Madarao Kogen Country Club
Madarao Kogen Country Club is a bit of an abnormality, in that it is not located at Madarao Kogen, but 15km south near the Toyoda-Iiyama interchange of the Joshinetsu Expressway. In fact coming of the expressway, this course is very easy to fine. A quick right, then another right and you are there.
Somewhat of an older course, the buildings etc are a little dated. However the friendly staff more than make up for it. There is even an English speaker or two at the reception desk.
This course runs North-South, with holes 1-9 t the south, and 10-18 to the north. Looking from the air, or on google earth, it seems to be quite narrow with a lot of trees, but the fairways are in fact quite wide. Apart from a few undulations, the course is quite flat and only the par 5 11th has a real lofted tee.
The course itself is well maintained and there are not many water hazards on the course. Par 3s are all kind of longish by Japanese standards.
Along the course there are a couple of vending machine, which stock soft drinks only. So if you like to have a beer while you play, it pays to bring your own.
The clubhouse does have a bar on the ground floor, as well as a restaurant on the upper level. There is not a large variety of food here, but what they do is delicious. And the limited menu does mean you get for food served quickly. There is also a large locker room and bath house on site. A small shop sells a few essentials in case you run out of balls etc, but doesn’t have a lot of other equipment.
Carts are provided and you must drive them and stick to the cart path. GPS and digital scoring is included on all carts.
The marshal’s office is in front of the clubhouse, unlike most in Japan where you walk through the clubhouse to get to your cart.
Overall this is a great course for beginners and intermediates, as it is quite forgiving. Price wise it is very good value for money.