A sport that seems to have peaked in the United States, appears to be gaining ground in China

Published on Author degnank17

The Chinese government has historically had a love-hate relationship with golf, and particularly with the participation of women in the sport.  In 1949,  Chairman Mao actually banned golf from being played in Communist China because he deemed it a sport for “millionaires.”  In the People’s Republic of China the cost to play was considered exorbitant and the sport was viewed as a heinous Western game that could inundate the country with corruption.

Nowadays, mere decades later, China’s economy is booming and playing golf has become a positive sign of social prominence. As golf struggles to attract new players in the United States, China is quietly becoming a country that is experiencing a period of growth and expansion for the game. Statistically, the demographic of golfers in China has been difficult to document because of the remnants of social stigma Mao associated with it. With the increased positive publicity regarding the popularity of golf around the world,  generated in large part by the internet,  golf is benefiting from a tremendous amount of interest in China.

Lin Xiyu, an eighteen year old, female golf prodigy, has become an icon on China’s golf scene; recently placing third at the Hyundai China Ladies Open. Lin represents her country as one, of only two, Chinese women to break into the LPGA. It is eviden20141116_Xi-Yu-Lin-Trophy_615x400t Lin embodies leadership, not only for women in golf, but for all women in China. Her role in growing the popularity of golf in China has inspired other young women to pick up a club. Young women such as Feng Shimin and Yan Jin, will be future stars, not only in China, but on golf courses around the globe. Lin sums up her budding sport exquisitely, “Golf in China is still very young… I really want to play at the Olympics and represent my country – we all do.”

The LPGA, as well as all of golf, will get a boost from Chinese women like Lin Xiyu; she and her protégés hold the future success and popularity of “the game” in their hands.

Source: South China Morning Post ,
minor blog source 

2 Responses to A sport that seems to have peaked in the United States, appears to be gaining ground in China

  1. This trend seems in keeping with other trends of modernization and development we have examined in this class. China continues to shift from an economy strictly based on production and exportation and allows for more importation and consumption. As they import more, the effects of external cultures will have an increasingly strong effect on Chinese culture.

  2. Social status is a big driver, and without putting restrictions on the game, networking and demonstrating you’ve got the wherewithal to play make it attractive. It’s also easy to understand and to watch small segments — the game after all is dependent on advertising.