cover image The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream

The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream

Dan Washburn. OneWorld (PGW, dist.), $18.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-85168-948-4

Golf has yet to catch on in China, in part, according to Washburn, because the government bans the building of golf courses. In this rigorously reported book, Washburn, the managing editor of Asia Society Online, describes how developers and local governments keep trying to build courses, often by driving residents from their homes and stiffing them on financial agreements. He follows three people in this land of limited opportunity: Martin Moore, an American golf course designer thriving in Asia, tries to handle the lofty expectations of his bosses; Zhou Xunshu, a security guard and pro golfer, finds his skills dulled by work and family obligations; and Wang Libo, who lives in Hainan, the southernmost province of China, gets squeezed out by another golf course. Washburn captures China’s shift from its agrarian roots toward more Western pursuits in this engaging story. (July)