9 November 2007

Midriffs Short Shorts and a Slap in the Face

If I had a love child with Nancy Lopez in University, our daughter would be twenty and playing on the LPGA tour. That would make me a concerned Daddy.

"She wears short shorts If you dare wear short shorts NAIR for short shorts."
A commercial in the seventies and eighties for hair removal cream found on youtube.

Today young golfers in Japan, not all of them, are setting fashion trends that even the Tokyo Harajuku girls are envious of. Forget just using NAIR to make your legs look smooth the new longer legged, golfers must consider Brazilian waxing as an option. Very short shorts and exposed midriff have caused the interest in Ladies golf in Japan to skyrocket. Two examples of this new style are Ai Chan and Sakura Chan whose quality of play and style of dress are great.
Obviously, I like it! I like it a lot! But Daddy no like it!

Last Friday, I went with my wife to the Sankyo (Pachinko Company) Ladies Open at the Akagi Country Club in Gunma. I suspect I was in search of a midriff, short shorts and deserving of a slap in my face by my wife.

Ever since I started writing for Golf in Japan I had this swagger as if I was a writer for Golf Digest. So, my wife and I drive. . . . I mean my wife drives. I don't drive that much in Japan max six kilos from home to work, work to home. Ever since my Classic North American Gaijin mistake of driving on the wrong side of the road, causing a head on collision with four ton flatbed. She drives if it is more than six kilometers. I must say though, as a passenger I give great directions.


My wacky state of mind propelled me to think of a way to get into the golf tournament for free. There was a staff entrance that brought you right up to the course. I was going to introduce myself as a golf writer and apologize profusely for not having my pass or parking sticker or even a business card proving that I am indeed the world renowned golf writer. I only had a business card with me wearing some funny clown pants, listing me as a performer for weddings, matsuris (festivals), corporate functions, you name it.

We pulled up to a guy waving a flashing baton. My wife was so against it. "Okashi sugoi Okashi!" ( This is crazy! Very Crazy!) In a land where events are organized to the minute detail. Yes, it was crazy, but I had my university sneak-into-a-concert-for-free attitude going. Unfortunately, in this situation there were three factors that didn't relate to the coup of my lifetime, in which I actually got to watch Dire Straits and Stevie Ray Vaughn live for free:
I wasn't with ten hooligan friends.
I wasn't twenty years old.
And the topper I wasn't loaded to the gills with Home Brew and Tequila.

So, I played the Gaijin card for all it was worth. The only problem was my wife was on the side of the guy carrying the baton. I could only watch as my unwilling wife haggled with a 70 year old volunteer. He was going to actually let us in but we couldn't park there. But, I was in!


Unfortunately, MY WIFE had to drive back six kilometers, walk for one K and then take a ten minute bus ride to meet me at the gate where she had to pay an entrance fee. I thought to myself for a second, all these factors would lead to immediate divorce.

I decided to play a safe shot. Lay up . Use my utility wood.

I entered the Sankyo Ladies Open as a paying customer holding my wife's hand.

The Golf course was in beautiful shape. Green everywhere! Taylormade and Bridgestone were the first mega media vans I saw. They were offering up a variety of freebees to get you on their mailing lists.
What I noticed was a silence. A robotic silence. The orchestrated applause when a putt was sunk and silence when someone putted out for a bogey. "Naisu sho" was shortened to "nai sho" (nice shot). Sakura Chan had the biggest following. She was sponsored by le coq sportif. She had a nice black tennis skirt and a black cycling shirt. Her golf shoes, however, didn't match her outfit. They looked clunky, clodhoppery and clumsy. There was this french saying written on the fanny part of her skirt but I couldn't read it. My wife wouldn't let me get close enough to her. There was an Australian playing, she actually spoke to me and commented on my golf pants. I felt like a 14 year old boy who had just met Christie Brinkley at a photo shoot. What also surprised me was that many Japanese golfers had American husbands as their caddies.

Hee gets last laugh

On Sunday, the picturesque 505 yard 18th hole was where Kim So Hee of Korea staged a remarkable comeback from 12th place to force a sudden death playoff between,Momoko Ueda and Mihoko Takahashie. It ended when Kim So Hee sunk a 30 footer for birdie leaving Takahashie a chance to tie, but she missed her twenty footer.

TV Tokyo's Awards Ceremonies rivaled only Apollo Creed's pre fight antics against Rocky Balboa. Poor Korean Kim So Hee could only muster up an "Arigatou Gozaimasu" They couldn't coordinate the translator and subtitles in time.

All in all, I saw a lot of cute young girls hit many great shots. I saw no midriffs or short shorts and my wife didn't slap me.

If I was Kim So Hee's father I would be very proud of her.

Ueda Woos and Wins at Mizuno Classic

In this first weekend of November, The stunning Momoko Ueda, pierced belly button and all, got her revenge from losing at the Sankyo Open by winning the $1,400,000 Mizuno Classic at the par 72 6,506 yard Kashikojima Country Club in Shima, Mie Prefecture. Her three day total was 203 (-13). She won by two strokes over Reilly Rankin and Maria Hjorth. It just proves that image is everything. The victory brought Momo chan $210,000. She also finished in class with an incredible double eagle on the seventh hole. Ueda stated, "I'm really, really glad I won," she said. "I learned sometimes patience brings fortune."

The macho phrase:
"Drive for show putt for dough"
For these talented ladies it has become:
"Dress for show double eagle for dough"

In other news:

On Friday 28 September, Clas Bystedt, the man behind the curtain @ golf -in-Japan, invited me down to 'schmooze' and perform at The 5th Daimler Chrysler Cup last month. The DC Cup is an annual tournament which has North America competing against Europe for global golfing bragging rights.

The event was held at the Atsugi Kokusai Country Club in Kanagawa. This year the European team won by the slightest hair of a stroke.
The European team won with an average score of 75.49 for the best 80% of the players. The North American Team average was 76.09.
It made the hanging chad controversy of the Gore / Bush Presidential election look like a landslide.

OK! A win is a win! Congratulations Europe!

On a technicality note, This was actually the last Daimler Chrysler Cup. Daimler Chrysler Japan's Hans Tempel announced that Daimler and Chrysler have agreed to continue together as the events sponsors of the North America - Europe Golf Challenge, so it will be renamed to the Daimler and Chrysler Cup.

Individual Achievements

Low Gross and Low net Winner
Robert E. Melson Jr. Score 70 With a 0 handicap from North America

Nearest to the Pin Winners
No. 5 - Bob Grondine, NA
No. 7 - Nick Johnston, NA
No. 12 - Bengy Jönsson, EU
No. 16 - Glen E. Sugimoto, EU

Gorilla Drive of the day
Vijay Deol, NA

I had a great time. Many Coors were had by all and a wonderful goodies pack was given to everyone. In the bag was a now collectors item Daimler Chrysler hat, some great red wine by Yellowtail along with 3 Titleist golf balls and a UBS memory stick with a Dodge Ram logo on it.
I can't wait for next year.

Please check out http://www.dccgolf-japan.com/ for more information and great pictures.

If you have any questions about golfing in Japan please don't hesitate to contact Willy or Bennett

Willy Badger, 9 November 2007

About Willy
Willy has been living in Japan for 12 years. He is a "Daidogei" comic juggler living in Gunma, Japan. In 2008, Willy's mission is to introduce golfers to the beautiful Hot Springs & Outdoor Activities of Gunma. Recently, Willy became director of Sports Management Worldwide Japan, an athlete management company and online education University with offices in America, India and the U.K.
Check out Willy's sports blog The Rising Score!
Gunma C.C.

Previous Columns
  • Golf Lingo
  • Guilt and the Golf Game in Japan
  • The Bell Canadian Open
  • Curse of the Claret Jug

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