Bootleg Chinese Golf Courses

We’ve all heard about the bootleg Chinese golf clubs (and movies, software, books, etc—is there any intellectual property they won’t steal?). But who would have thought about bootleg golf courses.

Golf apparently is so popular in China that developers are building illegal courses in defiance of a 2004 moratorium on their construction. According to the UK Guardian:

Chinese officials have promised to crack down on illegal golf courses, threatening harsh punishment to developers catering to “the rich man’s game” at the expense of much-needed farmland.

Demand for courses is soaring as the country’s newly wealthy adopt the sport. But officials hope that a satellite system to check the illicit use of land will help them to identify unapproved venues, state media reported today.

There are apparently 500 courses now, but that number is expected to rise to 2,700 by 2015.

I wonder what the punishment is for maintaining an illegal golf course. If they’re accused of using farmland and starving the poor to play a game, they had better watch out; two Chinese businessmen recently were executed for their role in producing tainted milk.

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2 thoughts on “Bootleg Chinese Golf Courses”

  1. I am not understanding.  Is it illegal to build ANY course, or are they actually referring to building the clone courses? 

    I would find it hard to believe that China would not allow people to build a replica of Augusta or any other course – what do they care about the IP of US owners?  A certain amount of copies can even be built in the US.  Those are some popular courses, I can see why the Chinese would want them.  I would expect that Dubai is building some copies over there too (well, maybe not this week).

  2. Good for me, write a comment without reading the article.  It isn’t about clone courses, it is just about building any course.

    That said- the water thing is huge.  I don’t understand how someone can sneakily build a golf course.  If you sneak in a bible you can get put in jail.  Last I checked golf courses are much larger than bibles.  This must mean that local officials are turning a bline eye, either because they want to play, or because they are being bribed.


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