Japan. Samurai Golf
Master the art of ikebana and sword fighting, see the spectacular Kabuki theater and cherry blossom… For this experience, people from all over the world have been traveling to the land of the Rising Sun for countless years. Japan carefully preserves its rich cultural traditions, while being ahead of most countries in its development. It is a mistake to think that the Japanese only know what to wave a katana, cutting off everything unnecessary, and weave intricate patterns of flowers. A nation with samurai codes of honor could not fail to reflect many of the principles of its philosophy in such a noble hobby as Golf.
Despite the fact that the origin of the game is presumably dated to the XV century, it came to Japan much later – in 1901. An English merchant built the first 4-hole course in Kobe, and wealthy people gradually began to pay attention to Golf. They were attracted by the slow pace of the game. Rich Japanese people spent time in clubs, in the fresh air, and demonstrated their skills. It was only 50 years later that Golf became a regular sport. October 1957 was marked by a bright event in the sports life of Japan: at the 5th canadian Cup in “Kasumigaseki Country club” the winner of the tournament was the athlete Nakamura Torakichi, as well as the Japanese team. Torakichi is recognized as a legend of Japanese Golf and is no less important to the Japanese than the great Arnold Palmer is to America.
When Japanese golfers won in 1957, there were only 58 Golf courses in Japan. At this point, the country’s economy was in the stage of active growth, the entertainment and sports industry was developing, and interest in Golf increased incredibly. In addition, the game addicted Japanese managers, the so-called salaryman. By 1970, the number of Golf courses had reached 620, and by 1998 there were 2,000. Today, there are 2,442 Golf courses, not counting 4,000 ranges (training fields). Japan in this sense is inferior only to the United States, where the cult of Golf literally reigns.
The level of development of this sport in Japan is indicated by the number of athletes who entered the PGA and the Professional Golf Association, and the fact that many Japanese Golf courses were designed by world stars: Pete Dye, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer.
Golf in Japan is akin to soccer in Brazil. Throughout the year, there are rounds among the highest-level players. For many prestigious tournaments, the Japanese Islands have become a permanent venue.
However, Golf owes its popularity mainly to Amateurs. In the circle of friends, neighbors and colleagues, this game is in demand as nothing else.
Of course, the craze for Golf could not but give rise to a related line of business. Japanese-made inventory is considered one of the best in the world. Mizuno, Yonex, and Bridgestone brands occupy a worthy place in the global market.
The time of year does not affect the love of Golf in Japan. The climate here is moderate and every season with its amazing transformation of the surrounding nature only brings pleasant nuances to the game process.
It should be noted that the service of Japanese Golf clubs will surprise even a jaded audience. For the male half, the magic begins with the introduction of caddies: their duties are mainly performed by women. After the round, tired players will enjoy the healing hot springs of Onsen Spa, and then the best chefs will prepare traditional dishes of Japanese or any other cuisine of the world at will.
Well, we can only wish a fabulous holiday and unforgettable impressions to all who intend to visit Japan. And a brave player who decides to play a round with a Japanese, I want to remind you about etiquette, because if you violate it, it does not matter that the samurai is holding a Japanese sword or a Golf club. Have a nice game!