Are you wondering how Japanese golfer Isao Aoki got to where he is today? Well, then you’ve landed on the right page. Isao is a seasoned player with many wins under his belt. We understand that many would want to know about his journey to success so they can learn a thing or two. Lucky for you, in today’s article, we’re going to be talking about that and more.
Isao Aoki is a renowned professional golf player from Japan. He was born on 31st August 1942. His name is honored in the Golf Hall of Fame. He has won over 77 major victories in golf tournaments in multiple different countries. He won the Japan Golf Tour money five times in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981. His career earnings are about 980 million yen.
Isao Aoki‘s Professional Career
Aoki was born in Abiko, Japan. He caddied at the Abiko golf club as a schoolboy, and that was his first interaction with the sport. In 1964, he stepped foot in professional golf. Between 1972 and 1990, he won over fifty events on the Japan Golf Tour. He is second only to Masashi Ozaki on the list of golfers with the most Japan Golf Tour wins.
Aoki was the first Japanese and Asian player to win the Hawaiian open on the PGA(professional golfers association of America) Tour. he went on to win the PGA tour of Australia as well. Aoki is counted among one of the nine players to shoot a round of just 63 shots in the history of the Open Championship.
Between 1974 and 1999, Aoki played 165 times on the PGA Tour. In the 1980 U.S. Open, he shot his best finish which was a second-place finish to Jack Nicklaus, that too only by two strokes. He ranked third in the unofficial McCormack’s World Golf Ranking and was ranked in the top-10 for several weeks in 1987 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
In 1984 he received an invitation from Gary Player and traveled to South Africa. There he took part in the million-dollar challenge despite the Japanese government’s efforts to stop him from doing so.
Aoki has played predominantly in the United States on the Champions Tour, and he has also scored eight senior victories outside the U.S., five of them of which he won in his home country. It was in the senior japan open in 2007 where interestingly, he shot his age which was 65 at the time. This is his most recent win.
He represented Japan in the World Cup of 1973, 74 as well as the tournament of Alfred Dunhill Cup in 1985, 1999, and 2000. In 2003 and 2005, he acted as the non-playing captain of the Japanese team in the Dynasty Cup competition.
His Interview With CNN
In his show “living golf,” Shane O’Donoghue, a CNN news anchor, toured around japan to have a talk with professional golf players. One of them is Isao Aoki, the trendsetter for Japanese golf around the globe.
The national icon tells Shane about his inspiration. Once he started participating in professional matches, he used to observe the top three players. Namely, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player, to try and figure out who’s playing styles were most similar to his own. Of them all, Arnold palmer stood out the most, and he became Aoki’s lifelong inspiration.
He further tells the interviewer about his inability to speak English when he first went to play in America. He suffered a complex because of this. But then he reflected upon the actual reason why he was there. And that was to play golf.
He told himself that if he could not speak the language, he would make himself heard with his skills. And soon enough, he was making friends with distinguished players like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Greg Norman.
He talks about his putting stroke style, which he changed from standing further back with a long putter to a shorter style. It is quite an unorthodox way, but this is the style he says he’s most comfortable with. He is quite humble when he talks about his life after retirement.
He does not think of himself as a famous person. All he did was dedicate himself to the sport he enjoyed. The fact that the people accepted that and supported him to keep on playing is what has got him to where he is today.
Aoki has played in a lot of tournaments over the years but the most important to him have been the four days in Baltusrol. He may not have won but it was a career turning point for him. The fact that he went up against Jack Nicklaus was huge for him and for the Japanese golf community.
He hopes that one day a Japanese golfer will win the US Open or any other major for that matter. It may not have happened yet but Isao feels it in his bones that a major player will emerge at some point.
Isao Aoki‘s Opinion About Japanese Golf
Japanese golfer Isao Aoki is a strong supporter of the fact that golf should be played by more as well as younger people. He works to remove the misconceptions around golf that it is too complex of a sport, too expensive, and takes up too much time. For e.g if you want to up your golf, maybe you need a rangefinder, here, you will see the best golf rangefinders reviews 2022.
He is the chairman of the Japan Golf Tour Organization. He, along with his team, has directed the promotion of golf by sending tour players to schools in many cities, playing net golf with students, as well as donating golf gear. He has further encouraged shorter, less time-consuming ways to play.
Aoki believes that golf is a very thrilling game, and he wants the youth to experience it as well. With his promotion programs in place, he is of the strong opinion that the future of golf is very bright.
All in all, Japanese golfer Isao Aoki is a great player who’s had many wins under his belt. He’s definitely someone to learn from. We hope this article answers all your queries. If you’ve got more golf news, feel free to reach out.