The renovation that brought a new breeze to the course Abiko Golf Club Head Director Hiroyasu Tomita
For more than 80 years since its opening in 1930, Abiko Golf Club has been one of Japan's most famous golf courses, having hosted the Japan Open Golf Championship, the Japan Senior Open Golf Championship, and the Japan Women's Open Golf Championship.
It is home to one of the few courses created by Rokuro Akaboshi, the legendary pioneer of Japanese golf course design, that is still in business today.
Akaboshi became inspired to create his own golf courses while attending Princeton University as an exchange student. In his time there he visited a number of classic courses along the U.S. east coast, including ones designed by the legendary Donald Roth. These courses would go on to greatly influence Akaboshi when he designed his own courses.
Taking full advantage of the surrounding Tonegawa River and Teganuma Lake, Abiko's course architecture is an exemplary example of Akaboshi's vision, blending nature and design in perfect harmony. Now, with the course's redesign in 2012, we believe that this marks a turning point in the course's long history; one which will lay the ground for many changes to come.
For the redesign, we set out to uphold the vision of Akaboshi's original concept while updating the course to be a better match for today's golfing equipment. We believe the results will more than hold their own against any modern course.
To accomplish this goal, we chose Brian Silva, a talented course architect who has been named U.S. Architect of the Year, and Kye Goalby, an accomplished shaper and architect in his own right, to help bring Silva's vision to life.
Brian Silva has redesigned over 70 courses on the U.S. east coast, many of them renowned as classics. As such, we believe that he was the best choice to help us realize our dream for Abiko. When we approached Mr. Silva, we asked him to remake Abiko into a course that could hold its own in the modern golfing age while still upholding Akaboshi's design principles and original vision. Mr. Silva agreed to our requests, and went on to suggest that, even as its banks and greens were artificially repaired to make up for the wear and tear inflicted on them over the course's long history, the course's basic design principle should remain true to its natural roots. He went on to suggest that the newly redesigned course should not only be competitive with other modern courses, but that it should also be a place that average golfers of all kinds can come to enjoy.
The course was closed for 10 months as the two architects worked their magic, and it has now been reborn into something wonderful.
This redesign of Abiko's course may have been undertaken with our upcoming 100th anniversary in mind, but we believe that with this renovation it is now capable of standing the test of time for the next 100 years.
We hope that our club members love Abiko Golf Club as much as we do, and it is our sincere wish that they will continue to love it for many long years to come.