Oahu, Hawaii

Hachiro Kobayashi lifted his hat and wiped his sweaty forehead before bending over to give his full concentration to his putt. A mild breeze stirred the fronds on palm trees too remote to provide protection from the sun that beat down relentlessly from the nearly cloudless sky.

However, Hachiro noted, it was already the fourteenth hole. Soon he would be sitting down and enjoying a cool drink in the clubhouse. He would simply make sure his next reservation to play on this superb Hawaiian course was early in the morning. As he had arranged most of the financing for the Nagoya consortium which had bought the golf club, he was sure he would be accommodated.

He steadied himself, then gently tapped the ball. A mere four feet from the hole, the ball rolled true and obligingly dropped in.

Hachiro grunted. He could have used more such shots today. It was just too hot to play well. He handed his putter to the caddie, a young Japanese American who had served him attentively all week, and reminded himself again that he should give the young man a good tip.