Mr. Take Koyama
Yane-Ura Professional Golfer is a segment of a television program popular among fathers’ generation of university students. That segment airs towards the end of the TBS Television show Sunday Morning. Yane-Ura Professional Golfer is Chuo University alumni Take Koyama (age 49).
Take holds a handmade board and gives an explanation during filming of Yane-Ura Professional Golfer at the TBS Television studio
(Photograph provided by Sankei, co.)
Having lived in the United States for 18 years, Take uses his network to give a fresh and interesting report on the latest golf information from Japan, Europe and America. Viewers of the show cannot wait to share the latest Take’s scoop with their friends. Take is truly a popular figure in the golf world.
Take is responsible for selecting the 10-minute segment theme and layout. He sends a PowerPoint presentation of his proposal to the director by Wednesday. A detailed plan is formed during meetings held on Friday and Saturday. The meetings are also attended by Hiroshi Sekiguchi, emcee of the program.
“I want to give an analog image to a digital program,” says Take. He focuses on giving easy-to-understand explanations. Sometimes, he uses handmade models when explaining rules or gear. Although it takes Take 4 or 5 hours to make a model, the passion he puts into his work has paid off. He has many fans and the program maintains a high viewer rating.
Take first appeared on Sunday Morning in January 2009. Initially, he was responsible for a 13-week special featuring his unique perspective to discuss the Masters Tournament. This was around the time that professional golfer Ryo Ishikawa was attracting a lot of attention. Take’s clear and interesting explanation of golf became a trend of the times.
Last February, professional golfer Hiroyuki Fujita suffered a stress fracture in his right ribs. Fujita had competed in the Masters Tournament this year and was the top money winner in Japan last year. Many people worried about the effect of Fujita’s injury. At that time, Take showed exclusive images of Fujita making a remarkable recovery and competing in a small tournament held in America.
Take was able to catch this big news thanks to his in-depth knowledge of American golf and his relationship with star players. Before he started working on television, Take appeared on InterFM from April 2008. InterFM is an FM radio station which mainly conducts foreign-language broadcasts. Take appeared in the Saturday morning program Green Jacket and gave tips to amateur golfers who were heading out to play golf.
Take introduced a lot of information on the world’s top players. For example, he spoke about the fact that Greg Norman (Australia) used to be a pilot in the Air Force and now holds a pilot’s license for jet aircraft. Although Norman had purchased a Boeing 737, the aircraft was not able to land on the runway of the airport where he has his private air hangar. Take also revealed that Nick Price (Zimbabwe) can operate a twin-jet engine aircraft.
The program was so popular that its start time was moved to 5:00 AM from April, and became a 3-hour program until 8:00 AM. Take just talks and talks by himself with an articulate manner of speaking. One listener favorably compared the program to the sound of cabbage being sliced at a pork cutlet restaurant.
It seems like Take was born with a gift of speaking. “People often say that,” he says. “But, actually, I was not good at speaking.”
18 years in the United States
Take entered the Faculty of Economics, Chuo University in 1982. In December 1984, during his 2nd year at university, he passed the Assistant Professional Golfer Certification Test and became to be called a non-professional. Take had always wanted to turn professional and compete at tournaments in America.
While at Chuo University, Take was a member of the Albatross Club and became friends with a student two grades ahead of him. That friend had gone to America, managed several golf courses and acquired his MBA (Master’s of Business Administration). Take took advice from his friend and went to America in June 1989. While living in Orlando, Florida, Take competed in tournaments mainly in America and some in Canada, Australia and the Caribbean.
Take returned to Japan in 2007. He competed in the Japan Tour and also played in the Japan Open Golf Championship. Unfortunately, he was unable to survive the elimination round the following year. This marked a turning point in his life.
InterFM was searching for a DJ that knows about golf. Take was also invited by Sekiguchi to try working on television. While taking a Master’s course in top sports management in the Graduate School of Sport Sciences, Waseda University from April 2008, Take started television and radio work on the weekends.
An InterFM studio where electronic screens are placed and the speakers sit separately
“I still compete in small tournaments. Golf is a sport which you can continue as long as you have the desire to play. I balance golf with my working life. I have to keep up my knowledge of golf—there are always new gear and balls being introduced. There are literally tens of thousands of types of golf balls.”
Previously, Take served as emcee for the popular golf lesson program Fujita Hiroyuki no Shinguru e-no Michi (Fujita’s Path to a Single Score) which was broadcast on NHK E-Tele. According to Take, he tried not to talk much during the show in order to elicit words of wisdom from Fujita, who was Japan’s top money-winner in the previous year. Take was highly recognized for being an attentive and bright listener. A sequel to the program was broadcast this autumn.
Take was able to improve his speaking ability to its current outstanding level thanks to advice from a former television announcer.
“Although some people say that TV programs are nothing more than what is just broadcast, I was told that recording my television and radio programs and then check them would help me to improve. Even now, I use commercial breaks during broadcasting to listen to the previous 3 or 5 minutes of my speaking. Thanks to this advice, I was able to improve my speaking in a relatively short period of time.”
If Take had not joined the golf club at Chuo University, he would not have met the older student and might not have traveled to America. After returning to Japan and no longer participating in the Japan Golf Tour, his life might have been different if he had not received an invitation to try television from Sekiguchi. If that had been the case, Saturday and Sunday mornings would lose their appeal for a lot of middle-aged men.
Offered by: Hakumon Chuo 2013 Autumn Issue, No. 233