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Kochi Travel Guide Year-Round Golfing And Adventure!

Kochi is located on the island of Shikoku, in the southwest of Japan. Beloved by visitors for its unspoiled and surprisingly varied landscapes and has over 700 kilometers of magnificent coastline, which varies from wild rocky beaches with dramatic rock formations to pristine golden sands and turquoise water. It is one of the least populated areas in Japan which means you will have plenty of personal space when golfing or exploring.

This laid-back corner of Japan offers everything from secluded valleys and coastal retreats to lush mountains, and the year-round temperate weather also confirms it as a haven for travelers AND golfers who want something relaxing and different from pedestrian “Golden Route” escapes. Golf-wise, it's definitely quality over quantity, and from the 11...

Cherry Blossom Golf in Japan 8 courses to consider this Cherry blossom season

Nothing heralds that spring has arrived along with the new golf season like the cherry blossom. Each year, as soon as the national flower appears in late March and early April, the Japanese golfers hit the fairways to enjoy the new season and indeed life, which the blooms remind them is both precious and fleeting. Remember it is the most popular time for Japanese golfers to get out there so if you are keen to see some hanami on the course- book soon!

Here are eight courses in eight prefectures that are within driving distance from Tokyo, that are open to the public, and that celebrate the Sakura in style!

Courses

Kasumigaseki Country Club Kawagoe, Saitama

Not much is known about Kasumigaseki Country Club outside of its domestic fanbase, but an upcoming appearance in the world’s greatest sporting contest is about to change all of that. Kasumigaseki CC beat other prestigious Japanese golf courses, including Yokohama Country Club and Wakasu Golf Links, to lay claim to Japan’s second Summer Olympics hosting gig – and its first Olympic golf competition.

Following last year’s completion of the redesign from legendary American golf course architect Tom Fazio, the course is now ready to welcome the best golfers on the planet as the countdown to July 29 begins. I was able to pay the course a visit in early May and get a preview of its impressive new layout, as well as learn more of its fascinating history.

Playing golf at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club, Mie prefecture, Japan

Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club Ise Shima, Mie Prefecture

As a mid-handicap golfer, I’ve never played in any serious golf competitions. The monthly medal at my home course or a "few bob" on a skins game with friends is as close to real tournament pressure as I will ever find. But as a fan of the game, I do love playing championship courses. Remembering the epic battles of professional tournaments fought by the greats of the game, the shots that won them the tournament, how they played the course and their composure never fails to inspire us to try and bring some of that into our own games.

On a recent trip to Mie prefecture in the southwest of Japan, I was lucky enough to enjoy a round at the fantastic Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club. A masterful design by Mr Osamu Umeda, this 18-hole, par-72 course was made famous by being home to...

Equipment

Callaway Paradym Driver Review Will there be a shift?

The new Callaway Paradym driver has just dropped in Japan, and there is a ton of hype around this series of clubs, Just in the last few weeks it has dominated the men's tour, with all tournaments this year so far being won by a player using Paradym (Jon Rahm twice, and the other being Tom Kim) and other staffers rocking the club also placed high on the leaderboards. Like all new drivers in the market, it's boasting more distance and forgiveness, but have they actually achieved that? We managed to get our hands on the available models for testing, and this is what we found...

Bridgestone And The Japanese Golf Ball As played by the GOAT

There was a big fuss made when Tiger Woods started using Nike golf balls. It was a huge boost for Nike and a huge boost for Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone. Why? Because it was Bridgestone who actually made the balls. Bridgestone has been in the golf ball-making business for 90 years and has over 600 golf ball patents to its name. Tiger still uses them – only with “Bridgestone” written on them now – as does Bryson DeChambeau and other top golfers.

And you can play with the exact same balls as Tiger and other pro golfers. The Bridgestone Tour B XS balls were made to Tiger’s specifications and Bridgestone’s B X balls were made with input from DeChambeau, Jason Day, and Matt Kuchar.

Curiously, for a golfer known as a big hitter, Tiger tests the ball on the putting green...

Instruction

What happens if I ground my club in a bunker? The new rules of golf explained

In 2020, the US Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) made several changes to the rules of golf.

One major change was to the "drop procedure" when a ball is lost or out of bounds. Players are now allowed to drop the ball from shoulder height, rather than knee height, making the process more consistent and less prone to mistakes. Another change was to the rule regarding penalty strokes. Players will no longer be penalized for accidentally moving a ball on the green, such as when marking or lifting it.

Additionally, players are now allowed to repair almost any damage to the course, such as spike marks on the green. The changes also include simplifying the rules for bunkers, allowing players to touch or move loose impediments...

Keys to the long drive Fred talks to Kaori Saito - Japan Long Drive Champion

Japan long-driving champion Kaori Saito is the same age as Tiger Woods, but their golf journeys began 26 years apart. When Saito picked up a golf club for the first time, Woods had already won 14 majors. Like Ayako Okamoto, a former Japan softball star who took up golf at the age of 20 and became a giant of the game, Saito was set on succeeding in a different sport and an even more unlikely one: field hockey. Hailing from the wintry northern prefecture of Iwate, it was going to be a tough challenge to succeed in either sport.

But Saito is now a 10-time, long-driving champion in Japan and has finished as high as sixth at the World Championship (Las Vegas in 2016). Determination has taken her to the top of a sport – long driving – that has received plenty of attention thanks to...

Lifestyle

An Insider’s Guide to Toranomon Hills Residential Tower These serene serviced apartments offer a blend of luxury living and home comforts in the heart of Tokyo

A well-located residential property that rivals a five-star hotel, is furnished to an impeccably high standard, and comes with friendly, hospitable staff? That doesn’t sound like a bad way to begin your new life in Japan, does it?

Whether you’re coming to the city on a short to medium-term assignment or wanting to get your bearings before settling longer-term, serviced apartments are a first-class option for temporary accommodation in Tokyo – especially if you are looking to make the most of your experience here.

Right now, the best-in-class serviced apartment in the capital has got to be the newly opened Toranomon Hills Residential Tower, part of the Toranamon Hills development project. I recently had a chance to visit the development and learn more about its urban...

Gold Bar Opens At Edition Tokyo Cocktails in Kamiyacho

Launching today, Tokyo's latest suave and sophisticated cocktail bar is born. Gold Bar in Tokyo Edition located in Toranomon (really Kamiyacho) is on the ground floor next to the entrance, and is presented as 'An urban hideaway where guests can savor luxurious and exceptional moments'.

The decor is certainly reminiscent of the roaring 20s and is quite lavish; gold leaf and plush armchairs within a tastefully lit room, blending the contemporary style of the hotel, the Gold Bar will definitely be a hit with the local business crowd as well as pre-dinner cocktails for Tokyo Ex-pats.

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