Host venue for the Japan Women’s Open Golf Championship in 2002, the course at Hakone Country Club is one of four golfing layouts set out side by side on the northeast slopes of Mount Hakone in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Hakone Hot Spring Supply Company acquired the land in 1933 and began selling lots for vacation homes. In the early 1950s, the plan evolved into building a golf course and seventy-eight prominent businessmen were invited to help set up the club.
The founders invited former Japanese Amateur Champion Shiro Akaboshi to be their architect. Shiro had worked with C.H. Alison when he visited the country in 1930 to work on Tokyo Golf Club so he was well versed in sound design theory and construction knowhow.
Hakone Country Club’s course was the first that Shiro Akahoshi designed as a professional architect after World War II and he considered it the best accomplishment of his career, playing a lot at the club late in his life.
His design theory was to utilise the natural terrain as much as possible, offering multiple shot options towards every green, requiring every player to choose one among a variety of options, depending on his or her playing skills.
There are gentle undulations in the landscape and a small creek meanders through the course from Lake Ashinoko, with the front and back nines forming two large loops from the old clubhouse, which was once located on top of a small hill.