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Golf Courses Mushrooming in China Despite Government Ban

by VR Sreeraman on  May 22, 2011 at 6:05 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
The number of golf courses in China has likely trebled to more than 500 since 2004 as the sport's popularity has surged, state media said Sunday, despite a ban on new construction to protect farmland.
 Golf Courses Mushrooming in China Despite Government Ban
Golf Courses Mushrooming in China Despite Government Ban
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A Xinhua news agency report quoted varying estimates that put the number of courses as high as nearly 600, with possibly more still uncounted, compared with just 170 in 2004.

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Only 10 of them received proper approvals and business licences, after the Ministry of Land and Resources imposed a ban on new golf courses in 2004 to safeguard dwindling farmland and conserve water in the drought-prone country.

The report quoted real estate experts saying course developers frequently mask their projects by leaving the word "golf" out of their developments' names.

Local officials often turn a blind eye to the flouting of the rules, knowing that such projects will raise property prices. Land sales are a key source of government revenue in many areas.

Despite its failure so far to produce a top-class golfer, China has seen an explosion in the popularity of amateur golf since its first course was built in 1984.

Source: AFP
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