The U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament began today in California. And it made front-page news in a Korean-language weekly that is distributed at a grocery store near my apartment.
The globalization of golf over the last 30 years has especially impacted the women’s side. Korean golfers have dominated the LPGA the last few years, and the field was seemingly going to chase last year’s champion, In Gee Chun.
But as of the end of play today, everyone’s looking up to leader Mirim Lee, who scored a 64 on what should play as a difficult course.
The domination of Korean and Korean-American players is such that there is an entire website dedicated to them: Seoul Sisters. I kid you not.
Golf is an enormous pastime in the Pacific Rim; amongst the leading money winners on tour are players from Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China, as well as world No. 1 Lydia Ko, a native of Korea who currently calls New Zealand home, and Michelle Wie, whose parents are Korean but was born in the United States.
The images of the Korean players are plastered all over the pages of this small tabloid newspaper, and they seem to be getting blanket coverage — even though your Founder doesn’t know a single Korean character.
Should be a good weekend for golf; the Seoul Sisters bear watching.