Golfing drive poised to tee off in 2nd-tier cities

Updated: 2016-06-20 07:33

By Zhu Wenqian(China Daily)

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Golfing drive poised to tee off in 2nd-tier cities

Meanwhile, 100 golf clubs stopped operating last year, a year-on-year decline of 18.6 percent, the white paper stated. Among the 438 clubs still in business-not all of which have standard 18-hole courses-about half are in debt.

Zhong Bingshu, president of the Capital Institute of Physical Education, said, "Golf clubs should consider lowering their operating costs by saving water, reducing the size of courses, cutting some high-end services and adding more affordable products."

According to the white paper, most club organizers have focused on recruiting new golfers, including women players, in a market where men comprise 70 percent of the participants.

With the aim of attracting more potential players and fans in China, the PGA Tour has signed a cooperation agreement with iQiyi, one of the largest video-streaming websites in the country, to broadcast its matches for free.

Gilligan said: "As the industry develops, we are getting more investment geared to the middle of the market. Hopefully, golf will become more affordable for more people."

In 2013, the PGA Tour established its first overseas office in Beijing.

PGA Tour executive Paul Johnson, who oversees international business affairs, told the PGA Tour website that the organization feels that the environment for golf tournaments in China is improving.

"We have great partners, with our umbrella sponsor Ping An Bank, and golf course owners and operators. The course owners where we have held tournaments know the value of staging our events on their properties," he said.

"We are watching carefully to see what effect golf being included in the Rio Olympics will have. China will have a maximum of two players at the Games. ... We believe golf at the Olympics will be very positive."

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