Friday, March 31, 2006

Strange Custom of Golf in Japan

I finished to read ""Strange Custom of Golf in Japan"" written by Nobuyuki Ando who is a director of Japan Golf Association. I agree with him about that practice of golf in Japan should be changed from very local practice to golobal standard. He explains in this book how different from global standard golf in Japan is. Course design, caddy, separate start from out/in, two greens, lunch time after front nine, or local rule like starting from fourth shots from very front tee in case of out of bounds at tee shot. In Japan many golf courses have electric carts now, so recently we don't play with caddy often. But I played about 250 rounds for 3 years in California and played with caddy only twice at Pebble Beach GL and Riviera.

He doesn't say in this book, but there are two points that I can suggest to golf courses in Japan. They are (1)rate discount for 9 holes only (early morning back 9) and twilight, (2)discount for residents. Some courses in Japan already have early morning back 9 discount or afternoon start, but still not many. I suppose that (1) plus (2)can increase numbers of resident players greatly. Increase of income can cover maintenance cost increased by introduction of early morning or twilight start. I live very near to Funabashi Country Club, but I cannot play often because play fee is incredibly expensive, almost US$300 in the weekend for non-members. If they have early morning back 9 for US$70-80 and twilight for US$100-150, and more discount for residents at the weekend, I can play once a month here. I will be a good guest for Funabashi because they will be my home course.

One more thing I can remember in this book is the words in the Analects of Confucius, The Master said, "The progress of the superior man is upwards; the progress of the mean man is downwards." I like this words. This is surely applicable to golf.

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