Jacobson Design completes 27-hole renovation at Ibaraki Kokusai Club


Jacobson Design completes 27-hole renovation at Ibaraki Kokusai Club
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Jacobson Golf Course Design has completed a 27-hole renovation project at the Ibaraki Kokusai International Golf Club in Japan.

The project was carried out in three nine-hole phases at the course, with work first taking place in 2010.

Pacific Golf Management (PGM), a company with over 150 eighteen-hole courses in Japan, manages Ibaraki Kokusai.

“We at PGM were very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Jacobson team on a project with so much potential,” said Kawabe Kyota, director of PGM. “The architect we selected for this project needed to focus on the needs of the Club while also having the ability to design and stay within a budget. Jacobson did just that and more.”

The East Nine and West Nine were designed in 1960 by noted Japanese golf course architect Giichi Sato. Ibaraki Kokusai’s North Nine was designed by course architect Osamu Ueda.

The renovation project saw the conversion of the existing two green layout per hole to one green per hole. Japanese courses often feature this two green design, to accommodate for the warm and cool season conditions.

There is a growing trend for courses in Japan to convert to a single green thanks to the advances made to the grasses used for greens in recent years, and following Jacobson Golf Course Design’s work, Ibaraki Kokusai has joined the list of courses in the country with a single green layout.

A new Toro irrigation system was fitted as part of the renovation project, as was the reconstruction of all tee complexes. Fairway re-alignments, drainage improvements and the creation of out-of-play naturalised areas also took place.

“Ibaraki Kokusai is a very narrow and short golf course with lots of elevation changes. Jacobson enhanced the sites unique characteristics while respecting the work our famous Japanese architect’s original work,” said Kyota.