Locals playing on military golf courses irk civilian course operators

Representatives of Okinawa Golf Business Council Association, a local business group consisting of local golf course and golf driving range operators, visited the Prefectural Office on May 8th, to ask Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga to take steps to prevent local nationals from using the U.S. military golf courses on bases.

The association argues that local civilians are able to play on the U.S. military golf courses cheap. They specifically named the Marines’ Taiyo Golf Club and the Air Force’s Chibana Golf Course, and called for an action against the problem because local golf industry suffers economic loss.

They say that unlike other U.S. military golf facilities, it’s easy for local people to use these two golf courses because they have no gates with guards to restrict the access. In addition, the association pointed out that the golf facilities tax that players on local civilian courses are subjected to, cannot be collected from local nationals playing on military golf courses.

The association had brought up the same matter with the prefecture in 2013. However, they say “nothing has changed yet!”