ISSUE 1/2008 1 July 2008  

Dear Fellow Golfer,

Welcome to the Golf-in-Japan.com e-newsletter.
As we head into the heart of the golf season we hope you will enjoy playing some of the top notch 2,348 courses on offer here in Japan this year and especially supporting our 'Preferred courses' with your patronage. We trust you are already familiar with our web site (if not, click the links above to learn more). This bulletin is designed to raise the awareness of the international community about GIJ (the best English language source of information on golf in Japan in the world!) and help make it better by encouraging you to get involved and rate courses you have played allowing other golfers insight into selecting a suitable course for their next golf outing.
Enjoy the site and please share it with your friends!

Golf-in-Japan.com Site News

The Golf-in-Japan.com site has not only gone through a face-lift but has also been improved in several other ways. Perhaps the most important for you who are looking for information on the courses; the database has been completely updated as of May 2008. All data for the 2,348 courses in the database have been checked, play fees updated and now we have also added the latitudes and longitudes for each course so that we could integrate all maps to courses with Google Maps. The prefecture maps and course maps are now available. We hope this would help you find the location of the courses, and find your way to them much more easily.

During the course of updating the information I (Clas) made a number of interesting observations:
  • The caddies are disappearing from more and more courses, I would say that today only about 25 % of the courses offer caddies
  • The play fees are still on a downwards trend, although much less so that one or two years ago. The difference between weekday and weekend/holiday fees seems to be widening. Some high-end and "fashionable" courses maintain very high fees, in the upper 30,000 and 40,000 yen level on weekends/holidays.
  • The play formats and fee structures have become much more flexible. Many courses offer now early-bird, late afternoon or 9-hole play, play-through (no lunch break) with significantly discounted play fees. For those who want to enjoy the lunch, many courses now include the lunch in the play fee.
  • About 10 % of the courses have changed name (and owner, often after bankruptcy) during the last two years (since the previous full update).
  • Foreign investors, most notably Accordia Golf and Pacific Golf Management (PGM) are still buying up courses, although at a slower rate. Both own and/or manage today about 120 courses. The Prince Hotel chain has divested about half of their course and now operate courses mainly in high-end resort areas like Karuizawa and Hakone.
A note regarding play fees on the site: many courses now changes their rates almost on a daily basis, probbaly based on the booking situation, especially Accordia and PGM do so. So please check with the course for the rates on the day you want to play.
New Golf Columns

June 27, 2008 - The Mystery of Miura
by Bennett Galloway
Ever wonder who makes the best golf clubs in the world? In this feature we are going to try to shed some light on the mystery behind one of the worlds best and most sought after golf gear companies, Miura Golf. I recently had the pleasure of meeting and sitting down with the Asia and Japan Representative for Miura Herb Wakabayashi.
May 17, 2008 - The Accidental 'Compe' - It's easier than you think!
by Toshimitsu Rohlich
The common assumption of most people (myself included) about golfing in Japan is that it's way too expensive and inconvenient, so I figured when I moved here two years ago I would have to give up the game I've played and loved since grade school. But, before I knew it, the golf bug had gotten the better of me. After honing my skills at the range for a few months, I decided it was time to "step up," and play the game the way it was meant to be played - on the green grass.
May 2, 2008 - Interview with Hiroshi Tahara Pro
by Willy Badger
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit down with a legend in Japanese golf, Hiroshi Tahara. He is a former regular Tour Pro and the current honorary head pro for Gunma Country Club. Located in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, Gunma Country Club features a spectacular panoramic view from the club house restaurant to the nearby mountains.
Nisekogolf.com

Come golf surrounded by pure nature in Niseko at one of the areas 4 courses. All within 20 minutes drive of the Hirafu village, these beautifully maintained world class courses offer stunning views of the local mountain ranges while you play. After a round or two, try one of the areas many relaxing mineral rich onsens.

To make your trip a little bit easier, Niseko Golf is offering free transfers to and from Chitose airport and a golf course shuttle service for guests who stay in Niseko Management Serviced apartments. Conveniently located in the Hirafu village these apartments offer the upmost in comfort and amenities for the discerning traveler.
The Club of Aqua
- Annual Golf Pass for International Golfers @ Aqualine Golf Club

Aqualine Golf Club
The Accordia Golf operated Aqualine Golf Club, conveniently located just 60 minutes from central Tokyo, offers international golfers an annual golf pass which entitles to substantial discounts on their green fees and also a free inititation fee (regular price 31,500 yen) for Total Workout Fitness Club located in Shibuya and Roppongi.

The pass also gives other privileges such as social events, free golf clinic and English assistance.

The annual dues are 126,000 yen for men, 88,200 yen for women and 189,000 yen for couples.

For more information click link at right.
Windsor Park Golf and Country Club
At Windsor Park Golf and Country Club you can relax and play golf in a truly international atmosphere. All our services are available in both English and Japanese so you will have no worries about struggling through the language barrier to get a tee time. The Windsor Park Hotel permits you to stay overnight and you can enjoy dinner prepared for you by our Executive Chef while looking out over the lit up 9th and 18th holes. We also have BBQ facilities for those of you who might want a more relaxed dining atmosphere.

In addition to the 18-hole championship course, our Australian PGA Professional Tom Watson is available for golf lessons and camps (advance reservation is required). We are also happy to welcome Junior Golfers and on weekdays during the month of August with the exception of the August 13-15 Obon Holiday period we offer a special junior green fee rate of 3,000 yen, which also includes lunch.
Belle View Nagao G.C. has teamed up with US Kids Golf
Belle View Nagao G.C. has teamed up with to offer anytime kids golf lessons and camps here at the base of Mt. Fuji.
Along with our special kids green fees this is the perfect place to get your little Tiger out on the green grass and introduced to this great game with one of the top Jr. Teaching Programs in the world. We have a good selection of kids gear right here in the club house with rental and demo kids clubs also available. Drop your wee ones of for a lesson and take some 'time out' to enjoy the many nearby activities including the Gotemba Premium Outlets Mall or perhaps a hot spring with massage at Gotemba Kogen Resort just minutes away! This is the perfect getaway location and only 80 min from Tokyo!

Kids Summer Holiday 18 holes Golf Special (from 7/22 - 8/31). Come out with the family and enjoy Weekday kids green fees of 3,000yen and Weekends for just 8,000 yen.
Adults 18 hole 'Aloha Special' weekday Green fees just 7,000 yen during this period with lunch even included on Mondays!! Please reserve through Ben and don't forget to say 'Aloha Special'! Kids 9 hole Golf Special 1,050 yen any day of the year @ Belle View Nagao! (must be accompanied by an adult at regular rate!) For more information, reservations and round lessons in English click link below.
 
'Tuesdays' at Gotemba Golf Club
Come tee it up every Tuesday at Gotemba Golf Club for just 9,300yen including lunch! This is the perfect day to come with your friends or that special someone as we also don't charge any two-some fees on this day!! Take a round lesson with Ben in English or Japanese and find your true potential with the help of a licensed instructor all in the shadow of beautiful Mt.Fuji. Direct trains from Shinjuku and free shuttle buses from JR Gotemba available!

For more information, reservations and round lessons in English click link below.
 
Daimler & Chrysler Cup - North America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan

The 2008 Cup will be played on Friday 26 September at Atsugi Kokusai Country Club. There will be 144 players teaming up, 72 for the European Team and 72 for the North American.

The event has been slightly re-branded and is now co-sponsored by Daimler Japan, Ltd. and Chrysler Japan Co., Ltd.

Registration for the event has been opened, but note that you need to be a member of one of the Chamber of Commerces to be able to participate.
The participation fees are same as last year, i.e. a 3,000 yen non- refundable registration fee and a 21,000 yen fee (paid to the club) for the play, caddie, lunch and party and a lot of great prizes, total cost 24,000 yen

For more about the event, click link at right.
 
You've got trouble

Off the seventh tee, Joe sliced his shot deep into a wooded ravine. He took his eight iron and clambered down the embankment in search of his lost ball.

After many long minutes of hacking at the underbrush, he spotted something glistening in the leaves. As he drew nearer, he discovered that it was an eight iron in hands of a skeleton!

Joe immediately called out to his friend, "Jack, I've got trouble down here!"

"What's the matter?" Jack asked from the edge of the ravine.

"Bring me my wedge," Joe shouted. "You can't get out of here with an eight iron!"

Please enjoy the site and if you have any questions, comments, or want to promote your business on the site or in this bulletin, please  contact us .
There's a lot of sponsor opportunities still available...;-). The site is becoming increasingly popular, we now have about 50,000 unique visits and 160,000 page views a month.

Have a nice (golfing) summer and best regards

Clas G. Bystedt

Bennett J. Galloway
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ABOUT THIS BULLETIN
This bulletin is published by Golf-in-Japan.com and distributed to over 1,900 recipients among its members, other current and future golfers as well as the media.
The editors of this bulletins are Bennett Galloway and Clas Bystedt.
Golf-in-Japan.com is the only comprehensive web site about Japan's golf courses and golf in English.