From the March 27, 2015, story by Bernice Chan:
For someone who has written a book about golf, it may come as a surprise to learn that Dan Washburn is rarely one to hit the greens. That’s because Washburn is not so much a golfer as an observer of how the game has exploded in China. In focusing on golf, his book, The Forbidden Game, also delves into the nature of growth in the country.
The boom has occurred despite a freeze on the construction of golf courses, and various facets of development on the mainland are reflected in the lives of the three characters forming his tale.
“Golf is a topic where you would expect the person writing the book to be a participant, but the book is also about China, that uses golf as an accessible way into the story,” says Washburn, who was in Hong Kong recently to speak about his book.
A former sports writer for a US newspaper, Washburn went to China in 2002 in search of his next adventure. He was feeling restless and wanted to try living abroad, he says. His father, a college professor, had just been on a tour of mainland universities and provided some contacts. Before long he was teaching conversational English and American literature in Shanghai.
On a trip to visit his brother in Hawaii, he bumped into the then golf editor at ESPN.com who was keen to cover the major tournaments in China and hired him for the assignment in 2005.
“We wanted to find out what these big tournaments were doing in China where, statistically, no one plays the game,” Washburn recalls.
Read the whole story here. And check out the shockingly large photo of me that accompanied the story below.