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LOVE THAT GOLF
Rick Reilly
August 21, 1989
A CURIOUS AMERICAN EXPLORES THE GAME IN JAPAN AND FINDS THAT IT HAS A FIRM GRIP ON THAT NATION
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August 21, 1989

Love That Golf

A CURIOUS AMERICAN EXPLORES THE GAME IN JAPAN AND FINDS THAT IT HAS A FIRM GRIP ON THAT NATION

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Or London Bridge.

Exactly. So I just wanted to go over there and see why the Japanese were so gaga over golf and also see if I couldn't win back just a little bit of face for America, you know? Just win back a small speck of dignity in my own little way.

So you set up this match.

Exactly. U.S. versus Japan. A 1,000-yen Nassau to the death. Loser eats flag and leaves town. I would play this six handicapper at Koganei, owner of a textile factory. As you know, I'm an 11, and....

Twelve.

O.K., a 12. He agreed to give me six strokes. So I had nine days in Japan to prepare for the match. I decided to learn all I could about Japanese golf—play like a Japanese golfer would play, eat what a Japanese golfer would eat, the whole ball of wax. I set out on a course of defeating my opponent by becoming him.

Very Oriental thinking.

Besides, I hit the ball the way they read.

How's that?

Right to left.

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