Golf as capitalism

I have previously noted that in the Stuff/Dominion Post stable, there is a protected species of commentator. Joe Bennett is one such.

In a column published on 18 May, he noted that golf is: 'Capitalism in civvy clothes’ and isn’t Bennett in his element!

Using golf as a start-point, Bennett weighs into ‘fat Americans’, ‘Donald Trump’ – (of course) and comes to the conclusion that golf equals 'power, money and the status quo'.

Not so fast Joe. When I first lived in China, in the Northern city of Dalian, I took an afternoon tour bus to orientate myself to my new home. One fellow passenger engaged me in conversation and it turned out she was born in Dalian, but was now a US citizen. As we cruised along we passed some verdant stretches of grass well-marked as fairways and greens. In short, a golf course!

When I remarked on this to my new friend, she confirmed that it was indeed a golf course, but added that membership was restricted. I of course asked who the fortunate few were. She responded: 'Members of the Chinese Communist Party of course'.

On the statistical front, I note that 96 million Chinese belong to the Communist Party, out of a total population of 1.3 billion. That’s around 7.4 percent, which is nearly identical to the percentage of US citizens playing golf on a regular basis.

It seems to me from my China experience that the direction of travel is from Communism to golf and not the other way around.