Sunday

Green Opium and the World's Biggest Golf Market

"Golf is like a drug".

You've probably heard that before. In fact you may have even said it yourself a few times. Those times when you simply couldn't say no to a round despite a plethora of extremely urgent projects... or the times when you began to think of, and lust for, your next round in the car on your way home from the course. Yep we've all been there.

The Chinese have a name for this phenomena: Green Opium, and apparently, it's becoming a bit of an epidemic in the new China... and than means an enormous pent-up demand for everything golf.

The thing is, China's in a league of it's own when it comes to population. Despite planning programs and one-child rules, China's population is over 1.25 billion. One out of every five people on the planet are living in China! That's going to be a huge market for anything, but when it comes to golf, the Chinese seem to have a particular ...affinity. Or maybe it's the fact that golf was banned for decades during the cultural revolution and is just now being reintroduced in a big way, but the rapidly growing Chinese middle class is taking up golf in droves ...and then some. The golf club manufacturing sector already uses up a 10th of the country's annual titanium demand, although golfers make up less than 0.1 percent of China's population. That's pretty impressive. Then there's ultra cute Chinese golf star Zhang Lian Wei and mega golf resort Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China. To me it all adds up to a country that'll be a golf force to be reckoned with in the years to come. With golf, like with almost everything else when it comes to China, there seems to be almost no limit to what is possible.

I'm just wondering how long it'll take me to learn Mandarin.