12 June 2009
INTERVIEW - HIROMI GO
Hiromi Go and his contributions to the music and entertainment industry in Japan is almost second to none. Hiromi has been recognized by both his peers and applauded by his huge following for over 35 years.
This superstar of the Japan music and entertainment industry took the time recently from his busy schedule to talk about one of his key passions, the game of golf.
1. Many of the readers may not be aware that you play golf.
How and when were you introduced to the game?
The first time I played golf was when I was 19 years old. One of my friends took me to a golf course and had me out on the course without giving me any time to practice. That was the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki Prefecture, the venue for the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament.
I don't remember what my score was... however, ever since I have been fascinated by the game of golf. I've been taking golf lessons now for six months from Yuji Naito, the coach of PGA Tour Professional, Shigeki Maruyama. After I started taking lessons, my game improved greatly with my average score now around 78.
2. Your achievements as success as an entertainer in Japan are incredible to say the least. What do you contribute your success to and what do you see for yourself in the future?
I have released more than 80 single records as well as 50 albums since my debut. I debuted when I was 15 years old. Thus a thirty-five year career to date that has had its share of peaks and valleys. However, I have never been satisfied completely with what I have done, so I am always preparing for the next climb. The process is paramount to achieving the results I strive for in my professional and personal life.
3. Golf is a very popular game among entertainers around the world. Why is that for you?
I can relate to the challenges and rewards of golf. I have never thought that I wanted to be a professional golfer, but enjoy the rewards golf provides when you put in the effort. If you want to improve your game, I believe it is always possible. Of course, you have to take the time to practice and make the effort. My life is the same. My career is the same.
4. During your travels around the world is there a favorite golf course you have played?
I have played the Sherwood Country Club in California a couple of times. It's a challenging course, but a lot of fun.
5. Performing in front of thousands of fans takes talent and a lot of preparation. How does the game of golf compare to performing on stage. What are the similarities as well as the differences?
If you want to play well, you need to practice before games. If I want to sing well in front of people, this will also depend on how much I practice. In this way, playing golf and performing on stage is the same. The more one practices the less anxious one becomes.
6. The Japanese golf scene, in recent years, has gone through many changes. The emergence of talented golfers such as Ai Miyazato and Ryo Ishikawa is one such change. In your opinion, what is needed in Japan for golf to remain viable for both the players and sponsors?
Japanese professional golfers need to be more flexible in their thinking. The ability to speak English, and therefore understand and experience different cultures makes it possible to grow as a person. We all need to have dreams, hopes, and passion; this in turn attracts both the sponsors and the public who can tie up and relate to the game of golf.
7. Is there one person with whom you had the most enjoyable time playing golf? Was it a movie star, a professional golfer, a friend, a sports athlete?
You wouldn't believe this, but..., I had the chance to play with Tiger Woods last year in Japan. My close friend invited Tiger to his golf course last November before he played in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament. I played only one hole with Tiger, however, that was the most unforgettable experience in my life.
8. What is the best advice you have ever received that applies to your life? From whom did you receive this advice?
There have been so many people who gave me great advice. However, I've learned from one of Napoleon Hill's books that if you think that you are satisfied with what you've done, you cannot improve yourself. If you want to continue to improve yourself, you'll never stop trying to achieve new goals. This depends on how you think about yourself.
9. What is in store for Hiromi Go on the golf course in 2009?
Since I started taking lessons from Yuji Naito, I've been trying to fix my golf swing. I still have a lot of problems. However, my swing is improving, and my score has improved. So what I need to do is continue what I am doing without giving up. One day, I might be able to achieve an under par score, something which I've not done yet.
Paul Jones, 12 June 2009
Paul Jones is based in Tokyo and is currently both the principal and
managing partner of ARENA a platform committed to business development
opportunities here in Japan and Asia Pacific region. Paul has held roles in
all facets of hospitality and leisure industry including management,
operations, acquisitions, asset management, marketing/sales, retail and
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