Tripti Lahiri and Isabella Steger, reporting for Quartz:
In his 2014 book on golf in China, The Forbidden Game, Dan Washburn chronicled how a 2004 ban on the construction of new golf courses was accompanied by the building of more golf courses than ever.
“People unfamiliar with the way China works often express confusion as to how a country can experience a golf course boom during a moratorium on golf course construction,” he wrote. ” Those who’ve spent more than five minutes in China do not suffer from such confusion.”
Usually, this happens by maintaining a low profile, often using the word “leisure” instead of “golf” during development. One golf club Washburn looked at for his book started life as the mysterious-sounding “Project 791,” but is better known as the Mission Hills China resort now. The coyness of those early days appears to have disappeared, with the Mission Hills website describing its chairman, Ken Chu, as China’s “Mr. Golf.” The site also notes that he serves as a national committee member of the Communist Party’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. (Mission Hills didn’t respond to an interview request for this story).