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Golf at Sebonack in Southampton on May 6

Enjoy playing golf in America (Sebonack, May 6, for charity) and be glad you’re not in China.

The Chinese government is now cracking down on golf. Their new leader, Xi Jinping, thinks it is fostering bad behavior, according to The New York Times.

The Chinese have fallen in love with golf. There were 200 courses in the country in 2004. There are
triple that number today. And though the government tries to close golf courses by making it illegal to construct new ones—66 were shut down in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and 20 different provinces in recent days—still their number continues to rise.

“Illegal” courses get created when housing project developers earmark parts of their property for government approval as “leisure” facilities, which gets them through.

But still the attempt to repress them continues. The government fears laziness, gambling and nefarious business friendships. There are now nine new government regulations that civil service employees must follow to play golf.

They may not play during business hours, bet on golf, play with people connected to one’s job, travel on golf-related junkets or hold positions on the boards of golf clubs. The Legal Weekly, which is a Chinese government magazine, recently listed 15 party officials jailed or otherwise punished in recent years for golf-related activities.

At the same time, though, the government-run newspapers trumpet golfers such as Huang Wenyi, a young Chinese golfer rated internationally. Golf will be an Olympic sport next time around. China will compete to win.

So celebrate America. On Wednesday, May 6, tee off at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, one of the most prestigious private golf courses in the Hamptons, to benefit the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. To buy a single or foursome, call Michele Cannon at 631-537-0616 extension 16.

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