- First ever meeting between golf officials and members of Chinese government
- Topics including growth and development of golf in China discussed
- The R&A works with China Golf Association to grow the game in the country
The R&A was recently represented at the first ever meeting between golf officials and high-ranking members of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
Officials from The R&A, International Golf Federation (IGF) and China Golf Association (CGA) met with Gou Zhongwen, Minister for General Administration of Sport of China and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee to discuss a number of golf-related matters and future plans for the growth of the sport in China.
Matters addressed included the development of golf in China, Olympic Golf, inclusion of Chinese golf tournaments in world golf ranking systems, restructure of the China Golf Association, improving access to golf for participants and the socio-economic and health benefits that golf can generate for different stakeholders.
Dominic Wall, Director – Asia-Pacific at The R&A, said, “The meeting marks an important milestone for golf in China and we were pleased to listen to Mr Zhongwhen’s optimistic outlook for the growth and development of golf across the country. China represents a real growth opportunity for golf and we look forward to working with the China Golf Association to further that aim in the future.”
Peter Dawson, President of the International Golf Association, added, “I was delighted to be involved in this historic meeting and Mr Gou Zhongwen’s positive attitude to golf was most heartening. There is huge potential for our sport to grow in China and we look forward to working closely with the China Golf Association towards achieving positive results.”
Golf in China
The China Golf Association was founded in 1985 and there are currently has over 350,000 registered golfers in the country. Around 500 golf courses operate throughout China. The CGA operates the China Tour which includes twelve professional events and earlier this year announced a partnership with the Asian Tour to increase the number of tournaments staged in China.
China has produced a number of talented golfers including R&A Working for Golf ambassador Liang Wen-Chong and Shanshan Feng, who are two of the country’s best-known golfers.
Feng secured the bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 after finishing third behind Inbee Park and Lydia Ko and in 2012 won the Women’s PGA Championship, her first major title.
Wen-Chong has won several professional tournaments on the European Tour, Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
In 2014, he helped launch a national media campaign in China to help raise awareness of golf course etiquette and the Rules of Golf amongst the country’s growing golf community and earlier this year supported the release of the Rules of Golf mobile app in Chinese.
The R&A also continues to support the CGA and HSBC’s Junior Golf Development programme which has received investment from the governing body for the last ten years.