Houston Chronicle calls Forbidden Game ‘captivating’

Maggie Galehouse writes:

Golf and the complex world around it offer “a unique window into today’s China,” writes Dan Washburn, in his captivating book, “The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream.” The emergence and growth of golf in the world’s most populated country – some 1.35 billion people – is “a barometer for … the country’s rapid economic rise, but it is also symbolic of the less glamorous realities of a nation’s awkward and arduous evolution from developing to developed.”

Washburn, who appears at Asia Society Houston on Thursday, describes this paradoxical “banned but booming” golf culture through portraits of three people: Zhou (pronounced “Joe”) Xunshu, whose security job at a golf course leads to a passion for the game and the quest to become a pro; Wang (pronounced “Wong”) Libo, a former lychee farmer who sells some of his land to a luxury golf development; and Martin Moore, an American executive who has spent decades planning and building golf courses in Asia.

“I wanted people to learn something about China without feeling like they were learning about China,” says Washburn, who lives in New York and oversees content for the national Asia Society’s website. “Focusing on these men and their stories allowed me to do a lot more show than tell.”

Read the entire story at The Houston Chronicle.