China cracking down on evil endeavor called ... golf?

China cracking down on evil endeavor called ... golf?
Guan Tianlang of China hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Masters Tournament at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2013. (Tannen Maury / European Pressphoto Agency)

Corruption has taken down many empires in the history of mankind, and now China, in a preemptive move, is trying to get an overlapping grip on an issue it thinks could lead to its ruination: golf.

The government is cracking down on a sport it believes might be a bad influence, like "fine liquor and tobacco, fancy cars and mansions," in the words of the newspaper of the Communist Party's anti-graft agency.


According to recent reports, a provincial anti-corruption agency of the Communist Party has set up a hotline for civil servants to report violations of nine specific regulations.

They include betting on golf, playing with people connected to work and traveling on golf-related junkets.

We have a name for that in the U.S.: Wednesday.

A newspaper of the Communist Party's anti-graft agency reported April 9: "The golf course is gradually changing into a muddy field where they trade money for power."

Betting on golf? Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Phil Mickelson, in China, might be Public Enemy No.1.

As far as opulence, some of us in the States would love to see a China-like crackdown on several Donald Trump courses.

This isn't the first pushback on golf in China. In 1949, Chairman Mao Tse-tung turned courses into public parks and dismissed golf as "a sport for millionaires."

The government banned the construction of new courses in 2004, although that hasn't stopped the building of 600 new facilities.

Some think the latest blowback is just political rhetoric aimed at curbing golf-privilege abuses by Chinese officials. The American equivalent might be failure to remove one's hat upon walking into a private-course dining room.

Or, forgetting to replace a divot at Pebble Beach.

China didn't complain in 2013 when Guan Tianlang, at age 14, became the youngest golfer to compete at the Masters. Tianlang, incredibly, made the cut.

And the country, many surmise, may be more interested in golf as the game is set to make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In any case, the anti-corruption officials missed, by far, the most legitimate reason as to why golf should be forever eradicated: It's too hard to play.

Follow Chris Dufresne on Twitter @LATimesDufresne