Alyssa Abkowitz writes in a Wall Street Journal front-page story:
Lately, President Xi Jinping’s austerity campaign has sent the sport into a sand trap: More than 60 courses have been closed and several Communist Party officials are under investigation for hitting the links.
Since the Communist Revolution, when Chairman Mao Zedong declared golf “too bourgeois,” there has been something irrepressible about the sport’s rise in China. It seems only par for the course that most of China’s golf courses have been built since a 2004 law banning such construction, making them technically illegal.
“You can say it’s illegal, but you almost need to put quote marks around illegal because more golf courses are getting built in China than anywhere else in the world,” said Dan Washburn, author of The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream.