Tee Time - Golf In Niseko

An overview of the the golf scene in Niseko and the surrounding areas.

Chris HT Golf

The bubble era of the late 80s and 90s in Japan brought a massive amount of investment in not only ski resorts, but also in golf courses. There are currently over 2,300 in Japan and 170 in Hokkaido alone. The areas in and around Niseko certainly did not miss out on this development as there are nine golf courses within 45 minutes' drive of Niseko making the region a perfect base for a summer golf trip.

No one is more keen to see the end of the long, white winter here in Niseko than the golf courses (and golfers)! Once all the snow starts to melt away in April, the courses busily clear all the snow and make preparations for golf to take the centre stage for the following six months.

Rusutsu River Course1

Courses around Niseko feature spectacular views of Mt Yotei and the surrounding mountains that make you want to pull your camera out between shots—not to mention the natural undulations, gullies, and ravines traversing holes which make for some thrilling, heart-in-the-mouth moments.

Another common feature of the courses in the area is the abundance of trees and greenery including the unforgiving, thick sasa grass (a type of low-growing bamboo) which grows up to two metres tall and gobbles up any shots that stray out of bounds; and watch out for occasional encounters with wildlife including squirrels, foxes, and eagles.

And of course, you can expect the usual high level of service that Japan is renowned for—your clubs are usually taken by staff as soon as you arrive at the course and magically make their own way onto your golf cart for the day. When the day is done, your clubs are wiped down and counted with you to make sure you haven't left your pitching wedge on the side of a green.

Carts are standard and included in the fees helping to speed up play and prices are surprisingly reasonable (cheaper on weekdays, too). Many golf course fees also include onsen or showering/bathing facility use in the course fee.

Gallery PhotoCourse NameDistance from Niseko HirafuLength
1Niseko Village Golf Course10 minutes7,200 yards
2Niseko Golf Course25 minutes6,500 yards
3Niseko Resort and Golf (Rankoshi town)35 minutes6,024 yards
4Hanazono Golf Course15 minutes6,343 yards
5Rusutsu Izumikawa35 minutes6,327 yards
6Rusutsu Tower Course35 minutes5,572 yards
7Rusutsu River Course40 minutes6,200 yards
8Rusutsu Wood Course40 minutes6,107 yards
9A-Brand Golf Course45 minutes6,556 yards