The town of Otaru sits in the Ishikari Bay of the Sea of Japan, a half hour’s drive from Sapporo City. The town really flourished as a port between the late 1860s and 1920s and it was toward the end of this period in 1928 that the golf club was established.
Kokichi Yasuda designed a new 18-hole course at Otaru in 1974 and the layout was selected to host the Japan PGA Championship four years later. Further prestigious tournaments followed when the course was used for the Japan Open in 1990 (won by Tommy Nakajima) and 1999 (when Joe Ozaki triumphed).
Parkland in nature, the holes at Otaru are routed over predominantly level terrain with fairways bounded by stands of implanted trees. The toughest hole on the card is the par four 16th which measures 484 yards from the championship tees and this monster doglegs right to a green protected by a small pond to the front right hand side of the putting surface.