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Top 30 Golf Courses of Japan 2015

16 February, 2015

Top 30 Golf Courses of Japan 2015

No change at the top of our extended Japanese rankings

16 February 2015

Top 100 Golf Courses first featured golf courses in The Land of the Rising Sun back in 2009 when we produced a Top 10 chart. Since then, we’ve extended our coverage by doubling the number of courses in 2013 and now we’ve added another ten top tracks, creating an inaugural Top 30 for Japan.

Of course, we realise this merely scratches the surface when you consider there are nearly 2,500 courses spread around the Japanese islands but at least we’re now exhibiting the top 1% of golf facilities in the country!

Summarising the new listing, there are ten new entries, seven climbers, eight fallers and five non-movers. The handful of courses remaining in the same position occupy the top five places in the rankings so there’s every chance we might just have correctly identified the golfing crème de la crème in that particular nation.

It’s no coincidence that four of our five top ranked tracks all benefitted from the architectural input of Charles Hugh Alison when he visited the country in the early 1930s and it’s true to say the architect’s three-month trip to Japan left an indelible mark on the nation’s future course designs. Indeed, even to this day, any deep and bold bunker in the country is simply known as “an Alison”.

The top three layouts are all currently listed in our Top 100 Golf Courses of the World chart and when it was last updated, top ranked Hironomoved up eight places to number 34. It’ll be interesting to see how the Japanese courses fare when the list is refreshed later this year.

There’s a growing suspicion that Asia might be drastically under-represented in the global ranking charts that appear every couple of years in mainly North American and European publications so perhaps a wind of change might see a few more Oriental entries in the near future?

The highest new entry in the Top 30 for Japan arrives at number 15 and it’s the 18-hole layout at Shimonoseki Golf Club which makes its mark. Currently the only course featured in our Chugoku Best in Region standings, it’s a very solid Osamu Ueda design that has twice hosted the Japan Open since 1991.

As always, we welcome feedback in any shape or form so please let us know what you think of our new Japanese listings. We now have another two well-travelled Asian correspondents working with the Top 100 Team so we believe our national charts in that region of the world are as accurate as possible.

For those that would like more information about Japan’s golf courses, we recommend Masa Nishijima’s Golf Course Academy website. With a growing number of contributors (around fifty or thereabouts), Masa ranks Japan’s Top 50 courses, defined by the averaged opinions of his raters utilising rigorous evaluation criteria. We incorporated Masa’s Golf Course Academy rankings alongside numerous other rating data to arrive at our final 2015 Japanese Top 30.

We never boast about publishing “definitive” lists but we do think we produce the most “informed” rankings for general consumption by the golfing public. If you’ve been fortunate enough to tee it up at any of the courses below, why not post a review and share your views with us?

Rank Course Move
1 Hirono G.C. No change
2 Kawana Hotel G.C. (Fuji) No change
3 Tokyo G.C. No change
4 Naruo G.C. No change
5 Kasumigaseki C.C. (East) No change
6 Koga G.C. Up 1
7 Abiko G.C. Up 3
8 Karuizawa G.C. Up 3
9 Nikko C.C. Up 4
10 Ono G.C. Up 5
11 Oarai G.C. Down 3
12 Kasumigaseki C.C. (West) Down 6
13 Nasu Up 4
14 Phoenix (Takachiho & Sumiyoshi) Down 2
15 Shimonoseki G.C. NEW
16 Osaka Down 7
17 Ryugasaki C.C. Up 1
18 Ibaraki (West) Down 2
19 Sapporo G.C. (Wattsu) NEW
20 Takanodai C.C. Down 1
21 Hokkaido Classic G.C. NEW
22 Nagoya G.C. (Wago) Down 8
23 Bonari Kogen G.C. NEW
24 Taiheiyo (Gotemba) NEW
25 Otaru C.C. Down 5
26 Ise C.C NEW
27 Kawana Hotel G.C. (Oshima) NEW
28 Hakone NEW
29 Sagami C.C. NEW
30 Sagamihara (East) NEW

To view the complete detailed list of the Top 30 Golf Courses in Japanclick this link.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses


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