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March 30, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Fore! Pupils study game of golf

PUPILS at a private school in Shanghai are learning how to drive onto the fairway, chip out of sand traps and sink that putt during sports lessons.

The Yongchang Private School in Luwan District has listed golf as a required subject for Grade One and Two students this semester, although some parents have questioned whether the sport is appropriate for schoolchildren.

Unlike many Western countries, as well as Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, where the sport is affordable for most people, golf in China remains largely a pastime for the rich.

Li Yuhua, the school's principal, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the school hoped that golf could be an effective way of improving students' "qualities."

Pupils have to communicate in English when they play golf, and Li believes that is a positive contribution toward their future development.

The school introduced the course about two years ago, and it has also set up a golf team of more than 10 students.

The school, which has two campuses - one in downtown Luwan and the other in Jinshan District - recently constructed a practice course at the suburban one for students' use.

Li said they did not charge extra for golf or for practice at the Jinshan campus.

"The costs of practicing golf is similar to learning the piano, so why would parents oppose that?"

One father surnamed Liao welcomed the setting up of the practice course.

Before the school had the course, his child has been learning golf, and it was not as expensive as most people imagined, he said.

"Taking up golf, similar to learning the piano, is just a method to cultivate children," Liao added.

However, a local resident surnamed Tang, whose son is in Grade Five, said golf instruction was not necessary for children. "I'm afraid I cannot agree with the principle. It would be better for my son to learn something such as swimming and become stronger."

Shanghai's Tongji University as early as 2004 launched an MBA program for golf enthusiasts, covering general management basics, golf skills and club management.


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