Kasumigaseki (East) - Kanto - Japan

Kasumigaseki Country Club,
3398 Kasahata,

  • +81 492 31 2181

The East and the West are two outstanding golf courses at Kasumigaseki Country Club. East or West, which is best? We’re really not too sure, but the East is the one that the members generally favour, so we think it’s prudent to stick with those in the know.

Kasumigaseki Country Club was founded in 1929. Kinya Fujita and Shiro Akaboshi, two gifted local golfers, originally designed the first course, now known as the East, and it was ready for play the same year. The members were clearly dissatisfied with the original design so Harry Colt’s partner Charles Alison was soon commissioned to improve matters. Alison’s changes to Kasumigaseki immediately gained the utmost respect from Japanese golfers and he is now widely considered to be the guiding light of Japanese golf course architecture.

So, what did Alison actually do at Kasumigaseki to gain cult status? The answer is simple. He built cavernous bunkers. The par three 10th is a perfect example and this hole is possibly the finest par three in Japan. This was a good hole in the beginning – a 180-yard one-shotter across water to a relatively small green – but Alison turned it into a great hole. Originally, the bunker protecting the front of the green was little more than a shallow scrape by the time Alison had finished it was six feet deep and this is the general theme behind his improvements to the East course.

The East employs the traditional Japanese dual green system, one for the winter and one for the summer, which takes a bit of getting used if you’re not familiar with this feature. We guess it’s akin to designing the course with permanent winter greens rather than simply plonking a hole in the fairway… not a bad idea if there’s enough space.

If you can get a game here, we thoroughly recommend a round on both the East and the West courses, you can then make up your own minds as to which courses is best.

Tom and Logan Fazio are currently overseeing the renovation of the East course ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

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Description: The East course at Kasumigaseki Country Club employs the traditional Japanese dual green system, one for the winter and one for the summer, which takes a bit of getting used if you’re not familiar with this feature. Rating: 8 out of 10 Reviews: 1
Fergal O'Leary
The site for the 2020 Olympics golf course. The East course has had some recent bunker work done by Tom Fazio, but the bigger challenge that the course is facing is to decide whether to consolidate the current “dual green system” into a single set of greens for the Olympics. The club has two score cards for the “old greens” and “new greens”. Ironically, both sets of greens were created at the same time despite the names. It’s a hot topic of discussion at the club as the dual greens are a Japanese tradition and have been in place since the club began. If this goes ahead, the preference is actually to contract a Japanese architect to keep in line with Japanese style, as opposed to an American influence. We played on the old greens which are small and not very deep – certainly a challenge for the best of players. I am not in favour of consolidating the greens and adding numerous water features to the course as it takes away from one of the historic reasons why this club is so special. Having played this course twice now, my desire was not to touch the wonderful Charles Alison design and just let the best players in the world earn their gold medal.
April 20, 2014
8 / 10
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