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More PGA tournaments expected in second-tier cities

Reporter: Xia Ruixue 丨 CCTV.com

07-24-2016 04:18 BJT

China's golf market has slowed in the past two years due to the government's anti-corruption campaign.  Still, many golfers remain enthusiastic. And the PGA Tour, a US organizer of top professional golf tournaments, is planning to expand to more second-tier Chinese cities.

Small white ball flying and rolling on the ground.

It's the third year that the PGA Tour organized top professional golf tournaments in China.

Starting from this year, the US organizer will expand in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, and Yunnan.

"We feel so honored to hold the PGA tour in Zhengzhou for three consecutive years. It means there is a need here. And it sets up a platform for domestic and foreign golfers to interact and compete," said Fan Zhiqiang, CEO of St. Andrews Golf Clubs (Zhengzhou) Co., LTD.

According to a white paper published in March, over 1 million people played golf in China in 2015.

390,000 of them were "core golfers" -- or those playing the game at least eight times a year.

So it's good news for players that the world top golf tournaments’ is planning long-term in China.

“I play golf four times a week. I see more people are coming to play the game. Probably it’s because our life is getting better. So playing golf is no longer a game for only wealthy people,” a golfer in Zhengzhou.

China's golf industry was suspended in 2014 because of the country’s anti-corruption campaign.

Last year, the industry saw a significant decline for the first time since the 1980s.

But the game was revitalized as an essential leisure and networking activity by businessmen. And more parents are encouraging their children to learn the sport as an extracurricular activity.

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