If you drive along the roads around the Namhangang River that runs through Yangpyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do, you can see many people working hard on something in the high water area along the riverside.
Even though the weather is below freezing, several teams walk diligently, swinging something in groups on each course that does not look very wide. Armed with a winter hat and dark padding, it looks like ants are moving. Wearing a pouch reminiscent of an ammunition belt around his waist, he walks briskly holding a tool resembling a hammer. Laughter is heard in the background, and shouts of ‘nice’ and ‘good shot’ are heard here and there. The fairly large parking lot is packed with cars. This is the scenery of a park golf course boasting a 90-hole scale.
Even though it opens at 9:00 am, cars arrive one after another after 7:00, and balls are placed in an instant on the snail-shaped steel structure where balls are placed in order of arrival. Those who arrive at 9:00 may have to wait an hour or more to tee up. If you listen to the conversation while waiting for your turn, there are very few people in the Yangpyeong area, and more than 90% are outsiders. Most of them are from Seoul, and there are not a few people from Yeongnam, Honam, and Chungcheong regions. It was supposed to be closed in February to protect the lawn, but due to strong protests from local restaurants, it was postponed until April.
It is a common sight not only here, but also in well-known park golf courses across the country. Right now, the craze for park golf is rising all over the country. It’s really explosive.
Park Golf is a compound word of Park and Golf. It is a communication sport where you play ball and compete with family and friends while breathing fresh air and basking in the sun on a well-maintained lawn. Fans are rapidly increasing because of the advantage that anyone, regardless of age or gender, can enjoy it regardless of equipment, time, or cost.
In 1983, an employee of a local education committee in Hokkaido, Japan, contemplated how to utilize an abandoned riverbed, and devised park golf that could be played like golf on a grassy field by supplementing the weaknesses of ground golf played on bare ground. 온라인바카라 Currently, there are about 600 park golf courses in Hokkaido alone, and 1,800 nationwide. The park golf population reaches 4 million. It is distributed in 15 countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Korea, China, Thailand, and Taiwan. Because of its positive effect on the health of the elderly, many countries are actively promoting the introduction of park golf.
In Korea, the first six-hole Sangnakwon Park Golf Course was built on the banks of the Namgang River in Jinju in 2000. Since then, local governments have been competing to create park golf courses, and as of the end of 2021, there are 233. Including unregistered simple park golf courses, the number is estimated to reach 250. By local government, Gyeongbuk has the most with 47, followed by Gyeongnam with 32 and Chungbuk with 30, and most local governments are promoting expansion or new establishment.
The park golf population is set from 16,728 in 2017 to 106,505 in 2022 (data from the Korea Park Golf Association), which is a whopping 6-fold increase in 7 years. It is estimated that the actual population of park golf is much higher than this because there are many people who enjoy it without registering as a member. By age group, about 70% are in their 50s and 60s, but there are also a lot of people in their 80s. Recently created park golf courses are also available for ‘chavak’, so the number of family users is also increasing.