December 4, 2009

Pirate Golf Courses

Harbin does have one golf course in the middle of town. We missed our chance to play on it this fall and now we'll have to wait until June to get another chance. Check out what's happening around China in this latest headline:

China to crackdown on illegal golf courses1 (December 2, 2009, The 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. A boom in golf over the last few years has produced 3 million players, the China Daily newspaper reported, with the China Golf Association predicting up to 20 million in just over a decade. The industry was worth an estimated 60bn yuan (£5.3bn) last year. China imposed a moratorium on course building in 2004, but the game's popularity has led developers to continue construction without permission. While the first course opened on the mainland only in 1984, there are now believed to be around 500 and on one estimate the total could rise to 2,700 by 2015.

1 From the ZGBriefs for December 3, 2009

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Remember the CG's in all comments. Thanks for checking in on the work in China!