• China's top disciplinary body targets corruption and violation of disciplinary policies, not golf.

China's top disciplinary body targets corruption and violation of disciplinary policies, not golf. (Photo : Getty Images)

The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) disciplinary watchdog clarified that they are not targeting golf as a sport but are merely removing the venue for corruption among its ranks that are bred on the course.

In a statement published in the newspaper Zhongguo Jijian Jiancha Bao, the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC emphasized that their current push for the eradication of graft among their ranks is not made to implicate golf as a sport.

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"There is no right or wrong about playing golf, as it's just a sport," the state-run newspaper stated as cited by the Global Times.

According to the outlet, CDC members and officials who were found to have memberships in VIP clubs or VIP golf courses can suffer punishments as harsh as being removed from their current post.

In fact, Jiangsu Province political adviser Wang Yushi believes that officials should be banned from playing the sport altogether.

Why Is Golf Banned?

While the statement from CCDI clearly states that its intention is not to implicate the sport, golf remains a hot topic within China's top disciplinary body because it is believed to provide avenue for violation of discipline among members of the CPC.

"Golf can satisfy some officials' vanity, corrupting their lifestyle, which can lead to damage to the Party's image and the erosion of officials' ability to serve," CPC Chongqing Committee Party School professor Su Wei explained to the Global Times.

Su pointed out that golf is one sport that requires "huge expenses that can scarcely be afforded by government officials," which means it can be considered a luxury.

The professor also explained that having this kind of temptation is something that can possibly be used by lawbreakers to bribe officials into doing their bidding.

This is why in Oct. 2015, the CPC banned golf club memberships for all of its 88 million members, as first reported in China.org.

Golf's History with the CPC

While it may be the first time most of the current generation heard about golf's relation to corruption, the older generation would say that the CPC did not have any love for the sport even during the reign of People's Republic of China founding father Mao Zedong.

According to the Washington Post, Mao hated having the sport in his country because it was "frivolous and bourgeois."

In fact, golf courses in China were believed to have been dug up and turned into a zoo, as per Dan Washburn's notes in the book "The Forbidden Game."