Admittedly, golf isn’t a sport I’m curious about. But considering some of the best golf manga and anime that exist out there, I just might change my mind. However, that has been the case for many of the sports manga we have talked about in the past, with lists ranging from ice skating to fencing and even hockey. Suffice to say, the sports genre is one that always ends up surprising the most, especially when you’re not even a fan of said sport.
But nevertheless, the same applies for something such as golf. I mean, in theory, it’s considered a very posh game, something reserved for the elite. But instead of being dismissive, I wanted to read up on how it would work in an anime or manga format. And from what I could gather, it turns out golf isn’t as bland as it might seem. It feels slow paced, but there is a certain degree of technique and patience you need to excel in it. And, weirdly enough, there’s a lot of golf related media out there that explore that.
Which means that some of the best sports anime and manga happens to be about golf. No, seriously. Like, the sheer amount of genuinely interesting golf themed manga and anime out there? It’s astounding. I would’ve never guessed that golf was, like, something people enjoyed outside of a certain circle. But nope, clearly there’s a lot more to this sport than I anticipated and the medium of manga and anime are the perfect storytellers for it.
Suffice to say, we had a lot of sifting through to do. Because even if there are a ton of golf manga, we wanted to pick out only the best ones for recommendations. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just looking to dip your feet in, here are some of the best golf anime and manga out there, in another segment of Get Ranked! Get your putts ready, because the variation here is a treat.
Kasane No Tao
An underdog story yet again, but this time it’s got the sweetest girl around as its protagonist. Kasane No Tao is a simple but exhilarating read.
Kasane Hibino is barely a teenager when she gets spotted by Jambo Otokozaki, a veritable superstar in the golfing world. And it’s absurd, considering all she has is a rundown driving range and nothing else to make her stand out. She’s basically a nobody. But what people don’t realize is how that meager background hides the biggest heart, filled with dreams of making it big someday. And with Jambo, she sees a way to turn her life around. Kasane devotes herself to golf, seeing her dreams within her reach like never before.
I like how the art style is so evocative of Kasane’s position, and how people underestimate her for how she looks. It’s what makes it all the more satisfying to see our protagonist grow as Kasane No Tao goes on.
Golf often appears as a sport that can be a bit of a ‘boy’s club’. So, the chances of some of the best golf manga and anime being led by a female protagonist seem slim. But Oi! Tonbo proves the naysayers wrong.
A fairly recent series that started in 2016, Oi! Tonbo follows Tonbo Ooi, a young girl who had just lost her parents in a tragic accident. And so, she is raised by her doting grandfather, Gonji Ooi, and the two lead a quiet life on the island of Kagoshima. But to feel closer to her father, Tonbo picks up golfing, using his prized No. 3 club to practice. And you know how they say a village raises the child? Well, that’s exactly what the island residents do for Tonbo, creating 3 separate courses for her to hone her skills. But it was meeting Ichika Igarashi, a champion golfer, that really set her on the path for going pro.
A story of self-discovery and never forgetting your roots, Oi! Tonbo is a lovely look on how support systems shape us in our future goals. I’m honestly surprised by how insightful the series can be at some points, truly heartwarming and earnest.
Kaze No Daichi
I love it when an author is clearly so devoted to their work, that they take their entire life trying to tell the story to the best of their extent. And Kaze No Daichi is a great example of it.
Keisuke Okita has had a tumultuous life, where he even had to leave university in order to deal with some family issues. But at age 24, he finally gives in and joins the Kanuma Country Club, as a golf trainee. Through his hard work and dedication, Keisuke actually manages to go pro in a short amount of time, with a wonderful performance at the Asian Professional Golf Tours. But it is at the UK Open where his life changes, when he meets his caddie, Lily, a woman of exemplary family ties and the possible love of his life.
Kaze No Daichi is a tale that shows it’s never too late, in life or in love. And the quiet sparks between our love interests, combined with the focus of our protagonist, really land a lot of realism into how life can, and will, change for the better.
Sora No Subaru
There is just something about vintage manga that can’t be beat. Maybe it’s the art style, the nostalgia, where it doesn’t matter if the story is the best golf manga or anime out there. It’s just simply good.
Sora No Subaru is a real bait-and-switch. You think you’re following the story of Hyouda Shin, the son of a pro golfer who idolized his father and worked hard to reach his proficiency, only to find out said father is coaching the son of a rival. But the real story is about said rival aka Hoshino Subaru, a basketball player who has to stop playing the sport he loves because of a heart defect. And so, he finds solace in golf, where his inner talent shows to be soaring for the sky.
It’s interesting how innovative Sora No Subaru is, even now. The story doesn’t make antagonists out of anyone, rather letting things play out naturally between two people who have their own milestones to achieve. It’s oddly inspiring, to say the least.
Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? I mean, some of the best sports manga and anime start out with them. So, no wonder King Golf made it onto this list.
At Teirin High School, you’re either a delinquent, or a member of one of the elite teams. And Sōsuke Yūki lies firmly with the former, with a penchant for getting into fights with whoever looks at him wrong. But slowly, he realizes that while he inspires fear in people, nobody really admires his grit. So, when an amateur golf prodigy looks down at him, he understands that his reputation as the strongest means nothing in the big leagues. And now, Sōsuke wants revenge from whoever doubted him. Now, he’s playing to get back at everyone and become the ultimate ‘King of Golf’.
What can I say, I just like these sort of ‘started from the bottom’ plots. And King Of Golf makes for an exceptionally Shonen take on what is usually a very relaxed sport.
Robot × LaserBeam
If you thought you were a newcomer to the field, wait till you meet the protagonist of Robot × LaserBeam, who legit starts out at Ground Zero.
Robota Hatohara had never even heard of golf before, let alone played it. And so, he never really took an interest in the prestigious sport, spending his days at Eiai Academy all on his awkward lonesome. That is, until he came upon an opportunity where he played a match in front of Youzan Miura, impressing the pro-golfer with his untapped talent. And what Robota lacks in passion, he more than makes up for with his uncanny ability to knock hole-in-ones like it’s his birthright. With a challenge set, Robota now attempts to climb the ranks and face off against the person that recognized his talents, Youzan himself.
Absurd names aside, this is yet another take on a golf manga and anime that challenges the protagonist and provides a dynamic look at how competitive the sport can actually get.
Birdie Wing – Golf Girls’ Story
Honestly, this was the anime that got me looking at golf with a different perspective. Birdie Wing – Golf Girls Story is one for the books and here’s why:
It’s got female protagonists, an opposite attracts plotline, a secret underground golfing club, gorgeous animation and everything else in between. Birdie Wing tells the story of Eve Aleon, an absolute monster in the golf gambling circuit, going under the moniker ‘Rainbow Bullet’. In this endeavor, it’s survival of the fittest, with Eve conquering everyone using only 3 golf clubs. But even the mightiest fall, and so Eve’s winning streak is halted when she gets beaten by Aoi Amawashi, a Japanese golfing prodigy. But their battle strikes an interest in each other, and the two girls team up to take the pro golfing world by storm.
The way both characters bring a different dynamic to the story is fascinating to see pan out, especially considering how they are both considered geniuses. Because really, their ideologies couldn’t be any more different. If there is only one entry you give a chance to from this list, it’s got to be this one!
So, while there are more golf manga and anime out there, here are the ones we feel represent some of the best the subgenre has to offer. Of course, you could disagree. If so, sound off below on your favorite, and why it is so!