From the Washington Post:
Golf was once banned by Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, who saw it as a decadent and elitist game. But golf has become the latest fashion among wealthy Chinese — a way to exercise and, more important, a way to affirm one’s status.
In the past 20 years, more than 200 courses have sprung up in China, including the world’s largest — the 10-course Mission Hills resort in Shenzhen, just an hour and a half from Hong Kong. Membership there and at other courses can cost a penny or two. The one-time fee for individuals at Pine Valley is $200,000, plus $1,200 in dues each year. Guests fork out $100 green fees on weekdays and $160 on weekends.
Those kinds of prices have prompted critics to label the game “green opium,” addictive but also a drain on natural resources. [Full text]