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Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Positive China Outlook

February 6, 2017 Golf Tourism No Comments Email Email

The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) remains bullish for the long-term growth of golf in China.

Confirmation came last week that a total of 111 golf courses have been shut down following a multi-year campaign by Chinese authorities to protect land and water resources. An additional 18 courses were ordered to return land and 47 clubs were told to halt construction.

Eric Lynge, the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Despite widespread negativity surrounding the news, AGIF Chief Executive Officer Eric Lynge is among those who adopts a positive long-term outlook for the sport in the world’s most populous country.

Lynge said: “The Asian Golf Industry Federation and its members have been aware of the Chinese Government’s policies for some time now and this formal news is not unexpected.

“What we view as positive is that 496 courses are now completely clear for continued operation. There is undeniable demand for the game in China which now can be served by these courses and new projects which are built under the proper regulatory guidelines.

“The AGIF supports sustainable and environmental construction of golf facilities in all the markets in which we operate.

“These elements are pillars of our education and dialogue with owners, club managers and turfgrass professionals throughout Asia. We believe in the long-term growth of golf in China and the rest of Asia.”

Echoing Lynge’s sentiments was Greg Gilligan, who heads up the PGA Tour’s operation in China.

Gilligan was quoted by Yahoo Finance as saying: “It would be a fallacy to say closing 100-plus courses is great. But on the other hand, they’ve now legitimised 496 golf courses. It’s a good foundation for the sport, and it portends good things for the future.

“A very small number of the courses had legitimate registration and licenses. I’ve had people tell me there were as little as 11 out of 700 that had a clear and unassailable platform for operating as they were.”

Although building golf courses had been outlawed in China since 2004, the number of courses tripled in the ensuing 12 years with developers labelling courses as parks or housing ventures to get approval from local officials.

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