Golfing in USA vs. Golfing in China

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I’ve been golfing in USA since I started way back in 1998. As far as China is concerned, I’ve golfed there since 2004. My main place to play is USA, and golfing in China only occurs when I travel there on business. Also, when I golf in USA, I have my own club set that I’ve grown accustomed to. In China, I have to borrow a club set, and the quality of the clubs doesn’t compare to my USA club set.

So here goes the comparison…

In the USA…

  • The cost of a round at a California public course is about US$ 50.
  • You have the option to either walk or ride. This is great because you can walk to get some much needed excerise, although you’ll most likely be sore.
  • BYOB. For those of you who have lived on Mars all your life, this means Bring Your Own Beer 🙂 . Why would you pay USD$ 4 for one beer from the snack shop or cart girl, when you can get a six-pack for only USD$ 7 at the nearby 7-Eleven? Doh!
  • A hot-dog and a bag of chips at the turn. Yummy! Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know that this is not the ideal food to maintain your peak performance during a golf round, but I’ll leave the granola and squirrel food for the old-timers.
  • Since you have no caddy and you’re basically on your own, most carts are equipped with GPS.
  • At the end of the round, there is no way to clean your shoes, except for those stationary foot brushes that they have placed in areas where you can’t find them.

In China…

  • The cost of a round in China is about RMB 600 (about US$ 80), just as long as you know someone who has a membership to the golf club. Otherwise, you can pay upto RMB 1000 (about US$ 130).
  • Riding is mandatory, because, as an added perk, you have your own personal caddy. The golf carts are equipped with a stand in the back that allows the caddies (upto two) to stand/ride there while you drive the cart.
  • You can bring your own beer if you want, but since most China golf courses are out in the boon-docks, and away from civilization, you are better off buying some non-alcoholic drinks at the course. Unfortunately, at the course, purchasing beer is not an option, at least at the China golf courses that I’ve played. Basically, your choices are Gatorade, a Chinese version of Gatorade, ice green tea, water, and soda. The drinks are reasonably priced, so don’t worry about getting ripped-off.
  • Ummm…fish balls, pork buns, chinese bean cake, etc. Ugh. Actually, you’ll be wishing for some of that granola and trail mix when you are in China. I normally pack a few of these in my travel luggage , and I bring them when I go golfing.
  • No GPS on the carts. You have a caddy and most likely he/she will know all the lengths for all your shots.
  • No need to tip the caddies! Woohoo! Actually, tipping is frowned upon anywhere in China, and the golf course also applies. Furthermore, the price of your green’s fee probably includes the caddy fee. Keep in mind, wages are low in China. Since, caddying is not so much skill-labor compared to let’s say – semi-conductor chip manufacturing, I believe the Chinese caddies make around RMB 200-300 (US$ 25-40) per month.
  • At the end of the round, when your shoes are all dirty and muddy, you can go to these cleaning stations that have air and water hoses. These things do a great job of cleaning the bottom of your shoes and get them ready for your next round. I don’t know why USA courses haven’t caught on to this.

2 Responses to “Golfing in USA vs. Golfing in China”

  1. golfer Says:

    Golfing in China sounds great. I’ll try it next time I’m in Asia.

  2. Wahoo Says:

    Thank you for sharing!

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