Golf Course Architecture - Issue 68, April 2022

53 “Mr Kawamura is a wonderful man and a visionary,” says Jones. “He built one of the most magnificent hotels, unlike anything I have seen, which gives you an idea of how forward thinking he is.” That hotel, also in Shizuoka, is the Nippondaira, which was completely rebuilt and reopened in 2012. It was designed by Nikken Sekkei to give guests an authentic connection to their surroundings, achieved most notably by the 30-by-10 metre panoramic glass wall in the main hall that frames views over Suruga Bay to Mount Fuji. That connection to nature was demanded of the Shimada project too. “The golf course is viewed like a Japanese garden, with great pride,” says Swanson. “Plant material is revered, and water bodies are too,” adds Jones. This meant that any work on trees had the objective of allowing nature to thrive, and on several holes, such as the par-five tenth and par-four eighteenth, specimen trees have an important bearing on how the hole is played. Jones’s team worked alongside Inaji Landscape & Construction at Shimada, rekindling a relationship that has been forged over several other projects that Jones has completed in Japan and that also brought success with Kawamura on his two courses at Hamaoka. The Takamatsu renovation was completed during the onset of the pandemic, and saw the design, construction and ownership teams establishing ways to collaborate effectively, even while Jones and Swanson were not able to be on site as much as they had planned. The remote working principles established during that project allowed the team to make good progress at Shimada, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. “Our great partnership with the owner meant we could do a good job in difficult circumstances,” says Jones. “We’ve developed a wonderful relationship. Old-time golf course architecture in America, like at Atlantic [on Long Island], Ocean Forest [Sea Island, Georgia] and RedStick [Vero Beach, Florida], was built on individual relationships. I think it is much the same here with Mr Kawamura.” GCA While the course routing has remained as Kinya Fujita originally laid out, bunker placement has been updated to be more relevant to today’s game