China's Government Tightens Its Grip On Golf, Shuts Down Courses

Rob Schmitz
NPR
By 2004, many of China's hundreds of golf courses were found to be built on valuable farmland through corrupt land deals...

All Mapped Out: How China’s Charting Its Course as a Superpower

Daily Beast
In February, the French daily Le Monde published a map reportedly circulated by the Chinese military. It showed the People’s Republic in the center of the globe with all else shrinking away toward the edges: “The world turned upside down for anyone...

China Swings back at Golf, Shutting down 111 Courses

Normaan Merchant
Associated Press
China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses in an effort to conserve water and land, and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links.

What It’s Like Playing Golf in China

Scott Cendrowski
Fortune
As if the land of 1.4 billion people wasn’t already exerting influence on enough global markets, China is now a big part of golf’s future

China Golf: Communist Party Bans Club Membership

BBC
Extravagant eating and drinking, and abuse of power, are also formally banned.

China Seeks Businessman Said to Have Fled to U.S., Further Straining Ties

Michael Forsythe, Mark Mazetti
New York Times
Ling Wancheng is the younger brother of Ling Jihua, who for years held a post akin to that of the White House chief of staff.

China Cracks Down on Golf, the ‘Sport for Millionaires’

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Party officials in Guangdong, home to the 12-course Mission Hills Golf Club, are now forbidden to golf during work hours.

Sinica Podcast

11.22.14

Banned but Booming: Golf in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Despite China's legal moratorium on the development of the golf industry, a policy driven by concerns over illegal farmland seizures and the potential misallocation of agricultural land and water resources, the golf industry has experienced an...

Dan Washburn on ‘The Forbidden Game’

AUSTIN RAMZY
New York Times
In an interview, Dan Washburn discussed how a nongolfer came to write about the sport, the future prospects of golf in China and how something that is technically banned has been able to expand so quickly.

Books

07.15.14

The Forbidden Game

Dan Washburn
In China, just because something is banned, doesn't mean it can't boom. Statistically, zero percent of the Chinese population plays golf, still known as the "rich man’s game" and considered taboo. Yet China is in the midst of a golf boom—hundreds of new courses have opened in the past decade, despite it being illegal for anyone to build them. Award-winning journalist Dan Washburn charts a vivid path through this contradictory country by following the lives of three men intimately involved in China's bizarre golf scene. We meet Zhou, a peasant turned golf pro who discovered the game when he won a job as a security guard at one of the new, exclusive clubs and who sees himself entering the emerging Chinese middle class as a result; Wang, a lychee farmer whose life is turned upside down when a massive, top-secret golf resort moves in next door to his tiny village; and Martin, a Western executive maneuvering through China’s byzantine and highly political business environment, ever watchful for Beijing's "golf police." The Forbidden Game is a rich and arresting portrait of the world’s newest superpower and three different paths to the new Chinese Dream. —Oneworld Publications {chop}

Golf in China Is Younger Than Tiger Woods, but Growing Up Fast

Brook Larmer
New York Times
China is producing some of the world’s best young golfers because wealthy families who have profited from the nation’s market reforms are replicating, in miniature, the formula of the socialist state sports system. 

Excerpts

05.29.13

Every Thousand Years

Dan Washburn
There are no guardrails on the road to Qixin. And there is only one other way to the top of the mountain—a four-hour hike. It was February, and the ice and snow from Guizhou’s winter storms had recently melted, leaving the famously treacherous cliff...

Guan Tianlang: China’s Golf Phenom To Tee It Up At The Masters

Clark Boyd
Public Radio International
Spare a moment to consider 14-year-old Guan Tianlang. The Chinese amateur golfing phenom will make history Thursday, becoming the youngest player ever to compete at the Masters.