Purpose of this Website:
When I decided to go
on golf trip in the late 1990s, I was at a loss as to which country to go and
which courses to play. Books and websites introducing golf courses in each country
were available but there were no websites to introduce good Asian golf courses
which compared and evaluated them. I believe that this website will help serious
golf players in Asia and elsewhere become familiar with Asia’s great courses.
This site should be suitable for strong players who like challenging & demanding
courses and whose average drives are over 240 yards. It is not suitable for players
who want easy courses and good scores. Although the reviews contain my biased
opinion, I hope they will be useful as a reference for serious golfers who like
to play challenging courses that test their skills.
My motivation is pure
enjoyment, not for business reasons. Please do not expect advertisements or favoritism.
Also the course pictures that I personally took may violate copyright laws. If
there’s a golf club which I reviewed that doesn’t want the pictures used on this
websites, please inform me and I will remove them. My apologies beforehand.
Points to Keep in Mind about Course Evaluations:
I take the following matters into account: “Would the course keep challenging
you no matter how often you’ve played ?‘’, “Would the layout make you
use all 14 clubs?”, and “Does the layout reward your good shots and penalize
you for bad shots?”. Does the course make use of hte natural terrain as
much as possible? Deos the course have good mixes of short & long
par3s, par4s and par5s? Do the coures has good rhythm to play? Is routing
of the coourse good?
Course Difficulty Levels
This doesn’t imply that more difficult the course, the better
it is. Fairness counts. I think that a difficult and fair course means “challenging”.
However, I do downgrade the rating by 1 to 2 points from the layout category if
I feel the course has many too difficult holes which I hardly can judge is fair.
Greens and fairways conditions tend to be bad when
you play in the wet seasons. When I play during the wet season, I guess what the
rating would be if I played in the dry season. However, it is extremely difficult
to rate the condition perfectly because I play most of the courses only once.
Members or visitors who often play a course may complain that the green condition
is usually good but I rated it poorly. Please forgive me if that happens. Also,
bent grasses are not grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Bermuda grasses
are used mostly; as a consequence, the greens are slower, which tends to worsen
my ratings. However, excellent greens are becoming more common in tropical and
subtropical golf courses, as they adapt bent grasses or use new species like TifEagle
Bermuda grass, which deliver better putting speeds and consistency. Some of the
improvements of the greens due to breeding is just amazing.
Landscaping & Views
Landscaping beauty is based on course designs composition. Takes into
acount how the natural terrain is used, i.e. how greens, trees, and bunkers
are placed. In addition, how greens, bunkers and mounds are shaped. Man-made
beauty depends on the designer’s ability to utilize the beauty of the
terrain. I also consider views consisting of beautiful natural scenery
such as mountains, natural lakes, seashores, oceans, hills or ravines,
which usually make up the backdrop of each hole. The good view further
enhances the landscaping beauty of fairways and greens when seen from
The Level of Satisfaction
The Level of Satisfaction is a new feature that was introduced in early
2016. While this feature takes factors such as the golf clubs’ recognition,
exclusiveness and dignity into consideration, the main calculation is
based on factors such as the quality of caddies and staff, clubhouse facilities,
and the overall dining experience. This new Level of Satisfaction covers
all aspects of the players experience before, during and after the play.
Another important element that is taken into consideration is the region’s
atmosphere. Some reviews may take into consideration how the play is affected
by elements such as temperature, climate, weather and so fourth. Even
if a course is well designed, tropical rain weather or a dry heat climate
may affect the level of enjoyment of the course.
There are several factors that aren’t included in this feature. These
include the cost performance of the course, which are judgments based
on the price of play, and the distance, time, and traffic that affects
transportation experience to the golf club.
As of courses that are reviewed after January of 2016, the “Level of Satisfaction”
will impact 15% of the courses’ overall score. Courses reviewed before
2016 will gradually be re-evaluated in accordance to this new system.
Regarding Golf Courses I Play
I do not play randomly, but try to play courses with good reputations which I
learn about through word of mouth, or golf magazine rankings in each country or
polls. Consequently, the ratings have many 4s and 5s out of 5s. I sometimes play
courses that I’ve never heard of or I am forced to play during trips due to social
obligations and consequently the evaluations of those courses are inevitably not
I started covering courses in 2003 and plan to play all famous 2000 couses
in the world mainly in Asia by 2020.
Born in Kobe, Japan in 1959. I have been living in Hong Kong since 1993.
My official handicap is 3 at the Discovery Bay Golf Club (DBGC) as of
Dec. 2005 where I was the 2005 Club Champion. My average driving distance
is 240 yards, ranging from 230 to 250 in fine weather, no wind and on
I abbreviate course names as follows: GC (Golf Club or Golf Course), CC
(Country Club), G&CC (Golf & Country Club), S&CC (Sports &
Country Club), G&CR (Golf and Coutry Resort), GR (Golf Resort), G&LR
(Golf & Lake Resort), RGC (Resort Golf Club), and G&HR (Golf &
Holiday Resort). The journey times that are written in the reviews are
mainly based on my early morning experiences with the assumption that
there is no traffic jam.
I would really thank Mr. Michael Galbraith and Mr. Bob Kagotani for helping
to organize this English site and Mr. Kousaka Tomonari and Mr. K. Kawabata
for helping to organize the Japanese site and playing together many of
golf courses that I cover. Without their help, this site could not be