Set close to the city of Kitakyushu, near to where the Onga River empties into the Tsushima Strait, the course at Wakamatsu Golf Club is an Osamu Ueda design, dating back to 1959.
Japan’s New St Andrews Golf Club is a 27-hole facility where Jack Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead laid out the club’s 18-hole New course in 1975. It’s a well-bunkered 6,800-yard layout where both small and large ponds also create an aquatic challenge during the round.
A three-time host of the Japan Open Championship (most recently in 2007, which Toru Taniguchi won) the East course at Sagamihara Golf Club dates back to 1955 and it’s a thoroughly challenging layout.
The West course at the 36-hole Shishido Hills Country Club has played host to the Japan Golf Tour Championship since 2003 and it’s a tough-as-nails 7,200-yard test when the rough is up and the layout is prepared in its rather narrow championship livery.
Originally laid out by the prolific Seiichi Inoue, the course at Aichi Country Club underwent a major renovation by Taizo Kawata in 2004 to coincide with the club’s fiftieth anniversary. Both the Japan Open and Japan Amateur have been held here.
Named after the Pacific Ocean island, the Oshima golf course at the fabled Kawana Hotel is a hilly Koumyo Otani design from 1928, which is shorter in length than its world ranked younger sibling the Fuji.
Situated near the city of Hamamatsu, Katsuragi Golf Club is owned and operated by the Yamaha Motor Company. There’s not much to choose between the club’s Yamana and Ugari 18-hole layouts – even their overall yardages are almost identical.
Designed by Taizo Kawata and Ed Sneed (who had a 3-shot lead with three holes to play in 1979 Masters but lost the playoff), Hokkaido Brooks Country Club (formerly Tomakomai CC) opened in 1992 and it’s a tough 7,312-yard layout that pitches and rolls over the hillside setting.
You’d never think that the course at Ocean Palace Golf Club & Resort was fashioned by the Nagasaki Airport Authorities, but you would believe they built the 100-metre suspended walkway across Ōmura Bay to Tatsu Island where five holes are located. The par three 11th, which plays across the full width of the strait, is simply unforgettable.
Established in 1960 and designed by Noriyuki Miyoshi, Miyazaki Country Club is the oldest golf facility in the Miyazaki prefecture. Its southerly location, close to the Philippine Sea, has provided the ideal venue since 2003 for the Japan LPGA Tour Championship, the final event of the LPGA of Japan Tour season.