You can’t mention sports in Japan without talking about golf. Japan is full of golf enthusiasts. There are over 2,400 golf courses for almost 12 million golfers in Japan.
Many of the golf courses in Japan are really of international standard, and known for their beauty, height of strategic charateristics and perfect maintenance. The majority of Japanese courses are private, but except a few courses, always welcome visitors and, don’t require handicap certificates.
When is the best time of the year to travel to Japan to play golf ?The climate of central Japan is generally mild. however, since Japan is an archipelago of islands stretching some 3,000 km from north to south,and weather depends greatly on where and when you will be travelling. The followings are the places and seasons good for golf play in Japan.
Playing golf in Japan expensive?
Although it can be expensive, prices have come down significantly in the past 15 years in Japan. You also will have a merit of recent depreciation of Japanese yen. From the cost side, we are sure that Japan is one of the most attractive golf destinations in the world.
Golf Check in
On arrival at the golf course, you check in at the reception desk. You will be given a locker key and score card in a small wallet. Your locker key will be way you will be identified by the golf course and your purchases in the proshop, refreshment stands, restaurant and etc will be charged on your locker key number.
Caddies / Carts
After you have changed your shoes, you report to the caddy master room outside to meet your caddy. Normally there is one caddy (mostly female) for one foursome (one party). As many foreign golfers comment, Japanese caddies are unbelievably excellent and capable. She operates the golf cart, finds balls, provides course information including shot distances, putting lines on the green and counts clubs for all players all by herself.
With the exception of golf courses in Sapporo (Hokkaido) and Okinawa, there is a custom to stop for full lunch after nine holes. As you go up to the restaurant, you are given a back nine starting time, which will give you about 45-50 minutes for lunch.
Japanese bath (o-furo)
After the round is completed, most of the golfers take a hot bath, that is provided in every Japanese club house. Although this custom might be little foreign to you, it is wonderfully relaxing and will be a good memory of golf in Japan. Of course there are separate bath facilities for both men and women. We highly recommend you to take the bath, and followings are the procedures when you try it.
- Take off all your clothes, and put them in a small basket on shelves.
- Go into the bath room with a small towel which is provided in a changing room.
- Don’t get into the bath tab before you have taken a complete shower.
- After you have showered and rinsed, then you can get into the bath tub.
- Relax in the hot water or hot spring 5 to 10 minutes.
- Sit on the small stools in front of the small mirrors and wash completely with a soap and shampoo placed nearby.
- Dry off and dress. *some cosmetics, combs, brushes and hair driers are equipped in the changing room.
After taking Japanese bath, probably you have some drinks at the restaurant or bar. When you are ready to go, return your locker key holder to the receprion desk and make a payment for green fees, restaurant charges and etc.
- Shoes :: Almost every golf course in Japan require to wear soft spike shoes or spikeless golf shoes.
- Rental Clubs :: Except for resort courses, a limited number of rental sets are available, and pre- reservation is recommended.
- Gratuities Tips :: As you may know and fortunately to you, there is no custom of tipping in our country except for few cases. However, many of Japanese golfers give tips to the caddies when they enjoyed and satisfied with caddy’s services. An average amount of tip to a caddy is 1,000yen (not per player).
- Credit Cards :: Many of the golf courses in Japan accept VISA and MASTER, however a few courses accept AMEX and DINERS
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