【Ise Shima】Nemu Golf Club – A majestic seaside resort course overlooking Ago Bay, which is famous for pearl farming

【Ise Shima】Nemu Golf Club – A majestic seaside resort course overlooking Ago Bay, which is famous for pearl farming

Beautiful Ago Bay, with its intricate ria coastline and small islands, is world-famous as a pearl farming area. There is a stay-type seaside resort “Nemu Resort” that skillfully utilizes the beautiful scenery. It was developed by Yamaha, a global musical instrument manufacturer headquartered in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

“Yamaha” was founded in 1887 by Mr. Torakusu Yamaha, who was engaged in repairing clocks and medical equipment in Osaka, and visited Hamamatsu in 1887 to repair the broken organ of an elementary school. At that time, all organs were imported and expensive instruments, so after repairing them, he understood the structure and started manufacturing and selling organs himself. Furthermore, in 1892, Japan’s first overseas export of musical instruments began. In 1897, “Nihon Gakki Seizo Co., Ltd.” was established, and in 1900, it also began manufacturing pianos.

At first, the organ was made, but it could not be used because the temperament did not match. For that reason the tuning fork was used as the company’s logo because of the difficulty in tuning it.

During World War II, it became a munitions factory under the control of the army, but after the war, riding the wave of economic recovery and expanding civilian demand, in 1954, along with starting to manufacture motorcycles (currently “Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.”), in 1959, they released the Electone, which is synonymous with electronic organs in Japan.

After that, the company began manufacturing various types of musical instruments, stereos and other audio equipment, leisure goods such as golf clubs, electronic parts such as semiconductors, automobile parts such as wood panels, industrial equipment, etc., and became a major global manufacturer. In particular, pianos, which are representative of musical instruments, became the world’s largest producer in 1968, and their quality is also regarded as the highest.

 In 1987, 100 years after its founding, the company changed its name to its current name, “Yamaha Corporation.” The company also operates Yamaha music schools, concert halls, and the music software business.

Against the backdrop of these businesses, Yamaha has opened a complex facility consisting of a resort hotel where you can enjoy music and sports, leisure facilities such as sports facilities and marinas, and music camps such as music studios and stages. In 1967, “Nemu  no Sato” was established in Shima City, Mie Prefecture. followed by “Tsumagoi” in Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture in 1974.

From 1969 to 1974, the “Yamaha Popular Song Contest (Popcon)” sponsored by the Yamaha Music Promotion Association was held at “Nemu no Sato” (then the venue was moved to “Tsumagoi” and held until 1986), and the winner of the contest was automatically promised a record debut. It was a gateway to success for musicians at the time, and produced many famous singers who became major artists and hit songs that symbolized the era.

In 1989, the “Nemu no Sato Golf Club” was opened in the facility. The course was supervised by Mr. Genichi Kawakami, who was said to be the founder of Yamaha’s renaissance and was the president of Yamaha. However, due to the impact of the collapse of the bubble economy, Yamaha was forced to withdraw from the resort business, and in 2007 the resort business, including Nemu no Sato, was transferred to Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. After that, a large-scale renovation of the facility was carried out, and in 2017 the name was changed to “NEMU RESORT”, and the name of the golf course was also changed to “NEMU GOLF CLUB”.

Along with the large-scale renovation of the resort, the golf course was also renovated and reopened in 2015. It was managed by Mr. Damien Bascuzo, former chairman of the American Golf Course Designers Association, who has worked on the renovations of California’s La Costa Country Club and Japan’s Otaru Country Club, and Steve Bate, a PGA Tour professional. It is also supervised by Hiromi Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Women’s Professional Golf Association (JLPGA).

In renovating the course, the question of what is necessary for the course at a stay-type resort seems to have led to the conclusion that the practice range should be enhanced. This is in line with the wishes of various ways of spending time, such as “I want to practice hard before and after playing golf”, “I want to take golf lessons in a short period of time”, “I want to teach my children how to play golf”, and “I want to practice golf while spending time with my family”.

In addition, considering the possibility of hosting professional golf tournaments in the future, it seems that it is necessary to have a driving range that is long enough to hit the ball from the turf, and there is a need for a space where short games in various situations could be practiced.

In order to solve the theme of improving the practice field, an unprecedented and bold course renovation was carried out. First, the 10th hole (par 4) on the right end of the course will be closed and converted into a driving range, and the 17th (par 5) will be divided into a par 3 and a par 4. Another is to convert the 150-yard long driving range into a short game practice area.

As a result, an 18-seat driving range with a total length of 300 yards, which is long enough to hit from the grass, was created. This feels like hitting on a course rather than a practice range. In addition to the existing approach practice area with two greens and three bunkers, the site of the former driving range has been repurposed as a short game practice area. A practice facility has also been developed to accommodate future professional golf tournaments, also caters to the needs of customers who want to stay overnight and enjoy golf practice.

On the other hand, the 18-hole course setting was an irregular combination, with the first half having 3 par 3 holes for a total of par 35, and second half having 3 par 5 holes for a total of par 37, it wouldn’t be a big problem. Rather, it seems that the remodeling not only expanded the practice area, but also increased the attractiveness of the seaside course, such as challenging holes that hit over the sea.

Like a resort course, it is a two-seater self-cart equipped with a GPS navigation system, and it is possible to drive into the fairway and enjoy the scenery while playing a golf.

Let’s take a look at each impressive hole.

The 1st (469 yards, par 5) is a downhill par 5 with impressive views starting in front of the clubhouse. A large pond awaits on the right side of the course that gently curves to the right. 

The 3rd hole (143 yards, par 3) is a spacious par 3 hole. Because it is a downhill hole, you can see the green surface, and the distance is relatively short, so you can aim for a birdie.

The 4th hole (375 yards, par 4) is a par 4 that gently curves to the left. There are cross bunkers on the left and right sides of the fairway, and the right side is not as far as it looks, so you need to be careful where you aim the ball.

The 5th hole (499 yards, par 5) is a par 5 that curves to the left from the middle like the 4th hole, similarly, there are cross bunkers and trees on the left and right. In addition, it is a difficult hole with a handicap of 1 with a large bunker guarding the green.

The 6th hole (164 yards, par 3) is the most impressive par 3 of the front 9 holes.

The fairway stretches between large ponds on the left and right, and the green beyond is like a peninsula. A huge white sand guard bunker with palm trees surrounding it looks like a tropical beach. Although the scenery is picturesque, the tee shot feels pressured. However, it is possible to get a par if you can get onto the green from the right side.

The 7th hole (378 yards, par 4) has a wide fairway that allows you to hit the tee shot with ease, but the initial slope continues slightly uphill, making it feel longer than it looks.

The 8th hole (149 yards, par 3) is a relatively short par 3, but there is a pond on the left and a large tree on the right between the teeing area and the green, so you should aim for the green with a straight ball. In addition, there are 3 bunkers guarding the back of the green, making it a surprisingly tough par 3 hole.

The 9th hole (345 yards, par 4) The final hole of the front 9 is a relatively short par 4, but the fairway narrows toward the green, and the fairway ends with a grass bunker, and a large bunker awaits you ahead. It’s a tough hole that you can’t relax until the end.

The 10th hole (390 yards, par 4) The back 9 starts from a relatively long par 4. The fairway is slightly downhill and wide, so you can hit it without stress. Also, there is a pond extending from the front right of the green to the back, so be careful not to hit too much on the approach.

The 11th hole (495 yards, par 5) has a pond on the right front of the teeing area and trees line the left side, so you will feel pressure on the tee shot. The fairway is wide and flat after crossing the lake, making it an easy hole to play.

The 12th hole (361 yards, par 4) is an uphill par 4 that curves slightly to the left. The second shot is uphill, but there are no obstacles such as cross bunkers, so you can aim for par.

The 13th hole (141 yards, par 3) is a spacious par 3 hole where you can hit the tee shot without feeling pressure, but be careful not to drop the ball here as there are deep bunkers guarding it.

The 14th hole (398 yards, par 4) is an uphill hole that curves sharply to the right. The sea enters the fairway on the right, so you need to aim for the green from the left. It is a relatively long and difficult hole with a handicap of No. 2.

The 15th hole (339 yards, par 4) is the most impressive and beautiful hole on the course with the beautiful ocean on your right when you stand on the teeing area.

There is also a rest area and bench seats overlooking the sea, and you can enjoy the superb view of Ago Bay. In addition, only the group that starts first in the morning has the privilege of challenging a shot over the sea toward the green of the adjacent 16th hole, so it is a hole where you can fully enjoy the resort feeling.

The fairway curves to the right and slopes toward the sea on the right, so be careful when hitting the tee shot. However, if you look back at the teeing area from the fairway, you can enjoy a superb view of the teeing area over the sea.

16th hole (494 yards, par 5) This is a par 5 hole that gently rolls up to the right towards the sea. The green protrudes into the sea, so if you hit it too much, the ball will fall into the sea, so be careful.The first group in the morning can aim for this green from the next 15th hole. By the way, popular American singer Justin Bieber, who recently visited this resort course incognito to play, apparently got a birdie on this hole! He’s doing it!

The 18th hole (548 yards, par 5) The final hole is the longest par 5 on the course.

The wide fairway gently curves to the right and is dotted with cross bunkers along the way. It is a hole where you can relax and hit the ball without feeling pressured, and you can finish playing golf comfortably.

The clubhouse has also been completely renovated by space designer Yoshiyuki Morii, who works on many fashion boutiques and restaurants, creating an elegant and stylish atmosphere.

Hotel Nemu, which is located on the same premises, offers a resort atmosphere similar to golf course.

All rooms are spacious with an area of 47 square meters, and you can see the blue sea and deep green scenery of Ise-Shima through the large windows. In addition, at the Shiosai Onsen(hot spring), which wells up from within the premises, you can enjoy a tour of three kinds of nature’s blessings, which are designed to purify and regenerate the skin, and heal the fatigue of golf both physically and mentally.

At the dining room in the hotel, you can enjoy dishes that are particular about the taste, arrangement and color using high-quality ingredients such as fresh seafood representative of Ise-Shima such as spiny lobster(Ise-ebi) and abalone, and Matsuzaka beef that is close to the production area. You can also enjoy outdoor dining when the weather is nice.

In addition, there are boat cruises from the marina attached to the facility, marine programs such as fishing, and nature programs such as star watches and bonfire experiences. There are various pleasures other than playing golf, so you won’t get bored during your stay.

Needless to say, there are many sightseeing spots and beautiful landscapes that represent Japan such as Ise Jingu(shrine) and Futamigaura(reef) in the surrounding area, and there are many things to enjoy on the way to and from Nemu Resort.

In 2016, the 42nd G7 Summit was held here in Ise-Shima, where dignitaries from various countries including President Obama of the United States gathered.

After the meeting, the leaders of both countries visited the Ise Jingu Shrine together to become familiar with Japanese culture and traditions and deepen their friendship. You can reminisce about those days at the “Ise-Shima Summit Memorial Hall” and other memorial facilities such as major hotels in the city.

Why don’t you enjoy the mysterious feeling of warping from the ancient world of gods to the modern resort here in Ise-Shima?


Address2692-3 Hazako, Hamajima-cho, Shima, Mie Prefecture