In Japan, golf has been enjoyed by adults as one of social activities. Domestic and oversea golf tournaments are broadcasted by commercial stations, and it is very popular as a national sports. Playing golf is popular around resort areas as well as nearby Tokyo area.
About golf in Japan
Golf is especially popular among middle aged businessmen. People play golf with supervisors and/or customers as mixing business and golf, and it plays a role as a social place as well. People usually come to the golf course by their cars, and the average cost for one round is around 10,000 JPY. There have been golf courses since before the war, but in recent years because young people are parting from golf, many golf courses have closed after the collapse of the bubble economy.
How to enjoy golf in Japan
There are mainly businessmen who play golf on their day off like Saturdays and Sundays, while many retired people go to golf courses as a hobby as well. Thus, the golf course usually charge more on Saturdays and Sundays than weekdays. Also, although the majority of the players used to be men before, the number of the female players is gradually increasing because Japanese female professional players are playing well. There are people who play in golf courses as well as practice at home with their own patter mats or take lessons.
Famous golf courses
In Tokyo, the golf courses are located in the easily accessible places such as Fuchu, Tama and Hachioji, and some places are accessible by trains and/or provide club rental service. There are places like Ito-shi in Shizuoka or Sayama-shi in Saitama where tournaments are being held. Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa are the popular areas for golf since the weather there is warm throughout the year, and there are other popular places such as Hokkaido in summer where you can enjoy magnificent nature.
Golf practice ranges
There are places for practicing golf called driving range in the various areas. You can bring your own clubs or rent their clubs. It is recommended to prepare your own gloves at least. Many practice ranges are open until late at night for busy businessmen, and the golf lovers polish their skills there. Practice ranges called indoor golf where you can get your swing analyzed are popular as well.
How to buy golf goods
In most cases, people go to the specialty golf equipment stores, but the areas like Shimbashi and Ueno where many businessmen come and go are dotted with stores that sells secondhand golf goods such as secondhand clubs. Also Japan has culture in which people inherit clubs from their fathers or supervisors as a reason to start golf. Golf clubs are not permitted to be brought in the cabin of the aircrafts in Japan, so make sure to check in the clubs.