China bans golf, moves corruption to tennis court

China’s communists once more have been implored to put down the gap wedge and pick up the sickle.

In the latest update of party discipline rules, the country’s Communist Party has banned all 88 million of its members from joining golf clubs.

The good news is there should be plenty of prime tee times available at the Beijing Orient Tianxing Country Club the next time you’re in the area, perhaps paying a visit to your old job.

According to the BBC, the ruling from on high states that party members are banned from "obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs."

Those found in violation could either receive a warning or be cast out of the party, the BBC reported. I’m guessing the lower your handicap the more severe the punishment.

More from the BBC: “Earlier this month, Lin Chunsong, a vice-mayor in the south-eastern Fujian province, was sacked for belonging to a golf club and playing golf while he should have been at work.”

If they applied that principle to every profession in the U.S., your vet would be doing all your colonoscopies.

There have been periodic golf purges in a country that has an uncomfortable time balancing its growing economic standing with the most capitalistic of games. While China announced a ban on building new courses in 2004, the number increased three fold in the last 11 years (to 600), the BBC said. A crackdown this spring closed more than 60 of the new courses.

So much for that new, revised Chinese saying: “A journey of a thousand miles begins from the gold tees.”

The hazards of golf in China are plentiful enough – sand, water, smog-induced emphysema – and now add the total disdain of all your comrades.

It seems the Communist Party finds golf elitist and exclusionary. It portrays the course as a place where shady business deals are hatched. And a waste of good land for the enjoyment of a very few.

OK, so the Chinese have a much better grasp on golf than perhaps we imagined.