If China is able to keep this pace of development soon can be the No.1 golf nation and golf equipment manufacturer of the world. China has already surpassed Japan. The annual growth rate of golf courses in the next few years is about 20-30% according to Research & Markets. Not to mention the over 1 million golf consumers. China’s Customs statistics indicate that the country’s production volume is the worlds’ highest for over 100 products in ten industries with golf industry being one of the fastest developing industries in the country. Investors in Hong-Kong and Taiwan have invested some US$ 4 billion in the China’s golf industry, making China the fifth largest golf market in the world. Therefore it is not a big surprise that the leading golf brands are already arrived to China, like Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, Rain Bird, etc.
This growth is even more interesting, if we consider the cultural differences between China, Europe and US. I met many cases where the golf architects had to explain to their Chinese partner that par 4 is not a bad sign (4 is the sign of death in China) or why important to Chinese the number 8 (it means prosperity). Therefore I am really waiting for Golf Europe Expo (www.golf-expo.com) to talk with my Taiwanese partner about the Chinese golf industry and market.
My estimation is that Chinese Professional Golf Association will set the rules in 2-3 years and their PGA tour will be the most important event of world golf fans'. Will the Chinese be as traditionalist in golf as they are in other areas of life? I think the Ryder Cup will be held among EU, China and US in the near future.