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The Well Manicured Greens of Okinawa Royal Golf Club

By: Frank Wilde

Date Posted: 2001-03-02

Are you tired of scraping it around the same old golf courses week after week? Are you looking for a new challenge, a fresh place to lose yourself (and a half-dozen titleists) for a few hours? Well, read on fellow hackers, duffers and legitimate players, and I’ll tell you about a place nearby that may be just for you.

I recently had the opportunity to tour the facilities of the Okinawa Royal Golf Club. Okinawa Royal consists of four separate nine-hole tracks that form two different 18-hole courses. The nines are:

· North, par 36, 3,647 yards from the back tees, 3,346 yards from the regular tees
· South, par 36, 3,443 yards from the back tees, 3,193 yards from the regular tees
· Central, par 36, 3,572 yards from the back tees, 3,263 yards from the regular tees
· Flat, par 36, 3,109 yards from the back tees, 2,916 yards from the regular tees

The courses run as North–South and Central–Flat. This reporter had the opportunity to view a few holes, none from the Flat nine. The fairways seem to be as spacious as Banyan Tree on Kadena, but straying too far into the rough on most holes will get you into much denser vegetation. The course conditions seemed comparable to those of Banyan Tree, with well-manicured tees and greens. You will find many opportunities to exercise your course management skills. Okinawa Royal offers greater elevation changes, has many dogleg holes that go in either direction, and for those of you who need more trouble to avoid, includes a number of water hazards that are actually in play.

These tracks would make for some tough walking, if that were even allowed. Yes, Okinawa Royal is a cart mandatory facility. But you don’t have to worry about driving your cart, for it comes equipped with a caddie. This little lady drives the cart, cleans your clubs, rakes your traps, fixes your divots, marks and cleans your golf balls, tends the flag and offers encouragement. The caddie fee is included in the playing charges.

Ahh, the charges, your say! They are steep and many. The weekday charge for 18 holes is 18,630 yen, 19,880 yen for weekends. They have rental clubs for ¥3,150 and even rental shoes for ¥1,050. The good news is that you will have plenty of time to save up for your round at Okinawa Royal - you must make your tee time one month in advance.

The staff at Okinawa Royal was friendly and courteous, even if their English was limited. The clubhouse is spacious though a bit sterile. They have a large restaurant with a menu that offers breakfast until 10:00am and a good mix of standard and Okinawan dishes for lunch and dinner that are reasonably priced for the local economy.

To find Okinawa Royal Golf Club, take Route 58 north towards Nago. When you get to Yamada, Onna-Village, turn right. You’ll see a sign for Okinawa Royal on the right, turn right onto this access road and follow the signs for about 2km to the club. Many thanks to Mr. Tatsuya Uema for showing me his golfing establishment and providing the valuable information used in this article. For more information, please contact:

Okinawa Royal Golf Club

1436 Yamashiro

Ishikawa City


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