【Karuizawa】Karuizawa Golf Club ② – Japan’s No. 1 prestigious resort course loved by Jiro Shirasu
(Continued from 1)
There are other rules that are unique to the Karuizawa Golf Club. No matter who you are, accompanying SPs, secretaries, drivers, journalists, etc. are off-limits. Except for peak season, no reservations are required and the course starts in order of arrival. It’s a restaurant without gorgeous decorations, but there are no private rooms such as VIP rooms or competition rooms because all members are equal here.
On the other hand, for discerning members who commute from their private villas every day, the lunch menu changes every day, not only because it is delicious, but also because they do not get bored.
The clubhouse is surprisingly simple from the entrance to the lobby and locker rooms, but it also gives a sense of tradition and elegance. However, I am happy to say that everyone from the front desk staff to the restaurant and the caddies are extremely polite and kind to our guests. After practicing on the driving range where you can hit from the grass, the caddy wipes the club clean. I’ve never experienced that in any other course.
Since it is a resort course, it is not necessary to wear a formal jacket, but I was warned not to wear long-sleeved underwear or arm covers under short sleeves, as they were considered underwear. It seems that everyone is trying to dress elegantly, such as women refraining from flashy golf wear. Surprisingly, the club does not have a website on the internet, so guests will need to check with the members about the club’s unique rules, such as the dress code, before playing.
On the other hand, despite being only playable for about half a year, the course conditions are kept in top condition, and the maintenance of the greens, which boast one of the highest speeds in Japan, is excellent. Japan’s most high-class golf club may be Japan’s most luxurious private club in terms of course quality and hospitality.
The beautiful course is infinitely flat and spacious against the backdrop of Mt. Asama and other majestic highland mountains. However, although it is a resort course, the course is long at 6,700 yards, with many dock wrecks, subtle undulations on the fairways, deep roughs, bunkers, and fast greens, making it difficult to score.
First of all, the starting holes of 1st (398 yards, par 4) and 10th (384 yards, par 4) in front of the clubhouse are in front of the terrace where Jiro Shirasu sits down on the clock and scolds slow players. First, the starting holes of 1st (398 yards, par 4) and 10th (384 yards, par 4) spread out in front of the clubhouse. This is the terrace where Mr. Jiro Shirasu sat under the clock and scolded slow players.
Don’t swing at this tee ground! Even if you miss a shot due to that nervousness, the fairway is wide so it doesn’t matter where the ball flies. However, when you go up to the green and hit the putt, you will be surprised at its speed.
The 3rd hole (211 yards, par 3) is a relatively long but spacious short hole with a view of Mt. Asama in front of the tee. Be careful as there is a large cross bunker in front of the green.
The 5th hole (416 yards, par 4) is a long and difficult middle hole with a gently sloping S-shaped fairway. The green is wide and the undulations are tight, making it difficult to putt.
The 8th hole (568 yards, par 5) and the 9th hole (480 yards, par 5) are two long holes in a row when you get tired of walking. In particular, the 8th hole has a long distance, and it is not easy to put it on the green with 3 shots. Conversely, the 9th hole is relatively short, but gently doglegs to the left. The green is high in the center and steeply sloping, making putting difficult.
However, you can hit a mighty shot toward the clubhouse and Mt. Asama.
The 11th hole (392 yards, par 4) is a long middle hole with a large dock wreck to the right and a difficult hole with cross bunkers and a large pond on the right side around 200 yards.
The 12th hole (128 yards, par 3) is the shortest hole, but there are five large and small bunkers around the green over the pond, so you can’t let your guard down.
The 13th hole (356 yards, par 4) is a straight middle hole, but the pond in front of the tee is a little worrisome.
The 14th hole (596 yards, par 5) is the longest at 596 yards, and is a difficult hole with a dogleg to the right and a narrow fairway in front of the green. The members called this hole “Gokuro-san（5・9・6＝have a hard time）” because of the length and difficulty of the course.
The 15th hole (400 yards, par 4), the 16th hole (191 yards, par 3), and the 17th hole (408 yards, par 4) are long middle and short holes, and you may get tired around here. In particular, the 15th hole is a hole that requires attention as there is a pond on the right in front of the green.
18th hole (492 yards, par 5) The final long hole is relatively short and takes a breather, but the fairway is larger than it looks and lies like a wave. Since you walk around the course, you will get tired around here, and if you hit a shot from a slight incline, you will make an unexpected mistake and you will not relax until you are out of the hole.
After a round of the course, sitting on the terrace of the clubhouse overlooking the course, drinking coffee, picking sandwiches, and smelling the scent of the elegant club life will make your fatigue disappear and you will have a pleasant time.
The current club members are said to be about 360, and if you want to play, you need to be accompanied or introduced by this limited number of members. Of course, there are many people who are eager to join the club, but in addition to the high admission fee and annual membership fee, it is also necessary to have the financial strength to continuously pay additional maintenance fees. In addition, it is said that the admission examination is extremely difficult because it requires recommendations from multiple members who say they are suitable for the club. It seems that one of the conditions is to have a private villa in Karuizawa.
However, in Karuizawa, a highland resort that is comfortable even in the summer, forgetting about the heat and other hustle and bustle of the lower world, enjoying the beautiful scenery, the best course conditions, and the high-quality private feel of golf is the ultimate luxury.
It’s a closed membership club, so it’s never easy, but it’s worth it if you find a chance to play.
Karuizawa Golf Club
Address 3000 Nagakura Minamigaoka, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
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