China has a complicated relationship with golf. Although many of its residents enjoy the game, and the sport is gaining in both popularity and cultural acceptance, it was banned in 1949 when the ruling Communist Party concluded that the game didn't fit the nation's new ideals.
Attitudes have relaxed, but not completely. And the Communist Party has set a new boundary: Its 88 million members have all been banned from joining golf clubs in the country.
According to the BBC, members cannot have any association with private clubs, including entering a club or maintaining any sort of membership or relationship.
"If caught, members could either receive a warning or be removed from the party, depending on the severity of the violation," per the BBC. "The new regulations (in Chinese) did not explain why the joining of golf clubs is banned, but such clubs are often seen by the Chinese public as places where officials have cut shady deals."
The country remains, to some degree, on the offensive against the encroachment of golf. The BBC also reports that no less than 60 employees of state-owned companies were punished for playing golf with private funds. A vice mayor in a Chinese province was also fired for playing golf during work hours.
That's a far cry from American ideals, where golf is seemingly an acceptable excuse for not being in the office, at least if you're golfing with other business associates. And maybe that's the point: China doesn't want its society influenced by Western ideals, where golf clubs can prove to be elitist and exclusionary in nature.
Even so, the country has turned out numerous PGA Tour professionals and hosts PGA events on an annual basis. The continued acceptance and infiltration of golf does seem inevitable. Maybe that's why the Communist Party is putting up a wall and cracking down on people who break the rules.