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A golf tradition in Japan

A golf tradition in Japan

I usually post an answer and explanation to an interesting question cast by non-Japanese tourists. But this post is in fact something I heard for the first time ever in my long life in Japan, something I heard from one of my English students. I still wonder why I hadn’t come across this absurd practice before. Anyhow, my advice is that no matter what you do, don’t play golf in Japan as a pastime.

My student’s husband goes golfing as a hobby or more probably as a way of doing business. One day he made a hole-in-one in a competition but he was not entirely happy about it. Why? After all, it is a once in a lifetime event and most golfers would give their right arm to get one. Well…Because it might end up costing him around one million yen ( my student guesses) !

That includes:

・A ¥200,000 tree near the spot he made that doomed hole-in-one

・A party at a tea house in Kyoto with geisha and maiko for all his golf buddies who were present at the competition, or gifts for them

・Gifts for the caddies

・Gifts for his family members ( My students expects a coat of a high-end brand. By the way, I got permission from her to post this story without revealing her name.)

Apparently, it is a Japanese tradition in golf. People believe that a hole-in-one, one of the luckiest incidents, might bring you bad luck because it uses a lifetime’s worth of fortune in one go. Therefore, to rid yourself of this curse , you have to do some good deeds for people around you. ( It could be community service or a donation to charity!)

But rest assured! If you have been wise, you need not be all that unlucky. Part of the cost can be covered by insurance. Just in case, you make a hole-in-one in your golf life, there is an insurance policy that covers the cost. Japan has just too many superstitions but is also extremely thorough!

I said before that you should not play golf in Japan, but if you must, buy that golfers’ insurance.

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