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In China, just because something is banned, doesn't mean it can't boom... Statistically, zero percent of the Chinese population plays golf, still known as the "rich man’s game" and considered taboo. Yet China is in the midst of a golf boom hundreds of new courses have opened in the past decade, despite it being illegal for anyone to build them. Award-winning journalist Dan Washburn charts a vivid path through this contradictory country by following the lives of three men intimately involved in China's bizarre golf scene. We meet Zhou, a peasant turned golf pro who discovered the game when he won a job as a security guard at one of the new, exclusive clubs and who sees himself entering the emerging Chinese middle class as a result; Wang, a lychee farmer whose life is turned upside down when a massive, top-secret golf resort moves in next door to his tiny village; and Martin, a Western executive maneuvering through China’s byzantine and highly political business environment, ever watchful for Beijing's "golf police." The Forbidden Game is a rich and arresting portrait of the world’s newest superpower and three different paths to the new Chinese Dream.
Dan Washburn is an award-winning reporter and managing editor at the Asia Society. His writing has appeared in the FT Weekend Magazine, The Economist, the Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, Golf World, Slate, and ESPN.com. He is also the founding editor of Shanghaiist.com one of the most widely read English-language websites about China. After a decade spent living in China, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Table of Contents
Prologue 1. Foundations 2. First Club 3. Keep Moving 4. Playing the Game 5. No Choice 6. The Mountain Is High 7. Scrape the Bone, Dry the Glass 8. Time to Make Claims 9. Homecomings 10. Striking Black 11. The Golf Police 12. The Road Is Wider 13. Chasing the Next Dream Epilogue Acknowledgments Index