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Katsura Golf Club
Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan
Design Style: Parkland Course Type: Private
Setting: Inland

Located close to the main airport just outside Chitose on Hokkaido, Japan's second largest and northernmost island, Katsura Golf Club winds artfully through a flat, forested site. The 7,116-yard course is very unusual for Japan in that less than 200,000 cubic meters of earth were moved during construction. The result is a natural layout that incorporates several large, man-made water channels, and features fairways cut individually from a katsura (pine) forest with no holes playing parallel to other holes. Robert Trent Jones II's well-crafted and environmentally sensitive work here was rewarded with a ranking among the top ten golf courses in Japan.

Trees border most fairways at Katsura and form chutes extending out from many of the tee boxes. Adding to the vertical hazards of the trees, several large ravines create forced carries and lateral hazards. Greens here are fairly open and receptive but spill off into tight chipping areas. We designed the large, soft bunkering to subtly blend with the forest, thereby adding to the natural, parkland look of the entire layout.

The ninth hole actually features the largest known katsura tree in Japan. This 230-year-old behemoth reposes along the right side of the fairway just before it doglegs left. A fade that lands beneath the tree will leave a player with no shot at the green. As on many holes at Katsura, golfers must position the ball well to establish proper attack angles to putting surfaces. The elegantly designed golf course invites you to try to set a record of your own.


Katsura Golf Club Awards
    • American Express—Top 10 Course in Japan