Dual Greens Can Mean Double the Fun On-Course in Japan

Dual Greens of Japan

Dual Greens Are A Unique Course Feature 

Some golfers may recall The MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins from 2019. The formidable foursome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlrory, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama were offered the challenge of playing the left or right green on the fourth hole at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan.

You read that correctly, the right or left green. It’s not completely uncommon for golfers to encounter alternate greens at U.S. and Canadian courses. Famous venues like Pine Valley, Streamsong Black and Cabot Cliffs feature them on a few holes, mostly in the name of presenting a couple strategic options. 

However, North American examples are few and far between due not only to cost (of construction and maintenance), but also liability (golfers hitting into groups on the alternate green).

Then, of course, there’s the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, which has seven large double greens that share two holes, each, with the hole numbers adding up to 18. The dual greens at the Old Course, however, are a rarity amongst the storied venues of Scotland and Ireland. 

Dual Greens of Japan

But in Japan, dual greens are the norm, and not the exception. Why? Well, it has to do with the country’s extreme climate. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are cold and dry. To keep greens in the best possible condition, one green has warm weather grass, like Bermuda, and the other cool weather grass, like bent. 

All of this duality begs the question, “how does Arccos account for double greens?” The answer is surprisingly simple: we map the course twice. The process of doing so, well, not so much! Japan is home to more than 2,200 courses, roughly as many as the U.K. and Ireland combined. Japan is roughly the size of California, which according to a quick google search has just over 900 courses. So it's safe to say Japan is a golfer's haven. 

Dual Greens of Japan

Arccos users playing dual green mapped courses have the ability to select which green is being “played” in order to correctly adjust the flag position. The Arccos Preview Caddie is also a handy way to run through your strategic approach to a course with dual greens. Both greens will be visible, and you can adjust the flag position to the appropriate green in-play. Remember, adjusting pin position is important for accurate player stats whenever you play.

Pro Tip: All courses with 2 greens will have the name ending in “Select Greens”- if you find a course with 2 greens that don’t yet have a ‘select greens’ variant in Arccos, please reach out to starter@arccosgolf.com and our mapping team will add it.

For native Japanese golfers and golf tourists alike, the island is a veritable golf paradise. Of its 2,000+ tracks, the majority of layouts are high-end resort venues. And similar to the British Isles, Japan’s private clubs are often accessible for a fee. And it’s challenging to point to a course with single greens. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s redesign of the West Course at Yokohama Country Club being a rare example. 

The country’s premier golf resort is venerable, 36-hole Kawana, home to the Fuji Course, one of the Japan’s highest rated layouts. Designed by British golf course architect Charles H. Alison, Fuji is perched on a pine-covered plateau bordered by red cliffs that fall away to the sea below. 

For a taste of Japan’s dual green phenomena, however, it’s hard to beat the aforementioned Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. All 18 holes, designed by Kinya Fujita, have two greens. 

Excuse us while we plan our next golf trip to Japan. Ramen, sushi, and a unique golf experience—sign us up.