Expectations high for golf at Tokyo Olympics
Japan Today -- Feb 26
Golf returned to the Olympics three years ago in Rio de Janeiro after a 112-year absence. But few play golf in Brazil, which kicked up problems from the start when a top-notch course had to be built amid protests from environmentalists and ensuing court cases and charges of corruption.

Unlike Rio, Japan has a golfing tradition. Golf is popular in the country and the Olympic venue northwest of Tokyo - the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe City - has been around for 90 years.

Hiromi Kobayashi was the LPGA's rookie of the year in 1990 and she knows Japan faces high expectations.

"As a player I was representing myself," she said Monday, guiding reporters around a few holes with two other senior Japanese players - Tsuneyuki Nakajima and Masahiro Kuramoto. "But this is a different kind of pressure. It's on our shoulders."

Kasumigaseki is one of Japan's most exclusive clubs. Opened in 1929, it was briefly taken over after World War II by American forces. It held the Canada Cup in 1957 with Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret playing for the United States in an event that became the World Cup a decade later.

The Olympics will be played on the East Course, which has been stretched out to 7,466 yards - including the 640-yard fifth hole. Part of the West Course will be turned into a practice ground for the Olympics.

News source: Japan Today
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