During Japan’s bubble years, golf was the game in regards business and prestige. Deals were done on the course, and club membership was a status symbol — the cost of which could be truly astronomical. Of course at the time it was simply an economic miracle and not a bubble. Then all of a sudden it was a bubble, and the value of club membership collapsed, resulting in many golf clubs going out of business.
Since then the sport has struggled on, but coronavirus has unexpectedly resulted in fresh interest, both on the course and at driving ranges. A shift in attitudes towards leisure time, and golf’s relative safety during a pandemic seemingly the key factors.
That said, it’s still far from cheap, and players need to both book and travel to get a game. Alternatively, an hour or so at the driving range may suit some, but for those looking for a bit of competition and a chance to improve their putting, a day under the motorway might well be the best bet.