Thirty junior golfers come to Okinawa from Korea
February 16, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Korea-Okinawa Friendship Junior Golf Camp in Okinawa, in which junior golfers from Okinawa and Korea practice and play together, started at 6:30am on February 16 at the Kanucha Golf Course. By February 15, 30 Korean junior players from the first grade of junior high school to the third grade of high school had arrived at Okinawa.
Organized by the Okinawa-ken Golf Association and the Ryukyu Shimpo, the camp was held for the first time as a 2011 Sports Tourism Strategic Project sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The aim is to get people from Korea to understand that Okinawa is warm even in winter and is well suited to golf-camps, and also that the level of junior players will improve through such interaction.
On February 15, the players went from Naha Airport to the Ryukyu Shimpo offices for a reception. Director of the Project Division Satoshi Ikema welcomed them, saying, “I hope that exchange with Okinawan players will see you make progress both technically and mentally.”
Jae-Won Jang, a third grade high school student said, “I wanted to play golf in Japan and so I applied to come. I’m good at approach-shots, but my iron-shot is inconsistent, so I want to improve that aspect of my game during the camp.”
Yong-Jun In, a third grade junior high school student who has played golf since she was in the sixth grade at elementary school, said, “Okinawa is hot” and said, “I want to make some Japanese friends through this camp.”
The Korean players will stay in Okinawa for about two weeks until February 27. They plan to play practice rounds on golf courses in Nago, Naha and Itoman before holding the second lot of games on February 23 at the Palm Hills Golf Resort in Itoman. In the second games, 60 junior players from Okinawa will also participate.
Professional golfers Mi-Jeong Jeon and Ayako Uehara are scheduled to give lessons on February 26 at the Naminoue Golf Range.
(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)
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