Give me five: When the playing of golf has been banned

Did you know China's Communist Party isn't the first to put a ban on golf?

The world was mildly perplexed this week when it emerged the Communist Party in China had put a blanket ban on playing golf among its 88 million members.

It’s a country where golf has exploded in terms of popularity, and yet here is the ruling party banning its biggest supporters from heading out on the course.

But China isn’t unique in putting a ban on golf, so here at NCG we thought we’d take a look at five times golf has fallen foul of the lawmakers…



Everyone’s favourite ironic golf story, given it is now considered the Home of Golf – Golf was banned by the Scots Parliament of James II  to preserve the skills of archery. Golf is prohibited on Sundays because it interferes with military training for the wars against the English. The ban remained in effect until 1502. Had the ban not been lifted then who knows, we could all be heading out with our bows and arrows on a Saturday morning.
‘There will be no playing golf and they will be told to adhere to the rules of golf’ 23843|c:520x330.img


Golf is banned from the streets of Albany, New York – marking the first reference to golf in America. 

At the time, Albany was the tenth largest city in what was to become America, and the lawmakers didn’t want people terrorising residents by launch a drive right down the high street.



Golf returns to the Olympics in 2016, a full 102 years after it was last played at the games. 

At the 1904 St Louis games, the event was won by Canadian George Lyon and the US won the team competition – no surprise really, as 523 of the 640 competitors at the games were from America and only 12 countries took part.

A golf tournament was scheduled for the 1920 Summer Olympics but was ultimately cancelled. 



Sumo wrestlers in Japan were banned from playing golf in 2011 after a major scandal rocked the sport. 

Officials banned the heavyweight wrestlers from playing 18 holes as the sumo world attempted to recover from a bout-fixing scandal that led to 25 wrestlers and trainers being fired. 

“I want them to go into battle feeling the nerves,” said Japan Sumo Association chairman Hanaregoma. “There will be no playing golf and they will be told to adhere to the rules of traffic.”



The Communist Party in China has banned its 88 million members from playing golf.

The decision by the party is part of a strict anti-corruption drive and also includes a ban on extravagant dinners and memberships at gyms. 

The regulations don’t explain exactly why golf was banned, but clubs are seen as the ideal place for shady dealings to take place. 

China has long had a love-hate relationship with golf and in 2004 the government announced a ban on building new courses, in an attempt to preserve water supplies. 

Despite this, the number of courses in china has increased from 200 to 600 in the 11 years since. (That’ll be that corruption they were talking about then).

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