Yesterday was a historical moment for Japanese golf, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese player to win a major at The Masters.
Today-- one day later, it's interesting to read the international media, and what has gone more viral than the win was the actions of Matsuyama's caddy Shota Hayafuji on the 18th green. After removing the flag from the pin, he bowed in what was a very special moment back down the fairway of the 18th hole.
In Japan, if you have ever seen junior golfers play in a tournament, before they tee off they bow to playing partners and to the course as a mark of humility and respect. After the round, they shake hands and as they leave the course (usually at the edge of the green) they turn and face the course doff their cap and thank it as well.
There are many significances of this action, in the traditional Japanese Shinto religion, nature is sacred, especially places like caves, ancient forests, waterfalls, and places of historical significance have all become a place of prayer and indeed a 'Power spot' to be revered. It is with that reverence that Japanese golfers hold golf courses, but particularly one as special as Augusta National.
It was nice to see the international golf community pick up on this deep-founded respect Japanese have for golf, and celebrate it.
And as someone who has lived in Japan for 17 years, you take for granted how special and wonderful a culture exists in Japan, and how lucky we are to experience this every day, and indeed enjoy the wonderful 2,000+ courses in the islands of Japan!