Review for Naruo

Reviewer Score:


Naruo Golf Club is one of the most historic courses in the whole of Japan that has 2,400 courses in total. It features small Kourai (Japanese lawn grass) greens. If they were changed to bent grasses, the course’s rating would be a little higher. Kourai grasses are much slower than bent grass surfaces. At Naruo, almost all holes are separated by big trees and utilize the natural, hilly rolling terrain, and each hole is unique. All four par threes are difficult and challenging. Although the course in not long, it is hard to card a good score because almost all the greens are small, elevated and fully guarded by deep bunkers. The course is not only narrow, flanked by trees, but also has a lot of uneven lies. Additionally, some holes might tempt you to make aggressive shots, which could put you in the designer’s traps, and accordingly hit high scores. However, no single hole is overly tricky and you can play fairly against the course designer.

Naruo Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

The par four 476-yard 10th is downhill and long with an excellent view from the tee. The second shot is over a deep hollow which used to be a river many years ago. You had better carry over the wide bunker 50 – 60 yards from the center of the green, and then you can have an easier approach shot to the pin from a flat lie even if you don’t hit the green in regulation. If you are short of the flat area, even if only slightly, the next approach shot will be difficult because the ball will roll back down to the bottom of the steep slope or will be caught in a bunker where a long bunker shot is needed. This hole was selected as one of the best 500 holes in the world by GOLF Magazine in 2000 (the latest version to date).

Naruo Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

The par three 189-yard 15th is a beautiful signature hole over a valley. The green slopes from back to front and is protected by bunkers on all four sides of the green. You can’t hit the green in regulation unless your shot is not only the right distance but also very accurate. If you hit left to right too much, the ball will roll down the valley on the right side of the fairway, which leads to the OB.

Date: February 03, 2017

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