on an eight-month tour of famous golf courses in Europe and the United States and he had the opportunity to meet with Donald Ross on this trip when he visited Pinehurst.
When he returned home, his first contract was the design of Osaka GC and the original course boasts a distance of 6,700 yards, playing to a par of 72.
After the war, he restored the Hirono GC. During World War II, Hirono had made part of the course a reserve runway for the Navy Air Corps. In addition, some fairways were turned over to vineyards due to food shortages. Ueda helped with the course restoration then left the club in 1952 to become an independent course designer.”