Listen: China has seen the enemy, and it is golf

Listen to my interview with PRI on China’s ongoing crackdown on golf:

Yes. Golf. That seemingly most Western of sports is a unique prism on modern China. Many Chinese want to play, but the Communist Party doesn’t like the game. And today, Communist Party officials officially barred its 88 million members from belonging to a golf club.

But the ban is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s drive to root out extravagance and corruption. For golf has played a role in recent high-profile corruption cases in China.

“This has been a historically bad year for golf in China and that’s really saying a lot,” says Dan Washburn, author of “The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream.” “The game has never really been welcomed with open arms by the country.”