My biggest interest in life is golf. I enjoy playing a round of golf whenever
I have a time to spare, weather permitting. I started practicing golf when
I was 16. In those days I only had a nine iron and was hitting golf balls
at a nearby park. When I was 18, my brother gave me a "half-set,"
which is a set of eight golf clubs and a putter in a bag. This is considered
a minimum gear to play golf on the course. I made my debut on a golf course
just about the same time, but the score is beyond my memory. It was terrible,
I must confess.
I go to a golf driving range for practice about twice a month, which is not very frequent. (I'm a lazy golfer.) I take it to the course about once a month. I can't afford more, because playing fees in Japan are extraorbitant. If I play on a weekday, I pay like around 15,000 yen for a round of golf, but on a weekend, the cost gets doubled. It's a really expensive sport, I admit.
The most exciting part of playing golf is when I hit the ball on the green in two on a par-five hole and make an Eagle. This requires power and precision. When I make it on a lucky day, I'm in seventh heaven. I'm so thrilled that I can't resist screaming "Yeahhhhhh.....!", which is of course a nuisance to other players on the course, I know.
Having golf as a hobby takes up more money than just playing fees -- you are destined to spend much money on your golf gears, namely, clubs and balls. These are rather expensive. A golf ball, for example, costs around 700 yen or 5 U.S. dollars. (It can easily be lost by my single erroneous swing at it! Oh, no!) A set of iron clubs cost 100,000 to 200,000 yen and a driver is as expensive as 80,000 yen! Most players keep changing these gears to lift up their games or just to keep up with the Jones. To accelerate the purchasing craze, golf item makers keep producing better clubs and balls and putting them on the market each year. To the effect, we are seduced into buying new gears, which drives our loved ones mad.
My wife is always against my playing golf. She hates to be left alone at home when I go out for a round of golf or for just a practice. She is also cross at my spending much money on golf. She gets really mad when I mention a possibility of buying a golf club membership.
One of my best memories around golf is when I won the championship at the MAEBIT golf tournament, December of 1997. I never dreamed of becoming a professional golf player. I'm not physically fit for the sport, but there is another reason. I want to "enjoy" playing golf, and I don't want the pressure and the hardship of competing against other players.
My future dreams around golf include finishing a half-round with less-than 40 score, finishing a round with the 70's, and winning one of the open amateur tournaments.
Golf will stay as my best interest for the rest of my life.