Yuko Mitsuka is a Japanese female professional golfer. She recently won the 2008 Nichirei Ladies Tournament played in June at the Miho Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan. In 2007, she bagged the victory for the JLPGA’s Dunlop Open, played in September at the Rifu Golf Club in Miyagi, Japan. A rising star in golf, Yuko Mitsuka is a name to watch; today, the championships at the JLPGA fall on her lap; by tomorrow she might find the United States LPGA wins under her name. Mitsuka is a regular competitor in the Japan LPGA Tour (JLPGA). Next to the US LPGA, it is the most prestigious and most lucrative competition for women professional golfers.
Being a golfer is somewhat of a status symbol in Japan, and for young women like 23-year-old Yuko Mitsuka, merely playing on the green is enough of an achievement. Winning a title is even more of a blissful triumph; it makes a golfer emerge into the limelight, and makes her wave the country flag proud.
Yuko Mitsuka’s home country regards the sport of golf as a popular sport for the wealthy. The limited space for golfing makes memberships in golf clubs quite pricey. But because the Japanese love golf so much, they managed to find ways to enjoy the sport, without the exorbitant membership fees. The solution? Driving ranges that are open for the public. As Japanese innovation would have it, the ranges appear peculiar but are very functional; they are big structures wrapped in large green nets. Balls can be hit from two or more floors, allowing several players to play at the same time. Such a golfing facility can even be found in the middle of a busy commercial district.
No wonder Yoko Mitsuka is making waves in the world of golf; her cultural and racial heritage is enough of a drive to achieve the perfect swing and the perfect score.