China Closes 111 Courses in Attempt to Conserve Water, Land

The Hong Kong Golf Club hosts one of three annual European Tour events held in China.
Getty Images // Arep Kulal

China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links in an effort to conserve water and land.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday the courses were closed for improperly using groundwater, arable land or land in nature reserves. It said authorities have imposed restrictions on 65 more courses.

China banned the development of new golf courses in 2004, when it had fewer than 200. The ban was meant to conserve farmland and water supplies. But the number in operation has more than tripled since.

Developers build courses under the guise of parks or other projects, often with approval of local officials.

The party has fired local leaders for accepting free rounds.

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