Illegal Golf Courses In China Flourish

Hot on the heels of the news about the closing of Brazil’s solitary public golf course comes a story about the proliferation of illegal courses in communist China.

China introduced a ban on the construction of golf courses in 2004 in an attempt to preserve dwindling farmland, save water and reduce the huge number of villagers thrown off their land as luxury real estate is developed.

“Since the year 2004 we have put a halt to the construction of golf courses,” Gan Zangchun, deputy chief supervisor of state land at the Ministry of Land and Resources, said recently. “Pending the formulation of any new regulation, the building of any new golf course is prohibited and is illegal.”

But despite the ban the number of golf courses in China has more than tripled from 170 in 2004 to nearly 600 now, according to figures from the golf education and research centre at the Beijing Forestry University.

I wonder what this actually says about the control the communist leadership has over China’s new class of capitalist entrepreneurs.




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3 thoughts on “Illegal Golf Courses In China Flourish”

  1. It’s not like this isn’t done in full visibility.  Golf courses are hard to miss from an aerial view – and if you look at Nicklaus design on what they have under construction there are about a dozen little bears all over China on the website.

    So this must be like an ordinance more than a law.  Or it isn’t one of those put-him-in-the-stockade laws, more like a parking ticket. 

    What do they think Jack and Arnie are doing when they come to the country with big pieces of paper rolled up in a plastic tube?

  2. Maybe not the central government, but nothing gets built without the local governments’ approval or… er… cooperation. There have been more than a few news articles about farmers and villagers protesting when their property gets confiscated by local authority for “economic development”.

    As for Jack and Arnie, I wonder how much of it is a site visit or two by an associate, a bunch of maps and data sent to the home office, plans sent back to the developer, and finally a visit by the poo-bah on opening day?

  3. I think they have an associate there quite a bit during construction – probably not every day, but probably every month or two.  I bet that Jack or Arnie is generally there for the sale, and then probably there to cut a ribbon, hit a first drive or something.  Maybe one visit in between.


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