Tokyo Olympic golf competition venue
Greenkeeper speaks

Published April 2021

Riviera Country Club

Mr. Tokairin learns about course creation as a volunteer at RRC.

Kasumigaseki Country Club (Kawagoe City), the venue for the TOKYO 2020 golf competition, is one of the most prestigious golf clubs in Japan. However, the Olympic-level quality required by the IOC and International Golf Federation (IGF) was something even Kasumigaseki CC's excellent maintenance staff had never experienced before. To solve this difficult problem, greenkeeper Mamoru Tokairin, who is in charge of course maintenance, took measures. His plan was to dispatch staff to Riviera Country Club (RCC) in Los Angeles, USA, where he had previously studied.

“That feeling I learned at RCC” was my password.

Kasumigaseki Country Club
Greenkeeper Mamoru Tokairin

``When Kasumigaseki CC was selected as the Olympic venue and I took over, the staff was worried about the pressure.''
Looking back, Mr. Tokairin is an up-and-coming greenkeeper who participated in RCC's ``Exchange Program'' to support human resource development and gained experience in course maintenance at the PGA Tour ``Genesis Open.''
``Japanese golf courses are like the ``Galapagos.'' Although they have ample track record on domestic tours, they have never hosted international tournaments such as the PGA Tour, let alone the Grand Slam tournaments. Courses of the level required for the Olympics. We believe that the best way for the staff at Kasumigaseki CC to acquire maintenance skills and face tournaments with confidence is to have them experience the PGA Tour on-site, so we participate in the RCC's exchange program.All eight greenkeepers involved in maintenance work at RCC. I had the opportunity to experience the practical work of
After gaining hands-on experience, they returned with the knowledge of maintenance and operation methods that would work at the PGA. We were able to communicate simply by saying, ``That's how I felt at the RCC,'' and we were able to operate while recognizing the world standards required for the Olympics. This growth is thanks to the seeds planted by RCC.
I have experience in many games as a greenkeeper, but in domestic tournaments, course maintenance is done only by the staff of the host course. In contrast, during the actual Olympics, the eight members of the Kasumigaseki CC served as leaders, giving precise instructions to the many motivated volunteers, and working with them to create the course. This is exactly what was done at RCC and we were able to handle this operation without any embarrassment.
A golf course is a living thing. It's the same with athletes. In order to limit the impact of the one-year postponement, we focused on maintaining the condition of the turf and the motivation of our staff. Having experienced the international competition of the Olympics, I believe that course maintenance in Japan will definitely change.
I feel that RCC, which has been the stage for many big tournaments, is a very valuable asset in the history of golf. Moreover, as someone involved in course maintenance, having the world's best course conditions is my goal, ideal, and aspiration.
I hope that we will continue to be a leader in the global golf industry."

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