15/03/2021

The Average Cost of Playing Golf in Japan

There are numerous golf courses in Japan, and the sport itself can be a nice relaxation or social event in the country. Playing golf may come as a package price, often combined with what establishments have to offer. Here's a quick look at the costs and your options.


Table of Contents

  1. Playing Golf in Japan
  2. Golf playing ‘package’
  3. Other Options
  4. Summary

Playing Golf in Japan

Japan is known for many things but it also has quite a number of golf clubs, where a number of them cater to both foreigners who are newbies in the golf industry as well as more seasoned and experienced golf players. Not only does Japan offer golf courses that cater from beginner to expert or advanced golf players, but the courses themselves are often breathtaking and majestic, whether it be the iconic Mt. Fuji or a serene coastal scenery.

Playing golf in Japan is considered a sport, a recreational hobby, and even part of the business industry! Businessmen in Japan usually play golf with their boss or clients as a way to establish rapport with them, bond and collaborate with them, and eventually closing a business deal with them. Golf in Japan is a popular sport with around 2300 golf courses around the country! Playing golf in Japan is a popular sport mostly among men especially during the early 1960s. And while this sport gained momentum in the past and there is a slow decline of people engaging in this elite sport, golf still remains to be one of the most popular sports or recreational activities in Japan.

※ The Japan Golf Course Management Association, "利用税の課税状況からみたゴルフ場数、延利用者数、利用税額等の推移"

Golf playing ‘package’

Since golf in Japan is very popular, more and more golf clubs are opening to cater to the demand for both Japanese locals and foreign tourists. This means that some golf courses and golf clubs in Japan, especially the scenic golf clubs located in the outskirts of the city, offer a more affordable golf playing package. Do take note, however, that playing golf in Japan may include payment not just for the golf course activity itself, but also the payment for other services and the facility.

The fees also depend on the time you are going to play golf, where golf fees usually soar during the Spring season, weekends, and Japanese holidays. Playing golf can also be mighty expensive, even soaring from 16,000 yen to 30,000 yen. Annual golf membership fees could reach about 3 million yen for the most exclusive Japanese golf clubs. On average, a membership in a private golf course club costs around 40 million yen, which entails that playing golf is undoubtedly not an effortless game for the average worker.

※ Golf in Japan, "Courses in Tokyo"
※ Chicago Tribune, "In Japan, golf is a pastime only for those with plenty of green"

Let’s take a look at one of the golf clubs in Japan, Fuji Golf Course, which claims to offer “the lowest prices” .

  • Playing golf in the Spring Season (October) on a regular weekday will cost about 19,000 yen, and weekends and public holidays  will cost from 26,000 yen to 29,000 yen;

  • Playing golf in non-peak seasons ranges from 11,000 yen to 16,000 yen during a regular weekday, and weekends and public holidays range from 20,000 yen to 28,000 yen

It is important to note that the fees above are only for a single player. Additional charges of up to 7,000 yen will be charged for two players. The fees are inclusive of the golf activity itself, green fees, the caddy fee, and usage and consumption tax charges.

Other fees when playing golf are the following:

  • One pair of rental shoes range to around 2,000 yen

  • One pair of rental clubs range to 5,000 yen

  • Renting the practice facility (30 balls per box) range to 450 per set

  • Golf cart rental ranges up to 9000 yen for one (1) round

※ Fuji Golf Course, "Course Guide and Fees"

Aside from Fuji Golf Course, here are some of the golf courses in Japan and their corresponding cost for comparison:

Japan Golf Club

Golf Package

Hirono Golf Club

20,000 yen to 36,000 yen

Fuji at Kawana Hotel

24,000 yen to 34,500 yen

Tokyo Golf Club

30,000 yen

Naruo Golf Club

23,000 yen to 25,000 yen

Sun Park Sapporo Golf

6800 yen to 9600 yen

Here is also a short list of known stores in Tokyo (some with branches around Japan) that offer golf equipment:

Stores

Location

S’Port Mizuno

3-1 Kanda Ogawamachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Honma Golf

2-1-4 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo

The Golfer’s Club Futakotamagawa

2-32-14 Seta, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Golf Effort

4-14-6 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Niki Golf

6-4-6 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Festival Golf Ueno

4-7-8 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo

All of these fees add up into a hefty amount, which makes golf an expensive sport and hobby. However, it is also important to note that there are more affordable golf packages especially for golf clubs located on the outskirts of Japan.

Other Options

For tourists who would want to experience playing golf in Japan, some golf courses would also offer golf packages at a more affordable rate for ‘one-time’ tries or single courses. Mostly, in private high-end golf clubs, in order for you to play the sport, you have to be a member. But since golf has become more open to the world, there are plenty of golf courses that don't require membership and do accept walk-ins.

There are other options for people who are discouraged by the price. One is to look for exclusive discounts offered by golf clubs. It’s no secret that golf clubs are losing popularity among the general public for their prices, so one can either try to find a discount, or look for a golf club that has dropped its membership prices.

Another option is to look for cheaper courses. For example, Shin Tokyo Tomin Golf is only 3750 yen on a weekday and 4750 yen on the weekend. You may not get a luxurious course, but it’s affordable. However, there’s no English on the website and you need to make a reservation in advance, so you would need to speak Japanese or ask a friend.

Other options include practice driving ranges and simulation golf. While it may not be quite the same thing as being on an open course, many people opt for these for both the price and the amount as practice they can get in during a shorter amount of time. It’s also much more popular with young people.

One thing to note, however, is that many golf courses do not supply English language support. It may be best to go with a Japanese speaker or to look for courses who do have English-speaking staff.

Summary

Indeed, playing golf in Japan can be considered as a one-of-a-kind experience. While golf is considered to be an expensive and elite sport or hobby by many, there are a plethora of golf clubs that Japan offers affordable golf packages especially for first-time tourists who would want to experience playing golf in Japan with a scenic and majestic view. In addition, golf is a great way for businessmen to bond and close deals with their clients or managers, which is the reason why golf remains a popular sport even for busy businessmen in Japan!

And for a little more reading about golf in general, check out our article here: “It’s tee time!” : Golf in Japan

 

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