Sunday, May 15, 2005

Golfing the Great Wall

Okay, I really don't get golf. Aside from getting to walk outside in a pretty setting on a beautiful day, and I guess I'd rather just skip the golfing part and concentrate on the walking. And watching golf on TV has got to be just about the most boring thing outside of Nascar...

Maybe it's the class issues associated with golf. What can I say? I am not an upper class kid. My roots are middle class to lower middle class, at times skirting that stumble down to the next rung (child of divorce and all that). So things that are associated with the upper crust...well, I have some issues (I have managed to overcome class resentment when it comes to eating and drinking well, however - it took some adjusting, but I soldiered on).

Now that China's booming economy has created not only a growing middle class but an upper class as well, golf courses are sprouting up all over the place, including a world-class courses that are becoming a part of the international professional circuit:
Under an hour's drive from Beijing, spread over 404 hectares facing the Great Wall at Badaling, is the Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club, which claims to be the most exclusive private club in China. (Whether the patrons include the top echelons of the Communist Party is one of those questions you just don't ask, but that the question even suggests itself is symbolic of the end of enforced egalitarianism.) The facilities are superb, and include the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus II Links Course, and two spectacular clubhouses with no end of places to eat and drink; but the facilities that really make you rub your eyes are the equestrian club and (believe it or not) pet hotel.
There's a lot more to China's new wealthy class than just golf. Read this Asia Times article for a look at how China's new super-rich are transforming the country, for good and for ill...


zhadi said...

I do not get golf, never have, never will (other than miniature golf - If there isn't a little windmill standing on top of the hole and a free game if you get a hole in one, I'm not interested). The fact that it's a sign of affluence continually amazes me. And having someone YELL at you when you accidently walk in front of the TV set while they're watching it...what the hell are they gonna miss? 10 seconds of a two minute wind-up? Do they call the prep for a golf swing a wind-up? Don't know, don't care!

Interesting post, though!

Julien said...

Dear other Lisa,

I didn't find your email on your blog. My name is Julien. I am building a new website for expatriates, and will be the webmaster of In the last three years I have spent a lot of time travelling and living away from my home country, hence me setting up

I had the idea to create a blog so I could share my experiences of living abroad and keep in touch with my family and friends. While reading other expatriate blogs the idea came to me to create a classified expat blog directory. This would include a free blog hosting platform with interesting features such as picture albums designed specifically for expatriates. I do not believe this would be in competition with existing blog platforms such as blogger.

The website is still in working progress. The present situation is as follows:
> The expatriate blog directory, including a classification per country and language - I am working on this at the present time
> The free Blog platform – this section will be completed by the middle of June.
> An Expat resource directory - this will include all expatriate suggestions.
> A forum designed to encourage interactivity and questions/answers from expatriate to expatriate

This is the global presentation of the website. Do you think my project is a good idea?

Would you like to add your blog in the expatriate blog directory?

I look forward to hearing from you


JR said...


Did you listen to NPR today about Galloway's testimony? It was fantastic dayum!!! It's ashame that it takes a Brit to tell the truth in a poetic way.

Other Lisa said...


I read the transcript - fabulous! As some have commented, Sen. Coleman picked on the wrong guy.

I don't know, though. I feel very depressed and anxious about what's going on in this country. I am really hoping that Frist doesn't have the votes to eliminate the fillibuster. If that happens, I just feel like we're doomed. Maybe that's overly dramatic, but that's how I'm feeling.

As a measure of my paranoia. I was way creeped out by the new Star Wars movie (much better than "Phantom Menace" - never saw the "clone" one), which has Darth Vader claiming to be defending democracy and saying stuff like, "You're either with me, or you're my enemy."


Other Lisa said...

Hi Julien,

Thanks for writing. I think an expats' blog directory is a great idea. I should point out that right now I'm not an expat - I live and work in Los Angeles. But if you expand your concept to include expat-related blogs, I'd love to be included...




JR said...


Hopefully, if Frist is to do anything stupid tomorrow, he will get a big backlash.

I heard about the new Star War too from Chinese newspaper, George Lucas was criticizing Bush in Cannes, looks like more storms coming soon in the right wing blogs in the following days.

JR said...

I find myself learning Chinese every time I visit here and read your Chinese word decipher.

Other Lisa said...

JR, isn't that great??? I got it from - I love it, even though it's traditional characters and I'm more familiar with the simplified versions. I'm trying to get a little better with my Chinese reading - I figure every little bit helps (and I'll be taking a class in writing this summer, if all goes according to plan...).

Anonymous said...

---trying to picture Chairman Mao playing golf---head hurts!!!!!

Other Lisa said...

oooh...the mental picture that brought to my mind is just...too...weird...

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