Chinese president Xi Jinping has been working for the last three years to crack down on what he perceives as corrupt behavior in the country’s Communist Party. He took another step in the process of squashing impure behavior on Thursday, declaring a new list of behaviors as violations of party members, including holding golf memberships, as well gluttony and sexual impropriety.
New regulations specifically ban “obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs.”
Tales of corruption among public officials and bureaucrats have inspired outrage that civil servants, of sorts, are living an extravagant lifestyle in contrast to the expected modesty these figures are to exhibit. Many Chinese see the golf course as a place where unseemly deals are crafted by officials out of public view.
Ultimately, the new rules impact some 88 million party members, less than 5 percent of the country’s population.
This is the latest in Xi’s efforts to hamper the game’s growth in China. In 2014, Xi began more stringently enforcing the country’s ban on new golf-course development. In March 2015, the country seized and closed 66 golf courses, per Reuters. Xi’s targeting of the sport has given it a poor image, making it more unlikely Chinese will take up the game and face the possibility of being labeled as morally corrupt.
The PGA Tour operates a series of events in China, with top money winners earning spots on the Web.com Tour. The European Tour has three China-based events on their schedule, including two in their four-event, playoff-style Race to Dubai Final Series, the BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions, which is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.