22 May '11, 1pm

China golf courses mushrooming despite ban: report

BEIJING : 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. 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. 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 prop...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/lifestylenews/view...

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