Golf in Japan 101: What you need to know

The host country of the 2020 Olympic Games has a rich history in the sport as well as a curious future.
Japan's most storied course: HIrono Golf Club.

Japan golf is going to be spending a lot of time in the spotlight between now and July, 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games. We recently dispatched one of our Senior Writers, Bradley S. Klein, to explore the golf heritage there. He learned the culture there is still fanatic about the sport, even if the country's golf participation is tapering off. It remains an aspirational game in many ways there, as many of the top courses are very exclusive and expensive. But there are driving ranges all over the country as well as some public courses.

7 Min Read
October 18, 2019
In the lad up to the 2020 Olympics and Skins Game featuring Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jason Day, the country's golf courses and culture remain impressive in spite of a recent downturn.

Revelations from a visit to Japan and travel tips

In this episode of the Golf Advisor Podcast, Klein provides host Brandon Tucker a history of the sport as well as what it's like to be a visitor in the country: where to go and where to spend less time, and the best courses to play you can access.

Japan's Best Public Course

The "Pebble Beach of Japan" is spectacular and it's also available to the public. Klein details the historic Fuji Course at Kawana Hotel and why it's a must-play in Asia.

4 Min Read
July 3, 2019
Golf’s ability to present us with powerful landforms never ceases to amaze me. That was the impression I carried away from a recent trip to one of the game’s most dynamic settings – Kawana Hotel Golf Course, 75 miles south of Tokyo, on a tree-lined coastal cliff overhanging the Pacific Ocean.

Klein talks 2020 Olympic Venue, Kasumigaseki

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Get to know the 2020 Olympics host golf course in Japan

Japan's No. 1 Course:

Hirono Golf Club is historic and exclusive. It has also undergone extensive work lately. Leaern more about the pace-setter among Japan's golf scene.

6 Min Read
July 31, 2019
C.H. Alison's masterpiece is being meticulously restored by Martin Ebert.

Now in its 27th year Golf Odyssey covers the world of golf travel for GolfPass, providing expert news and reviews of the best courses around the world. We also identify insider access to top private clubs, and how to save on the world's most prestigious resort and public courses.
Commented on

I would like to play a round of golf on a future trip to Japan. Do the Japanese courses carry rental clubs? If so, which courses and what are the costs involved?

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Golf in Japan 101: What you need to know