Over the years, golf legend Jack Nicklaus has been one of the most prolific course architects working in China. But it’s clear the place has even the Golden Bear a bit befuddled.
Speaking with Bloomberg’s Shelby Holliday recently, Nicklaus understandably appeared a bit frustrated by the current state of things in China, where the government keeps “changing the rules every week.” You can watch the interview — which focuses on Nicklaus’ design work and the general state of the game globally — above, but I’ve transcribed the China section here:
SH: Where is demand the greatest for golf?
JN: Right now, it’s really kind of odd because China’s probably the greatest demand for it, but the Chinese government, golf is not recognized as a sport. They haven’t really set what the rules are.
SH: They change the rules.
JN: They keep changing the rules every week. That’s because they don’t understand what it is.
The Nicklaus Design website says Nicklaus has 18 courses open for play in mainland China, and three currently under development — although you have to wonder how fast those are moving ahead given the current crackdown on golf courses occurring in the country.