The city of Chiba is located less than an hour’s drive east of downtown Tokyo and Takanodai Golf Club lies just to the north of this busy seaport, handling a large proportion of the cargo that enters and leaves Japan annually.
The course once lay on the outskirts of the city but, as Chiba expanded outwards, residential development now surrounds the perimeter though housing remains largely out of sight, thanks to the screening provided by the mature trees that now line the fairways.
Formed in 1954, the club engaged the nation’s top architect, Seiichi Inoue, to lay out an 18-hole course for the members and he employed the dual green system which is still in use today, with golfers playing to korai or bent greens, depending on the season.
Notable holes include the right doglegged par four 5th (rated stroke index 1), the shortest of the four par three holes at the 171-yard 15th and the longest par five on the card at the 606-yard 14th, which is ranked as the most difficult hole on the back nine. After recent lengthening, Takanodai now measures more than 7,100 yards from the back markers.
The Japan Open has been held here on four occasions, the last time in 2011 when Bae Sang-moon became the third South Korean golfer to win the event following a playoff win against Kenichi Kuboya.