Wasabi Stories vol.202: “One Who Makes Fool of Others Don’t Have Much Experience”


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“One Who Makes Fool of Others Don’t Have Much Experience”

Today’s story-teller is professional golfer [W:Isao Aoki] who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

It is a story when Aoki was working as a caddie at a golf club when he was in junior high school.

He was working part time at a Japanese golf club to make extra money.

There he met a customer that he will never forget about.

The customer was an elderly man who spoke Kansai dialect. He foozled often.


Aoki used to think striking a golf ball which is staying still on the ground was so easy unlike baseball which you have to strike a moving ball. So he giggled at the back each time when the customer foozled.

The senior caddies told him not to laugh at customers when they foozled but he could not help giggling at them. The caddies had to say to them, “Give it your all!” in order to encourage them but since he was young, he could not say anything semi sophisticated words like that.

Eventually, customer started scolding him. And one day, a customer told him to give it a shot.

He told him that caddies are not allowed to shoot for making up an excuse. But the customer insisted, so he gave in and gave a shot in the end.

It was the very first swing in his life. Well, he made an air shot.

He tried many times, but he kept making an air shot.

The customer said, “See, you can’t do it. I made a shot.”

He was upset with what the customer told him, and it lead him to think that he wanted to make a shot and triggered his passion for golf.

The customer said, “Playing golf is difficult. Now you understand I am doing my best.”

“I am sorry.” Aoki said.

Then the customer said, “It’s OK if you understand.”

They exchanged these words and the customer started to favor him from then on.

This customer was a founder of a famous restaurant in Tokyo.


Aoki says, “When I met him, I started appreciating people. He taught me how bad it is to make a fool of someone and how you would feel when it happens to you. He made me learn it the hard way.”


So, this executive chef of the restaurant (?) said to him, “If you become a professional golfer, I will buy you a nice club as a reward, so go for it!” When he became a professional golfer, Aoki asked him to postpone giving him the reward till he won the first time.

Then he postponed receiving the reward again and asked him to give it to him when he won the fifth time. He kept postponing it again and again. After all, the chef died when he won about the fortieth time without giving him a reward.


Aoki says, “I am a country boy. I didn’t know any names of famous restaurants in Tokyo. When I saw the second-generation executive chef, she said, ‘The chef kept complaining that he had debts before he passed away. He was saying that he was feeling sorry for not getting you a nice club.’ Reporting the victory to him became motivation in my golf life. It was just like reporting the victory to my parents. Our promise served me as a powerful encouragement.”


The NIKKEI 02/05/2010 by Isao Aoki (professional golfer)



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