How to Play Golf in Japan |

Greetings golf lovers and Japan fans. When you think about Japan, the first thing
that comes to mind probably isn’t golf. But today we’re here to change that Japan has some of the best golf courses not
only in Asia, but arguably the world. Additionally Japan’s internationally famous hospitality has been integrated into the golfing experience setting it apart as a unique and worthwhile
golf destination. However, there are a few rules, points of
etiquette, and parts of the process of golfing in Japan that might be different than you
would expect which we’re going to cover today to get you up to speed and course-ready. With this in mind, we’re going follow our
staff writer Sam and his golf partner Stefan step by step through a typical golf round at the lovely Kodama Golf Club in Saitama, Japan. So get ready everybody as we learn How to Play Golf in Japan Ok, first off Sam and Stefan arrive and are
greeted with a bow by two friendly caddies who take the clubs from the trunk. Notice what Sam does, or rather does not do
right here Let’s see that again In Japan there is no tipping, so by not doing so here, Sam is making the
right call. Nice job Sam. And a huge thank you to the Kodama Golf Club
in Saitama Japan for allowing us to make this video at their beautiful course. Ok, with bag in hand Sam heads to reception Here, each golfer must fill out a registration
card with his or her name, address, and phone number Sam fills his out like a champ and receives
his locker key Now, it’s important to point out for the viewers
at home, that locker keys on Japanese courses basically act as charge cards for all expenses
that come up throughout the day for example at the pro shop, practice range,
restaurant, or rest houses. Everything is charged the locker number and
paid all at once at checkout. In fact, Sam really doesn’t even need to keep
his wallet with him. And it seems he knows it! Here he is depositing his wallet and other
valuables into one of the safe deposit boxes which are common in Japanese clubhouse lobbies. What a tour de force by Sam through the lobby! In the locker room we see him turning
his locker key with unnecessary drama a sure sign he is feeling confident about
the upcoming competition. Let’s take a quick timeout here to talk about
clubhouse dress code As Sam demonstrates, while in the clubhouse
many courses require players to wear jackets, collared shirts, pants (or skirts for woman),
and decent shoes. Alright, we’ll let Sam get changed into his
course clothes which should look something like this A collared shirt that is tucked in, pants,
shorts (or skirts for the ladies), but not too short, socks and appropriate shoes, so no sandals and no golf shoes with metal
spikes Having changed, and looking sharp might I
add, Sam finds the caddy master’s window to get a token for the driving range which is charged to his locker number. After grabbing a few clubs from the cart,
it’s full speed ahead to the practice area. As you might expect in Japan, balls are dispensed
from you guessed it, a vending machine, which is why Sam needed to get a token beforehand. As the gentlemen warm-up, I’ll also point
out that some of the nicer courses like this one have specific areas for practicing approach and even sometimes bunker shots. Moving on to the practice green, our last
stop before we hit the course… aaaaaand… oh ho ho it seems Sam is feeling ready Alright, well ready or not, next stop hole
one. On courses in Japan, the front nine, or the
first nine holes are called “out” while the back nine are called “in” and today our competitors will start by playing “out” beginning at hole one. Here we see the caddy going over the rules and now it’s time to draw sticks and determine order lowest number tees up first Sam draws a 2, but Stefan gets number one so it looks like Stefan will lead off. Lots of pressure, this being the first drive
of the day, let’s see how Stefan handles it. Not a bad start at all it’s worth mentioning that, if that drive
had gone out of bounds, or “O.B.” like we saw him do in a few weeks ago in Okinawa, he could’ve played his next shot from the
OB tees. OB tees are a unique feature of Japanese courses. If your drive goes out of bounds, you can
take your next shot from these special tees much closer to the hole for a 2 stroke penalty. Moving on to Sam’s second shot. *audience applauds* Looks a little long, but not a bad “par on”
and there’s still a chance for a birdie We’ve seen Sam sink longer puts than this in the past let’s see if he can do it again here For birdie What a heartbreaker So let’s take a second to talk about how these
two are traveling around the course. Today we see they’re using remote controlled
carts which drive themselves along the cart path
and are common in Japan. Of course, others courses around the country also have standard carts which players drive themselves. And if you’ve hired a caddy usually they will
do the driving for you. One last point about carts in Japan Some courses also have GPS units mounted at the front so you can easily check how far the green
you are, pin positions, and other useful information. Ok, fast forwarding a bit, here are the standings
so far after 9 holes. Now, you might be thinking “why are they heading back to the clubhouse halfway through the round?” This is because after the front nine most
courses in Japan have players stop for a meal and give them a card with the their tee time
for the back nine. So, after our champions clean their shoes
with the air guns we’re headed to the dinning room. Here’s how course restaurants work Make sure to put your locker key on the table,
since everything is billed to it. Most menus have pictures of the meals, so if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s fine to just point. As as we see here, it’s traditional to “kanpai” before eating. Sometimes lunch is included in the price of
playing but specialty meals, appetizers and drinks often cost extra. Usually players are given between 45 to 60 minutes to eat before heading back out Alright, moving on to the “In” course,
or “back nine”, here are some brief highlights. Also two final points about playing on a course in Japan First, you should try to play quickly so as
not to hold up the groups behind you And second, a nice feature of courses in Japan
are the rest houses which are placed about once per 9 holes. Here you can order drinks and snacks, and
briefly recharge while playing. Although bitter rivals, here we see Sam and
Stefan able to take a moment and enjoy some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice together. Ah, the power of the rest house. Ok, wrapping up the day, here Sam attempts
a critial birdie putt… aaaand… not really close at all. Well folks looking at the final scores It seems Stefan has done it again. Now returning to the clubhouse, a caddy has
them double check they have all their clubs and gives them bag tags they’ll use to collect
their bags before departing. After a quick shoe cleaning, we’re headed
back to the locker room to grab clothes and continue to the baths. Sam grabs a plastic bag to put his dirty clothes
in proceeds to claim a cubby and prepares for
a relaxing soak Welp. There go the underpants, next stop… the
baths. What a scamp! In Japan, communal bathing is quite common
and usually soap, shampoo, conditioner and towels are provided by the clubhouse. And finally we come to checkout where Sam
hands over his locker key and pays for all the expenses he’s racked up throughout the
day Lastly, Sam hands over his bag tag to collect
his clubs before departing. That’s about it folks. We’ve successfully played a round of golf
in Japan and we hope this video helps you to do the same. For more information about golfing in Japan
or to watch another video click the links on the screen now or head over to your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first hand from Japan Thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe
for more videos about Japan. Happy travels!

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