Crackdown on Golf

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The Chinese government associates the game of golf with elitism and corruption. China has been shutting down golf courses all around the nation for no apparent reason. Interestingly, golf has been expanding in China, and the nation is home to many high profile tournaments. Although China has been shutting golf courses down, it hasn’t stopped notable professionals like Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson from visiting China for golf related purposes. USA Today reported that Tiger Woods was paid $16.5 million to simply redesign a Chinese course.

It was said that “The Communist Party banned golf and ripped up courses in the 1950s, but players teed off again in the 1980s as China opened its economy and society to capitalist ways” ( However, it now seems like the government is currently leaning back towards their 1950s views on the game. It is unfortunate that a government would go to such lengths just to prevent their citizens from playing a game for fun. Yes, some sports have different images than others, but just because you play golf doesn’t meant that you are elitist or corrupt.


8 Responses to Crackdown on Golf

  1. Wow, this just seems ignorant more than anything else. It seems like almost discrimination against a certain type of athlete, or hobby-enthusiast. Also, despite this being unjustified from the corruption standpoint, it would create more space around urban centers.

  2. Golf is a convenient ploy for real estate speculation. My hunch is that membership in a country club is equivalent to owning a share in a REIT (real estate investment trust). These courses thus have nothing to do with golf. Furthermore, because of its real estate intensity and high equipment costs golf remains an elite endeavor. China would not be the only country to regulate it as part of anti-corruption efforts.

    • I had never thought that being a member of a club would be an investment, however if this is the case I can see why the government would like to put an end to it.

  3. I’m not surprised the Chinese government wants to do away with golf. With all the time these officials spend with their hand out behind their back accepting bribes, there’s no way they have time to practice. Golf if a frustrating sport, and it’s even more frustrating to become good at it. Clearly the mentality of the state government here is, “if you can’t beat them, shut them down for no apparent reason.”

  4. Perhaps golf courses were simply ploys to invest corrupt funds and the officials wanted some liquidity.

  5. Issues regarding land is what comes first to me. If they really cared about the “image” of golf, why would they not suspend the visits of the top golfers in the world? If the “cultural disturbance” of the sport was the real problem I think they would try a bit harder to eradicate it more fully and not let famous golfers in to inspire the youth.