Green Opium Addiction

Green Opium Addiction - WSJ.com - Green Opium Addiction...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
November 28, 2003 Green Opium Addiction By JOHN KRICH Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL BEIJING -- Michael Ma couldn't believe what he was seeing. The investment consultant, who became a passionate golfer while studying in the U.S., watched in horror as his new golfing companions hurled their clubs, abused their caddies and cheated. "When a friend missed a shot, he flung his club into the water -- and made his caddie fish it out," says Mr. Ma, 31 years old, recalling the shock of his first few games back on his Beijing home turf in 2001. "Because caddies retrieve so many balls, and players place them wherever they like, I've even heard people say that 'All golfers in China are blind.' And if someone is in a high position . . playing on the company's money, you have to put up with their way of playing. I saw one of them hit a ball into the rough, then swing several times and move the ball without counting any of his strokes. But what could I say?" Mr. Ma concludes: "Golf in China may be for the rich, but it is not a noble sport." Golf in the People's Republic is booming. A decade ago, the country had only four clubs. Now there are nearly 200, including what will soon become the world's largest -- the 180-hole Mission Hills complex at Shenzhen in Guangdong Province. But golf in China seems to be evolving into a very different game from that which is practiced elsewhere, where personal demeanor matters as much as the score. If, as the common joke goes, "golf is a good walk spoiled," then many would argue that in China, it is a good walk often spoiled by excessive gambling, cheating, drinking, noise, obstruction, favoritism and caddie abuse. Deng Xiaoping once described the Chinese system as "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Now, the serious player who takes to Chinese links must be prepared for "golf with Chinese characteristics." DOW JONES REPRINTS This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article or visit: http://www. djreprints.com/ . See a sample reprint in PDF format Order a reprint of this article now . WSJ.com - Green Opium Addiction file:///E|/Newspaper Articles/Wall Street Journal/Green Opium Addiction.htm (1 of 5)9/29/2008 5:21:40 PM
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
WSJ.com - Green Opium Addiction According to Aylwin Tai, the former general manager of Guangdong's Chung Shan Hot Springs course, some Chinese beginners appear so unaware of the basic manners of the game that they don't even wait for fellow players to take their swings, sometimes launching shots at the same time. "On Hainan Island, I once saw eight balls in flight at once," Mr. Tai says. "We say this is an elegant sport. But a common answer from our members is, 'I don't care. I have
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

Green Opium Addiction - WSJ.com - Green Opium Addiction...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online