Monday, 26 April 2010

PostHeaderIcon Apocalypse Golf

 St Andrews. Augusta. Nahari

I have a half day on Friday which I usually use to do sensible things like clean, pay bills and shoot Americans on Xbox Live.  However, this last afternoon wasn't sitting well with me and I realised that I was bored with this same routine.  I decided  that the only viable option was to go and buy some gin, download some new music and write a blog post so outstanding that all other foreigners would simply give up writing their awful books on Japan.  In the end, I took the maverick decision to go for a drive along the coast and get some ice-cream.  This objective evaporated just as fast as it had appeared when I passed the driving range in the town next to mine.  I made the sharpest turn in my lawnmower car and headed up the steep hill to the finest establishment in the prefecture.  

The car park was empty as usual.  I parked in one of the two available spaces.  I walked towards the entrance and was surprised to hear Japanese voices from within.  However, It turned out to be nothing more than a radio playing to the deserted shed of rusty, corrugated iron.  I picked up a pad with free tokens from a table that emitted an atmosphere of complete trust and honesty.  I collected myself an aging driver, 5 iron and a pitcher from the corner where golf clubs go to die.  In a somewhat typical fashion of my intrepid excitement, I forgot to put a bucket down to collect my golf balls.  I decided that I didn't want to pick up all the balls and since I was playing golf in such a lawless environment... I left them there.  How bold.  Who knows how I would react in a post-apocalyptic world.  
  Golf, Coca-Cola and cockroaches.  The only things to survive a nuclear winter.

I picked up a loose ball and placed it on the four inch tee of decaying rubber.  I desperately tried to remember the proper motions of a golf swing.  I racked my memory for any familiarity in my previous, brief flirtations with my nation's famous sport.  All I could remember was the various times I've played on a course by the North Sea where I was almost blown away and drenched from head to toe.  My first swing missed the ball completely.  I adjusted appropriately to compensate for my swing being too high.  My second attempt crashed into the mat and the pain shuttled up the club and attacked my wrist.  I was angry and took my twenty-something angst out on the next few balls.  I think one of them managed to go straight and another got a few feet off the ground.  The liberation of my isolation increased and I decided to try and hit all my appalling drives again since they were now on some actual grass.  When I walked out it occurred to me how much effort had went into creating the driving range.  The complete lack of any flat land on the entire island meant that they had to demolish half a hillside.  I felt a great sense of appreciation for such a place and I decided to treat everything with a bit more respect.  I returned to my mat and decided to pitch the next thirty balls because that's all I can ever do. 
 I actually posed for this with the full intention to post it on my blog.  I look a bit stupid.

I signed my sheet, paid my 400 yen and left the Nahari driving range feeling pleased that these old, rural folk care enough to build such a makeshift and woeful range.  They don't care that it's rubbish and either do I.  Also, I'm quite pleased that I'm probably the first and possibly last Scottish person to have played there.  I concluded my afternoon of leisure with great style.  I got some famous local chicken wings, drank a few gins and then fell asleep until it was time for taiko practice.  Golf truly is the gentleman's game.


aussiehisshou said...

You are probably lucky you don't care so much for your national sport. Otherwise you might be poor. Even the JET wage doesn't allow for a 2 and a half man outing every weekend.

Ahoy hoy said...

It's too expensive to even attempt to learn it here. I must be the only Scottish person who comes to Japan and wants to play golf. That course up the road at Geisei looks very nice though.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.