Golfing in Japan: A Unique and Rewarding Experience

If you are considering golfing in Japan, you are in for a treat. Japan’s golfing culture is rich and diverse, offering a unique and rewarding experience for players of all levels.

Japan’s first golf club was established in 1903 by an English expatriate, and since then, the sport has been embraced by the Japanese. As a result, Japan’s golfing culture has been influenced by the British way of doing things, as well as by other major golfing nations. This means that you may find things slightly different from what you are used to in your home country.

Golfing in Japan is a unique experience that combines the country’s rich culture with the traditions of the sport. From the beautiful courses to the customs of the clubhouse, golfing in Japan offers a glimpse into the country’s history and way of life.

Another important aspect of golfing in Japan is the schedule. Most games follow a two-hour golfing session playing the first 9 holes in the morning, followed by a one-hour break for lunch at the clubhouse, and then another two-hour session or the remaining 9 holes in the afternoon. This schedule may differ in Hokkaido and Okinawa due to their climates. Lunch is considered an important part of the golfing culture in Japan, so we recommend avoiding having a large or late breakfast.

To ensure that you have a great time golfing in Japan, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the following guidelines.

Membership system

In Japan, although many golf courses have a membership system, visitors are generally allowed to use the same facilities as members.

Golfing Attire

One thing that sets golfing in Japan apart from other countries is the strict dress code in the clubhouse. Visitors are expected to dress in traditional, conservative golfing attire, including chino pants or slacks, polo shirts or high neck shirts, and leather shoes or nice sneakers. Men are also required to wear a blazer, unless it is the summer months of June to September. On the course, casual attire such as jeans and t-shirts are not allowed, and shorts must not be higher than the knee.
In summary, you are expected to wear traditional, conservative golfing attire in Japan while at a golf course clubhouse.

In the Clubhouse

Most clubs will not allow you to enter wearing casual attire such as jeans, cargo pants, t-shirts, sandals, or flip flops. We recommend wearing chino pants or slacks instead of jeans and polo shirts or high neck shirts instead of t-shirts. Similarly, go with leather shoes, deck shoes, or nice sneakers instead of sandals or flip flops.

Men are expected to wear a blazer, except during the summer months of June to September. Casual attire, such as blousons or sweaters, is not allowed. Women are not required to wear a blazer; however, they are expected to dress modestly.

One thing to keep in mind when golfing in Japan is the rule about tattoos. In Japanese culture, tattoos have traditionally been associated with organized crime groups, so people with visible tattoos are not allowed in the bathing and shower facilities at golf clubs. If you have tattoos, you will need to cover them with supporters or patches before using the facilities.

On the Course

When playing, casual attire, such as jeans and t-shirts, is not allowed.
Finally, it is important to note that while the metric system is used in Japan, all golf courses display distances in yards only. One yard is equivalent to 0.9144 meters, and one meter is equivalent to 1.094 yards.

Overall, golfing in Japan is a unique and rewarding experience that offers a glimpse into the country’s culture and traditions. With its beautiful courses and rich history, Japan is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts.