The golf boom began after the Cultural Revolution in China, and started when Hong Kong golf players ran out of space and hired Arnold Palmer to design a course just across the border near Zhuhai, with several other courses to follow.
Currently golf in China is one of the country's fastest growing industries, with thousands of courses expected to open in the next decade. At present the majority of golf courses in China are found along the south-east coast and around Beijing.
The epicenter of the growth is China's tropical island province of Hainan, which is being transformed into a tourist paradise, with golf playing a major role in this transformation. Between 100 and 300 courses are expected to be built here, among these the world's larges golf club with some 22 courses and covering an area nearly 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.
Generally, handicap cards are not required to play golf in mainland China, however they are required within Hong Kong and Macau. As the courses are fairly busy, it is advisable to book tee times well in advance, and a major requirement when playing is to keep up the speed of the play.