Golfing in Japan (A short history).

1930sAmusements & RecreationsMt. Fuji/HakoneOutside TokyoSports & Athletics
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Golfing in Japan, c. 1930.

Golfing in Japan, c. 1930.

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Fujiya Sengoku Golf Course, Hakone, c. 1960

“In 1903 a group of British expatriates established the first golf club in Japan, at Kobe. In 1913 the Tokyo Golf club at Komazawa was established for and by native Japanese who had encountered golf in the United States. In 1924 The Japan Golf Association was established by the seven clubs then in existence.

“During the 1920s and early 1930s several new courses were built, however the great depression and increasing anti-Western sentiment limited the growth of the game. By the time of the Japanese attacks against the USA and British Empire in 1941 there were 23 courses. During the subsequent war most of the courses were requisitioned for military use or returned to agricultural production.

Golfing at Karuizawa, c. 1930.

Golfing at Karuizawa, c. 1930.

“In the postwar period, Japan’s golf courses came under the control of the occupying forces. It was not until 1952 that courses started to be returned to Japanese control. By 1956 there were 72 courses.

Koganei Golf Club, established by the Occupation forces, c. 1950.

Koganei Golf Club, Tokyo, established by the Occupation forces, c. 1950. The KGC became privately-owned after the Occupation and has since become one of the most exclusive golf clubs in Japan. A membership costs over US$3 million – the most of any country club in Japan. A daily greens fee costs US$300.

“Between 1960 and 1964 the number of golf courses in Japan increased from 195 to 424. By the early 1970s there were over 1,000 courses. The 1987 Resort Law that reduced protection on agricultural land and forest preserves created a further boom in course construction and by 2009 there were over 2,400 courses.”


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5 thoughts below on “Golfing in Japan (A short history).

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