‘Most Influential’ – Rickie Fowler Embraces His Grandfather’s Japanese Heritage and His Love for Golf

Published 10/21/2021, 1:11 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the Memorial Tournament golf tourney. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Rickie Fowler is participating in the Zozo Championship which is currently underway in Japan. In comparison to all other tournaments, this event probably means a little more to the 32-year-old. Being held in a country that is responsible for a making him who he is today, it is definitely special.

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Rickie Rikata Fowler was born in California and boasts of a Japanese heritage through his maternal grandfather. Fowler is known to share a close relationship with his family; however, his grandfather holds a special place in his life, especially in his career.

Golf – The 149th Open Championship – Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Britain – July 18, 2021 Rickie Fowler of the U.S. in action during the final round REUTERS/Paul Childs

We often see him supporting Rickie on course and on his various tournaments. Moreover, in 2016, Fowler got a tattoo in the Japanese script which says Yutaka Tanaka, his grandfather’s name. In a most recent press conference, Fowler revealed the role played by him in his golf career and also went on to explain how his Japanese lineage has helped him.

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Rickie Fowler gives his career credits to his grandfather

At the press conference ahead of the opening round at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Fowler was asked regarding his grandfather’s role. A reporter asked, “How instrumental has your grandfather been in your career?”

The five-time winner on the PGA tour recalled his earlier days and admitted, “My grandfather was one of the most influential people in my life growing up. He’s the one who introduced me to the game of golf. He was taking up golf about that same time, so I used to go and play golf with him or go to the driving range all the time.”

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Revealing what he learnt from him, he said, “His work ethic as well as his demeanor and personality is what rubbed off on me quite a bit. Not that he spent much time in Japan, he was born in the states but definitely has some of the Japanese culture and ways of life so. So yes, there’s definitely a part of me that is influenced very much by him and the Japanese culture.”

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Talking to Golf Digest a couple of years ago, Fowler had also said, “Being around him gave me an attitude toward life. He’s always in a good mood. He loves having people around him. He treats people the right way. Love’s life. He’s just… happy. It’s the way I try to be.”

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Ishita Bhargava

242 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a Golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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