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Green Feel Golf Club Kataoka, Kochi Prefecture

It is no surprise that Green Feel has been voted the number 1 course in Shikoku for the last number of years. The designer, Mr Sho Tobari (a prominent tournament producer and TV commentator in his own right) got it right with a design that all levels of golfer can enjoy. He is quoted on their website as saying: 'This is a course designed to be enjoyed by regular amateurs, but also to offer a high degree of difficulty from the championship tees, keeping in mind that tournaments can be held at any time'. Stepping out into the caddy masters area you can see the 1st and 9th holes from a slightly elevated position and they look glorious in the September sunshine, there is a palpable air of excitement as players go through the bustle of their pre-game routine, and after a quick warm-up, we too, were ready to play.

The front 9

The first hole is a par 4 with a gentle dog left and looks inviting with a generous fairway, but there are bunkers to be wary of all down the right. But after four nice drives we were in our way, the pin was tucked right at the front and guarded on all sides by bunkers, I found the sand of course, and was taken by surprise at just how fine the sand is on this course, super fine...(I am used to the muckier and harder bunkers of the kanto area- at least that is my excuse!) so two out of there and onto a rather slick green which had been hollow-cored.... so the roles were not as nice as you would expect, but that is totally normal on all good courses at this time of year in Japan.

The 2nd hole is another great hole worthy of mention, a par 4 going back up the hill towards the clubhouse and the perfect place to capture a pic of two. A large ravine immediately in front of the tee box keeps you on your toes, but otherwise a nice easy hole. The 3rd hole however is a longer par 4 and a lot more difficult (HCP 1) challenge. I love the way it taunts you to take the driver and clear the bunker on the left (220 yards) but care must be given on the approach as water lurks to the right and bunkers feature at the front of the green. 


The 4th was my favorite hole, a stunning par 5 with water along the left and cliffs on the right with sheer rock exposed. Miss the fairway here and you are in 2010 masters rough, making a two-on an impossible task. Even after a lay-up, the elevated green with lots of contouring and bunkers on either side can catch you out, and i must admit leaving a painful scar on my scorecard but I heard myself saying 'Next time, I'll play it differently'.

The next few holes are straightforward and beautiful, walking and talking of how glad we were to be out of the office.

One thing I noticed about this design is that the course is always pushing you to take the big stick and get it out there- clearing something, but now having had the benefit of playing the course might not be the correct play!. The 7th is a real gem; a long par 3 which surprisingly, we all did well on, including some spectacular sand saves by my playing companions. The 8th and 9th are two beautifully routed holes really looking more like a lawn of the Versaile palace than fairways in Japan! rarely would you see a body of grass in better condition. The 9th green has a fountain to the left which it shares with the 18th, and adds a bit of pomp and circumstance,and had us in high spirits and ready for lunch and a beer.

Clubhouse & lunch

The Clubhouse is awesome and what you would expect for a club of its standing. Caddys waiting at the door to take your bag, even the car park was covered (the summers are hot down here) and the roofs had solar panels making the clubhouse self-sustaining for power- not many clubs can say that in Japan. Inside there is a large foyer with a pro shop, well-appointed locker rooms and baths, and the main reception. Upstairs, a beautiful restaurant overlooking 1 and 9 has a large selection of seasonal and year-round sets (I counted over 10), I went for the Chinese style pork and veg, which was delicious if not slightly huge! Purists will scoff about taking a break after 9, but when the temp is over 30 degrees in Japan (which it often is), a break for lunch with a draft or 'Nama' beer is a must and gets you cooled down and relaxed, ready for the back 9.

The Back 9

The 10th starts off with a slight dogleg right, and is cleverly concealing a short fairway, if like us, you took driver off the tee you most likely will find yourself in deep rough requiring a delicate 60-yard chip over a bunker onto a steep green (yes, more talk of 'Next time I'll play it differently....') and after some short game shenanigans, and 1-2 extra shots apiece, we headed to the beautiful par-3 eleventh. For me, I loved the look of this hole, hemmed by forest and with a massive valley to the left  we were playing about 150 downhill, this green was very slick and balls bounced off easily into even thicker rough. A par here is definitely a result. 

The next stretch are quirky and fun, The 12th teeing over a Kyoto-esque rock garden is unique, we also had our share of doglegs, natural rivers, and that Masters rough that has been testing us all day... 


I think at this point in the round you either get really tired or you find your feel and rhythm, and thankfully for me, it was the latter, once you drive it well on this course- it becomes a whole lot easier, to that end, and I loved the 14th and 17th, two long par 5's, with so many bunkers to contend with for a safe lay-up- even in the center of the fairway, there were bunkers. I just love that, that the course dictates how you should play, and that is aggressive. 

When we got to the 18th the sun was low and the course was bathed in shadow and a golden haze, there is nothing like playing at this time in Japan. Our game came down to the penultimate hole,  and commands your attention, particularly the approach, which is over a pond and can easily catch you out- especially if you don't have enough club- which members of our party can attest to! 

But its not all about the bet, and we were all feeling like winners, shaking hands on what had been an extremely enjoyable day. 

Play fees

Weekday Round: ¥5,834~ ($55)

Weekend Round: ¥13,721~ ($130)

Holidays: ¥13,721~($130)

Prices quoted are of Sep 2020


From Tokyo:

ANA flies daily from Narita Airport from ¥25,000~

An easy 1-hour drive from Kochi airport. Toyota Rental car is located at Kochi airport and a medium-sized car costs about ¥8,000 per day. 

Green Field Golf Club (リーンフィールゴルフ倶楽部)
1000 Ohana, Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kochi 781-2163
TEL 0889-24-7711 
info [at] greenfeelgc [dot] co [dot] jp (


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