Skip to navigation Skip to main content

SkyHill Golf Club Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture

Mountain courses are not everyone's cup of tea, but I love that they have personality and are memorable in a way some of the more ‘civilized’ courses are not. Sky Hill was no exception and we had a super fun day watching balls fly from the launch pad tees, calculating (guessing!) up and downhill yardages, and spotting various forms of wildlife (was it a Civet or a Japanese Badger?). My memories of the day are happily colored by an equal personal best stolen with a par on the signature downhill par five 18th.

The Clubhouse

The course is aptly named with the clubhouse sat like a well-appointed treehouse atop a mountain a few miles inland from the Kochi coastline. I arrived on the last day of August on a motorcycle after a pleasant hour’s ride from the Kochi city area and the place was hot and quiet, but the tone of the day was set by a chatty cleaning lady who was curious about the bike and apparently oblivious to the limitations of my Japanese. I’m a connoisseur of unique clubhouse features and during my initial exploration while waiting for my playing partners to arrive I was delighted to see, amongst the collection of furniture from his travels in SE Asia, that the owner had found space for a ping pong table! The second floor also housed a spacious restaurant where we had tasty bento lunches selected on check-in. This kept things simple and safe from concerns about Covid transmission.

After ‘Glamping’ that night on the same property (which offered the irresistible opportunity for a twilight chipping competition on the adjacent fairway), we returned to the restaurant for breakfast which had something for everyone including, I am happy to report, lashings of toast and coffee, a simple need of mine which is not always that easily met in the Japanese countryside.

At around 6,200 yards, many of them severely downhill, from the regular tees it’s a course that rewards accuracy over big-hitting. Having said that, the fairways on the lowland parts were often generous, offering a welcome respite from OB anxiety and giving the drivers a workout. If you missed a fairway, the rough was tough to cut through, but not that deep, though it would hold balls up on the steep fairway banks meaning the hoped for roll down onto the flat often didn’t happen, giving ample opportunity to practice ball above and below the feet lies! Once on the dance floor, the Bermudagrass greens were a challenge and I was happy with the 32 putts that my golf watch (which easily found and loaded the course) shows I took.

Unusually, Sky Hill has five par 3s and five par 5s. The par fives initially seemed daunting, long (the longest being 580 yards for us), and often with a blind tee shot. However, two things helped me stay on the par/bogey train on these holes. One was help from the mountain, with many of the tee shots getting useful roll-outs if you could keep them on the short stuff. The other was a friend and non-playing driver who, although a beginner at golf had an uncanny knack for identifying the perfect aim point (in the case of #5 a tree in the middle of the fairway) at which to launch a drive into the void. She was also kind (brave!)
enough to drive ahead and watch where the ball went, a service I wish I always had on courses where, I swear, I have lost my ball on the fairway in the past.

All in all our trip to Sky Hill resulted in an affordable, stress-free, and highly enjoyable day’s golf, and I would rate the experience well worth the drive up into the clouds if you’re in the area and looking for fun.

Course Details

Address: 310, Hassenzu, Kubokawa-cho, Takaoka-gun Kochi 786-0047

Tel: 0880-24-0711


More info on Golf in Japan


More on Air