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New LiDAR course - Hirono Golf Club - Japan's #1 ranked golf course

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  • New LiDAR course - Hirono Golf Club - Japan's #1 ranked golf course

    Hi All, I am pleased to introduce my latest Japanese LiDAR version of The Hirono Golf Club universally recognized as the #1 golf course in Japan and one of the top 50 golf courses in the world. The course was opened in 1932 and designed by the legendary British golf architect, Charles Hugh Alison. C.H. Alison is best known for his unique design of bunkers that have come to be called "Alison bunkers". The course was closed in 1944 by wartime edict and was requisitioned for Kawasaki Heavy Industries' use as a farm. The course was later rebuilt in 1947 and opened in 1949. In 2019, the club was completely renovated in 2019 by Martin Ebert, and Tom Mackenzie, who have renovated the likes of Turnberry, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, St. George's and Royal Liverpool. They worked meticulously to redesign the course and restore it back to the original Alison specifications.

    Hirono is often referred to as the Pine Valley of Japan and sits 17 miles northwest of the port city of Kobe in Western Japan, the country's sixth largest city. It is 325 miles from Tokyo but is an easy 3 hour "shinkansen" bullet train ride.

    Hirono’s routing made dramatic use of the site’s natural ravines by using them as diagonal features that created strategy and a sense of drama. The course sported Alison’s trademark regard for deep, sprawling bunkers – some of them bigger than the greens they guarded. He was a big proponent of “irregularizing” the bunker edges – making them look choppy, partially eroded and natural. It was a look that evoked Pine Valley, Garden City Golf Club and the National Golf Links of America, all of which Alison knew well.

    When it comes to a set of par 3s, Hirono’s are unsurpassed in Japan, if not the world. Gnarly bunkers look like they are eating their way out of the front of the green on the slightly uphill, 170-yard fifth hole (“Fiord”). And all of the “irregularized” influence of Pine Valley is on display on the seventh hole (“Devil’s Divot”).

    I haven't had the opportunity to play Hirono myself but hope that I could do it justice from lots of research. I have included 5 tee boxes and 4 pin positions. Following renovation by Ebert & Mackenzie, they included two sets of tee boxes on the signature par 3 #13 (there are actually several signature holes at Hirono), one set for the 2005 renovated version and another set for the original tee position from 1932. I left all of the tee boxes in the 2005 version except the white tees which features the original 1932 position.

    Please give this historic course a play when you have a chance and, as always, any feedback is appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Stephen

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    Japan
    ZOZO Championships
    Olympic Country Club - Lake Tsuburada, Japan (L)
    Tama Hills Golf Course, Japan (LiDAR)
    Kasumigaseki Country Club East (LiDAR)
    Narashino CC - King (L)
    Taiheiyo GC - Gotemba
    Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West - Japan (L)

    US
    Torrey Pines North Course - L
    Torrey Pines South Course - L
    Scarsdale Golf Club (L) - NY
    Montauk Downs - LiDAR - NY
    Golf Club Fossil Creek L - TX
    The Tribute (LiDAR) - TX
    Boca Raton Resort & C (L) - FL

    Others:
    Bali National Golf Club 3

  • #2
    Thanks a lot, I have waited a long time for this course!
    My courses:
    Wittelsbacher WBGC GC 2020 L
    WBGC 2020 Backtees (L) V2
    Donauworth 2020 Lidar
    Hamburg Falkenstein

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ElPrimero View Post
      Thanks a lot, I have waited a long time for this course!
      Great, I hope you enjoy it!
      Japan
      ZOZO Championships
      Olympic Country Club - Lake Tsuburada, Japan (L)
      Tama Hills Golf Course, Japan (LiDAR)
      Kasumigaseki Country Club East (LiDAR)
      Narashino CC - King (L)
      Taiheiyo GC - Gotemba
      Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West - Japan (L)

      US
      Torrey Pines North Course - L
      Torrey Pines South Course - L
      Scarsdale Golf Club (L) - NY
      Montauk Downs - LiDAR - NY
      Golf Club Fossil Creek L - TX
      The Tribute (LiDAR) - TX
      Boca Raton Resort & C (L) - FL

      Others:
      Bali National Golf Club 3

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi there! New to the forum, LONG time player of TGC2019. Been waiting FOREVER for Hirono to be available - so THANK YOU! you've done a great job - I have a buddy that lives in Japan who races about it - and he's sent tons of pictures! Course you've created is excellent - so thank you!!!

        My only comment - and it might be mute given it's a LIDAR course. The fairways seem extremely flat. Again, that might be accurate given the LIDAR, just throwing it out there. Either way - love it as it is. Hopefully it gets enough PS4/5 plays for an HCP rating.

        Thank you again!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by afkjrv View Post
          Hi there! New to the forum, LONG time player of TGC2019. Been waiting FOREVER for Hirono to be available - so THANK YOU! you've done a great job - I have a buddy that lives in Japan who races about it - and he's sent tons of pictures! Course you've created is excellent - so thank you!!!

          My only comment - and it might be mute given it's a LIDAR course. The fairways seem extremely flat. Again, that might be accurate given the LIDAR, just throwing it out there. Either way - love it as it is. Hopefully it gets enough PS4/5 plays for an HCP rating.

          Thank you again!!!
          Thanks for your comment. Hirono is known for being built on relatively flat land and the fairways are indeed very flat. There are few places in the fairway that are not flat, but Alison's routing and bunkering make the course a lot more challenging and strategic, despite the flat fairways. That being said, the only LiDAR that is available here in Japan is at 5 meters so my courses won't be perfect, but generally close enough and I do try to do more sculpting based on photos. I have not have the opportunity to play Hirono yet, although it is definitely on the bucket list.

          Also, by the way, Kawana is currently in the works. This is pretty close for me and it is possible to get on, so I am hoping to be able to play that for some real research.
          Last edited by sirish19; 07-10-2024, 04:11 AM.
          Japan
          ZOZO Championships
          Olympic Country Club - Lake Tsuburada, Japan (L)
          Tama Hills Golf Course, Japan (LiDAR)
          Kasumigaseki Country Club East (LiDAR)
          Narashino CC - King (L)
          Taiheiyo GC - Gotemba
          Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West - Japan (L)

          US
          Torrey Pines North Course - L
          Torrey Pines South Course - L
          Scarsdale Golf Club (L) - NY
          Montauk Downs - LiDAR - NY
          Golf Club Fossil Creek L - TX
          The Tribute (LiDAR) - TX
          Boca Raton Resort & C (L) - FL

          Others:
          Bali National Golf Club 3

          Comment

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