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Kasumigaseki C.C. 霞ヶ関カンツリー倶楽部

Kasumigaseki Country Club logo
Located 40 minutes north of Tokyo is the site for the upcoming 2021 Olympic men's and women's competition. Kasumigaseki Country Club boasts two courses: the East and the West. The Olympic course will be the East Course, originally designed by famed Japanese golf course architect Seiichi Inoue in 1929 but redesigned by Tom Fazio in 2016 in preparation for the games. The West course was designed by English golf architect Charles H. Alison in 1936. It is Japan's first 36-hole course, and the first creation by the legendary Inoue. The course is revered by Japanese golfers and access is strictly for members and their guests. The club remains one of the best examples of Japanese golf design, with breathtaking landscapes harnessed as a backdrop for an understated yet challenging layout. It has a long standing as one of Japan's top 10 courses and will offer a great spectacle at this year's games.

Reviewed May 28 2021

A view of Kasumigaseki Country Club course

Course Design & Layout (5 out of 5)

Kasumigaseki consists of the East course and West course. The East course was first completed in 1929. Regarded as one of the earliest and best examples of Japanese golf course design, it was the first course to have dual greens – a feature unique to golf courses in Japan. In preparation for the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics, American golf architect Tom Fazio was commissioned to renovate Seichi Inoue's original course design; specifically to lengthen it, unite the two greens, and modernize the layout for the games. 

The West course was originally built in 1936 by Charles H. Alison. Alison added many features such as elevated large single greens and sprawling deep bunkers. 

The Kasumigaseki site is generally flat with areas of slight undulation, and some raised tee boxes. The fairways are mostly flanked by beautiful Japanese cypress trees, offering plenty of cover and protection – particularly on the dog-legged holes. The greens are fast and with lots of undulation. If needed they can be brought up to 13 feet on the stimpmeter, and pin placements can be made extremely difficult. KCC's real arsenal however is the deep Korai rough, which will be really evident at the Olympic competition. 

The original design definitely rewarded precision over brawn and offered a different test to what Fazio has created. Fazio has added length and accommodated the modern game – and the age of "bombers." However, both courses do still retain the spirit of their original designs and are an absolute pleasure to play. 

Facilities & Services (4.5 out of 5)

The clubhouse is wide and spacious for its age, with large members' and visitors' locker rooms as well as a new ladies locker room (women have only been allowed to play at the course since 2018).

The course is not like a museum as you might expect. Instead, it feels like a functional, no-frills affair, with all the focus and attention going – and rightly so – on the course.

Practice facilities include a 250-yard range, although the West course's 18th hole is now a 300+ yard driving range for the Olympic athletes. Two large practise greens are located behind the clubhouse and in front of the respective first tees. 

Food & Beverage (4.1 out of 5)

The restaurant overlooks the practise greens on the 2nd floor. It is bright and spacious and has lunch options like katsu (pork cutlet) curry, oyaku-don (chicken and egg rice bowl) and soba noodles. There is also a special "Trump Burger" available following the visit of the former US president in 2018 where he played with Hideki Matsuyama and the former prime minister Shinzo Abe – who famously fell back into a bunker on camera!

Value for money (5 out of 5)

It is not cheap to play at Kasumigaseki CC. But the chance to play on a Japan-bucket-list course like this is worth every penny of the ¥24,000-midweek and ¥ 30,000-weekend fees. If you have a chance to accompany a member – just GO! 

East course (Front 9)

East Course (Back 9)

Course Details

  • 36/East: 71 / West: 73 ( from Championship tees)
  • East: 7,466 / West: 7,117
  • 73.2
  • Innoue, Alison, Fazio
  • 1929
  • 20 bays, 250 y
  • N/A

Course Fees

  • ¥21000
  • ¥28000
  • ¥16000
  • ¥16000

Prices shown are an indication of the starting price. Please enquire for the current rates.

Overall Golfing Experience

4

  • The Club
  • 5
  • 4.5
  • 4.1
  • 4.5
  • 2
  • The Course
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4.7
  • 4.4
  • 4.8

Contact Information

Access

  • Kanetsu/Ken-o Expwy
  • Ken-o Tsurugashima I.C.
  • 35 km (30 km by Kanetsu/Ken-o expressway, 5 km from Ken-o Tsurugashima I.C.)