Many people have an image of Japan in their mind and Okinawa is perhaps completely different to what one imagines when thinking of Japan. Okinawa is a prefecture of Japan which lies between Taiwan and the Japanese mainland.
It consists of a group of islands in the East China Sea and thanks to its location, Okinawa has a tropical climate and this makes it a great destination for golf throughout the year. Rated as one of the top golf courses in Okinawa is Shurei Country Club.
You can reach Shurei Country Club from outside Japan by first flying to the capital city, Tokyo and then catching a connecting flight to Naha. This is the capital of Okinawa and from Naha you can make the short 1 hour journey to Shurei Country Club.
This is one of the most famous golf courses in Okinawa and being on the southern peninsula of the island, the course runs alongside the ocean. The course was designed by Makoto Tezuka and is a parkland 18 hole course, playing to 6,725 yards from the back tees. However, there are three tee positions to choose from on each hole making Shurei Country Club suitable for players of all abilities.
The ocean views from the golf course are excellent and the blue sea dips in and out of view during a round at Shurei Country Club thanks to the changes in elevation. This is one of the major features of the golf course and you will find your distance judgement tested, no more so than on the third hole which is a great example.
There is nothing particularly testing when you look at the hole on the course map and it is a 343 yard par-4 hole with a straight fairway to the green. However, there is a strict out of bounds penalty on the left side and rough on the right but it is the change in elevation which catches many players out. From the tee to the green there is a rise of 26 metres and if you fail to take this into consideration, you may find the ball coming up short of the putting surface.
This differs between holes at Shurei Country Club and none more so than the par-3, 16th hole. It plays to just 156 yards from the back tee but there is water protecting the hole to both the front and back of the green. Not only that but you are faced with a 29 metre drop between the tee and the green, so good club selection is vital.
Shurei Country Club will make you think about which club you need to use on each hole and is the perfect way to challenge your club selection when playing golf in Japan.
In addition to the tremendous golf course at Shurei Country Club you will find a clubhouse with locker rooms, shower rooms, putting green and a pro shop. The facilities are quite basic but the golf course itself more than makes up for it.