4 Helpful / 0 Not
Breathtaking Par 61
Pros: The lower course is named Fujin after the God of Wind. It has also been nicknamed the Blue course for the color of the basket wraps.
This review shares some items with my Raijin Review as both courses share the same awesome facility. However, each course does have a unique personality. I used bullet points for those that don't want to read the full review.
Nasu HighlandsCountry Club has hosted the Japan Open 2004- 2008. The tournament is played on a two World Class Championship courses. The two Championship disc golf courses cover the sprawling 13,000 yard Trent Jones designed Golf Course. During these first years, the event was played on a 27-hole course. In 2010, (in order to accommodate more players) 9 more holes were added and two 18-hole courses were created. The Fujin course plays out on Holes 10 through 18 of the ball golf course.
To avoid having to read a long review, I will get right to the point. I rated both courses at Nasu Highlands courses with a 5. If there is any drawback to these courses it is the fact they are temporary and only exist during the week of the Japan Open Disc Golf Tournament. Otherwise the course design and amenities are top notch. It would be difficult to make improvements.
The Par 61 Fujin course is the longer of the two courses at Nasu Highlands. It has seven par 4 holes and is nearly 9,000 feet long. While the upper course may have more dramatic elevation changes, the elevation is always in play at Nasu Highlands. The Fujin course requires good distance and power to be able to score well. However, in addition to needing raw distance on the drives, the upshots and approaches still need to be very accurate as most baskets are placed in dangerous locations next to OB sand traps, greens and cart paths. One might consider Fujin to be the more open of the two courses and the wind does come into play. Which explains why this course is named after the God of Wind.
All the traditional golf greens and sand traps are OB. On and across the cart path is also OB on most holes. Even though most of the fairways are wide open and free of trees, the fairways are lined with tall trees on one side and OB cart paths on the other. Targets are often perched on hill sides and mounds surrounded by OB sand traps, golf greens and cart paths.
The private Nasu Highlands Country Club is an exclusive, first class operation. From the enormous castle-like clubhouse to the amazingly manicured fairways everything is top notch. The golf course is closed to ball golf players the week of the Japan Open.
Both courses are on a gorgeous piece of land that is completely manicured. From the valleys below to the mountains towering above, the Fujin course is breathtaking and amazingly beautiful. This course has several very long downhill fairways with amazing views of the valley below. As you round another corner in the cart, your breath is taken away as you realize this vista is even more spectacular than the last. Overheard on most every tee at the Japan Open: "Wow, this is one of the most beautiful holes I have ever played in my life!"
Anytime you can ride a cart to play is a fantastic. It would be very difficult to play this course if you had to walk AND carry your bag. In addition to walking the long holes and all the up and down, there would be long walks between holes.
Fantastic use of Elevation changes.
Nearly every hole is playing up or down hill. On top of that, most of the targets are also perched on hillsides or mounds to add to the challenge. I have played very few courses that offer such a variety of elevation changes.
All tees for the disc golf course are temporary rubber mats. At least half of the tees make use of the ball golf tee areas. The rest of the tees are on level grass. There are two styles of mats in use: traditional solid 5 x 12 mats and 6 x 9 rubber mats with the honeycomb holes. The honeycomb mats performed the best during the rainy weather conditions and were not as harmful to the grass beneath.
The course is already spotless and well maintained. The Hero staff adds tons of extras to the experience. All the OB's were clearly marked and extra rope was installed throughout the course. In addition to tee signs on every hole, there were a ton of event banners throughout the course adding extra professionalism. Caddy Books were provided with accurate course information and maps in English and Japanese. There were plenty of Japanese volunteers to spot on the course and cheer on the players.
The clubhouse has some of the most luxurious restrooms and locker rooms I have ever seen. There are restrooms in several of the lightning shelters and rest houses that are located throughout the course.
Japan Open Disc Golf
What an amazing experience, even without the two World Class Championship Courses. The Hero staff takes everything up one notch.
There really are not many cons. If I had to think some up -
The reason they can close the course to the public is because the first weeks in June are the traditional start of the rainy season in Nasu-Shiobara. That means it often rains for one or more days during the Japan Open when the disc golf course is available for play.
Course only exists during the week of the Japan Open. I would normally hesitate to give a temporary course a 5 disc rating, however, this course is Championship caliber and this country club and facilities are top of the line.
Other Thoughts: I have had the honor to play at Nasu Highlands while competing in the Japan Open. I think it would be rude to Kozo Shimbo-san and the entire Hero event staff to award any less than five discs for this amazing disc golf course. The only way this course could be improved would be to exist year round.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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