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Eastwood Country Club Kawachi, Tochigi Prefecture

About 1.5 hours drive North of Tokyo in Tochigi prefecture, lies a fantastic track, cleverly designed and with plenty of unique character and charm. It’s a favorite of locals and is a stop on the senior Japan Tour. This year, Eastwood CC has also started to welcome foreign golfers living and visiting Japan to experience its fantastic golf and classic Japanese “OMOTENASHI” spirit!


Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed over 500 courses in over 30 countries. Eastwood Country Club is one of the finest examples in Japan. An 18-hole, par 72 course, measuring 6,872 yards from the tips, it offers up a superb test while being enjoyable and picturesque. Fans of Robert Trent Jones Jr design will recognize his style of ‘Listening to the land’, you can’t help but admire how he allows the course to flow around natural contours of the land in this lush and green backdrop. Opened in 1992, the course has many modern amenities such as car charging station, electric carts, gym, and trackman indoor practice facility as well as outdoor range. 

Course Information

From the beginning this course aesthetics are hard to beat; pristine tee boxes, tartan-cut fairways and fancy bunkering look inviting to say the least, but closer study reveals careful strategy is required. Bunkers loom for short and long hitters off the tee on a lot of holes, and together with the dreaded OB demand for a controlled drive, in fact, I would say your drives off the tee will dictate your scoring more than even putting!

The first is a short par 4, it’s a dog-leg left, with a ravine and OB on the left, requiring you to hit to the corner. I just missed the green, but thankfully, unlike a lot of courses in Japan- on this course, the grass around the greens is not too tight, allowing for nice lies and a chance for a handy wedge and hopefully, an up and down.

Holes #2 and #3 are two straighter par 4’s and depending if you play from the regular (whites) or Gold (Competition) varies in difficulty. We played whites so neither holes required drivers, but beware of the aforementioned fancy bunkering. We had sandy adventures on both holes! #4 is a short par 3 but with a tricky sloping green. Incidentally, the greens are quick, and considering how hot July is in Japan- are in fantastic shape. #5 is a longer par 4, with some risk and reward.  It’s a left dog-leg, so if you can go straight and fly a  ravine with bunkers and OB (best avoided), you’re left with a pitch,  going right adds yardage and needs a longer approach. The green has a very large bunker on the right with the same ravine sweeping around the green to the left. A par on this hole feels like a birdy. Next comes a long par 5, a little bit tighter and slightly uphill adding to the difficulty, lots of bunkering around the greens too, but a large green funneling to the days pin placement made for better scoring, despite it being handicapped 1.

#7 has to be one of my favorites, a downhill 110-yard par 3 with water in the front and left. Nerves are tested but none-the-less a very “birdie-able” hole. The 8th is another uphill par 5, but care needs to be given to the second shot, as water is on the left and out of sight! The 9th is a very short par 4, which we all did well on and had us on good form for a lunchtime beverage and reprieve from the July midday sun.

Course Guide

The fantastic buffet lunch on offer that day is definitely worthy of note, which included fresh vegetables from the course-owned adjoining farm and also featured an automatic robot-like beer pouring machine, which by the way- is free during lunch! we were ready for more and headed out for the back 9. 


Perfect beer every time! #生ビール #栃木#eastwoodcc #golfinjapan

A post shared by Golf In japan (@golf_in_japan) on Apr 29, 2018 at 2:52am PDT

The In Course is a little closer to the nearby hills and you can feel more swirling wind especially in the elevated spots. #10 is a shorter par 5- well reachable in two and is followed by another gorgeous par 3, again with water on the right and the breeze coming into play for a 160-yard shot.

The next stretch of holes while picturesque are also brutish both in length and difficulty, particularly #13, which is a dogleg right but then offers water on the left all the way to a slick, two-tiered green. Some of our party may have wished they were back with beer-robo in the clubhouse, but thankfully a nearby tea house obliged a consolation beverage. 

The next 3 holes played a lot easier, and particularly the short par 4s of 15 and 16, these got us back on track. At least, we thought we were until the longer up-hill finishing par 4s required a refocus and a little grinding to get home, the 18th is a smashing hole, an attention-grabbing, undulating green, overlooked by the clubhouse whose restaurant and competition rooms make for perfect viewing spots for the finishing drama, and to gather and toast a fantastic day of golf.

Practice Facilities

The course has an 8 bay, 150-yard range. The great thing about this is you can hit off the turf, and if it’s quiet you can also move around to different parts of the practice area to try different lies etc. There is a large practice green in front of the clubhouse, and a small indoor 1-person hitting bay to try clubs or take a lesson, including Trackman analysis equipment. 

Club House

When you enter the clubhouse you are immediately impressed with the combination of dark wood with local “OOBA” stone. English-manor style wood paneling is extensive in the halls and rooms and the rich dark wood continues to the locker rooms, highlighting the vaulted ceilings. Plush carpets line the hallways- unusual for Japan and with club boards, accolades and mementos from Robert Trent Jones Jr line the halls- exactly as a golf course should be. The restaurant has a panoramic view of the 18th, 15th and 10th with its large lake and heavily wooded hills adding majesty to the view. The course has a well-stocked pro shop with all the latest tech, balls, and apparel. There is a gym if that's your thing, but for most of us, the fantastic bath overlooking a Japanese garden is the perfect way wind-down and soak away the day's effort.

The 19th Hole

Mentioned earlier, the course prides itself on its fresh vegetables grown on site and offers set menus together with a complimentary salad bar for lunch as well as draft beer! Regular set menus include pasta, curry, soba and other Japanese staples. After round drinks and condiments are also available, with set menus to cater for every budget also available for competitions.

Play fees

Weekday Round: ¥7,500~ ($70)

Weekend Round: ¥14,900~ ($161)

Holidays: ¥13,900~($125)

Caddy optional +¥3,240 ($30) per person

Prices quoted are of Jul 2018

Getting there

If you plan to rent a car this course is perfect for visiting on the way to Nikko or in winter the Tochigi ski fields to the north.


By Train: From Tokyo station take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya station (50min). The course does offer a club bus from there which takes about 30 minutes. 

By Car: From Tokyo: Take the Tohoku expressway all the way to the Kamikawachi exit (requires ETC card), the course is 5 minutes from the interchange. Total drive time 1.5 hours approx. 


  • For English reservations: emi [at] jarman-international [dot] com
  • Address:1039-3 Fuyumuro, Kamikawachi-machi, Kawachi Tochigi 321-0417
  • Expressway:Tohoku Expwy
  • Interchange:Kamikawachi I.C.
  • Distance from interchange:114 km (103 km by Tohoku expressway, 3 km from Kamikawachi I.C.)


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