【Karuizawa】Karuizawa Asama Golf Course – Golf course dedicated to two-some play overlooking magnificent volcano Mt. Asama
Karuizawa, Japan’s most popular highland resort area, has many golf courses, and in the summer it becomes a mecca for golf, attracting many golfers from the metropolitan area. Among them, “Karuizawa Golf Club”, which I introduced last time, is a members-only resort golf course that boasts one of the longest traditions in Japan, and it was an exclusive course that was not easy to play.
On the other hand, the “Asama Prince Hotel Golf Course” introduced this time is also in Karuizawa, but on the contrary, it is a public course that anyone can play. However, what is unique about the resort area of Karuizawa is that it is a two-some-only course, which is rare in Japan.
Golf courses in Japan are generally played in groups of four, and there are surprisingly few courses where couples can play alone without hesitation. Therefore, to play golf, you have to have four members, or even if you go with two people, you will have to play with a stranger.
However, this course is basically a two-some play, so there is no such concern, and you can easily play a round with a two-seater passenger-cart. In addition, although it is an 18-hole through-play, the cart can be driven onto the fairways within the course, so you can play smoothly without feeling tired. This is also relatively uncommon on Japanese golf courses.
Moreover, the altitude is close to 1,000m, so it is cool even in summer, and it is a beautiful highland resort course where you can see the magnificent volcano Mt. Asama, separated by larch and fir trees. The total length is 5,706 yards, and it is a short par 70. The fairways are relatively wide, but the course layout is skillfully arranged with ups and downs like a plateau and a large pond that reflects the surrounding mountains, so you can fully enjoy the real pleasure of golf.
After all, everyone plays in pairs, so it’s a wonderful atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a round of golf without worrying about the score.
Let’s take a look at each hole.
1st hole (361 yards, par 4) The starting hole is a powerful shot down from the teeing area in front of the hotel toward the pond seen downward. The green is on the left side of the pond, so when aiming for the green on your second shot, you need an accurate shot between the pond and the trees on the left.
The 2nd hole (453 yards, par 5) is a short par 5 hole where you can hit the green in 2 shots, but be careful as there is a pond to the right of the first shot target area.
The 3rd hole (493 yards, par 5) is another long hole with tall trees on the left and right sides of the teeing area and a lake in front, so the tee shot feels pressured, so the handicap is #1 the most difficult hole.
The 4th hole (156 yards, par 3) is a famous hole with a huge pond between the teeing area and the green. Moreover, there are three large bunkers around the green, and the wind that blows over the pond has a big impact, making it a difficult hole to choose a club.
The 5th hole (360 yards, par 4) has a pond on the right front of the teeing area. The hole is straight and slightly uphill, but the fairway narrows toward the green, so an accurate second shot is required.
The 6th hole (145 yards, par 3) is a slightly downhill par 3 hole with a pond extending from the teeing area to the green. There is a bunker at the back of the green, so an accurate sense of distance is required.
The 7th hole (337 yards, par 4) is a relatively short par 4 hole with a slope with large trees on the right side of the fairway, making it easy to get a par from the left side.
8th hole (401 yards, par 4) This time it is a long par 4 hole, and there are trees on the left and right that act as OB zones, and the fairway is relatively narrow, so you need to hit each shot carefully
The 9th hole (311 yards, par 4) is not long, but it docks slightly to the right, so you should aim from the left side of the course. The green is vertically long and has two tiers, so the key to a good score is where to aim your approach shots.
The 10th hole (334 yards, par 4) is a service hole with a wide, straight fairway and no hazards for easy par play.
The 12th hole (143 yards, par 3) is a short hole over a ravine. Trees approach from the left and right, especially the tall tree and bunker on the left front of the green make it visually difficult.
The 13th hole (325 yards, par 4) is a short uphill par 4 hole. The trees on the left and right in front of the teeing area make it difficult to aim, and the fairway in front is so steep that you can’t see the green and feel pressure when hitting the tee shot.
The 14th hole (141 yards, par 3) is another short hole over a ravine, with trees on the right, a ravine on the left and a bunker in front, so an accurate shot is required to hit the green.
The 15th hole (323 yards, par 4) is downhill and doglegged to the left. There is a valley in front of the teeing area and you feel the pressure. Also, if the tee shot goes too far, it will go out of the course on the right hand side, so be careful when choosing a club to hit the tee shot.
The 16th hole (332 yards, par 4) is a middle hole with doglegs on the right. You can’t aim for the green on your second shot unless you place your tee shot on the left side of the course. There is a slope covered with trees in front of the left side, so you need to pay attention to the direction and distance of your tee shot.
17th hole (372 yards, par 4) A middle hole with a straight and wide fairway leading to the green. There is a cross bunker and standing trees on the right side of the fairway, so you better to aim for the green from the left side.
The 18th hole (287 yards, par 4) is a middle hole that climbs towards the hotel. Since the distance is relatively short, it is desirable that you finish the play comfortably with a par.
As the name suggests, the course is adjacent to the “Asama Prince Hotel”, so you can check in for golf play at the front desk of the hotel, and you can take a cart directly from the hotel lobby to the course. After playing, you can enter the hotel lobby immediately, eat at the hotel restaurant, or go straight to your room during your stay.
The hotel was completely renovated in 2019. You can see the golf course and mountains from the balcony in all guest rooms, and the open view dining “Bloom” with a large glass wall with a height of 8m and a high ceiling.
In addition, the stylish and scenic hot spring & spa “Breeze in Plateau”, which can be accessed by taking the monorail from the side of the hotel lobby, can be used not only during your stay but also after playing golf. After enjoying the open-air hot spring with smooth spring quality and the mist sauna, you can relax while enjoying the scenery in the spacious woody lounge.
Located 6 km from the Usui-Karuizawa IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway on the way to the center of Karuizawa town, it is the closest golf course to the IC and the most accessible golf course in the Karuizawa area.
You can stay at the hotel and play rounds without worrying about the time, but since it is a through-play, you can start later even if you come from Tokyo on the day of the play. Even if you go back to Tokyo after playing golf, it is close to the IC, so even if there is a traffic jam, the distance affected is short and you don’t feel a lot of discomfort.
Karuizawa’s autumn foliage season is about to begin, but I hope that you two will enjoy playing golf together and enjoying hot springs and gourmet food.
Karuizawa Asama Golf Course
Address Minami Karuizawa, Hocchi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
Web site https://www.princehotels.co.jp/golf/asama/ (Japanese Only)