Dawn of the Chinese golfer â€“ Interview with Giulia Sergas
Welcome Chinese has the pleasure to discuss with Giulia Sergas, the Italian professional golfer that contributed to the victory of the European team in the 2013 edition of the Solheim cup. More recently she also played on Chinaâ€™s fields, while the country is struggling to emerge as a protagonist of this sport. Then, no better person to chat with about China and its prospective about golf.
Time has passed since Chinese newspapers lifted the veil of â€œelitismâ€ from this sport. â€œGolf was born nearly ten years ago in Chinaâ€ tells Sergas. An amazing â€œboomâ€ that has never stopped until today: â€œOn the contrary â€“ is the explanation â€“ new fields are opening all across the country without restrictions caused by limited open spaces. This is a serious issue for nations like Italy or Japan.â€ The consequence is that new Chinese luxury golf resorts are among the biggest in the world in terms of holes.
This progression has been possible also thanks to stunning performances of new national champions like Shanshan Feng and the 14 years old prodigy Guan Tianlang. â€œGolf in China â€“ says Sergas â€“ became the status symbol of a new social class with lots of youngsters pushed to became the next champion.â€ For the first time the 2016 Olympic Games will be joined by golfers and Beijing is determined to reach the appointment with a gold medal potential. â€œI can tell that golfâ€™s future will move towards Asia â€“ says Sergas â€“: Until two years ago, there were no matches in LPGA calendar in China. For 2014 two are scheduled worth a total prize of one million and half dollars. Golf follows sponsors and media interests.â€
It is just a matter of time before Chinese golfers start moving abroad to play in overseas fields. â€œBut for the momentâ€ â€“ is Sergasâ€™ point â€“ China asks the rest of the world to move there and be astonished by luxurious new fields built in record times. Golfâ€™s charm is to travel and discover how it has been adapted in different places.â€ Talking about Chinese amateurs golfers, according to Sergas, they are still a little far from traveling: â€œThere is the need from tourism businesses to address them to the right places. There is still the risk for this minority to stay focused only on their huge luxury resorts that are gathering everyoneâ€™s attention. Western tourism businesses, like the Italian ones, should strive to see the Chinese tourist as a potential golfer.â€ This is a demanding kind of traveler. â€œIf I think about Italy â€“ concludes Sergas â€“ the visitorâ€™s itinerary between a golf field and the next one must be crossed with culinary and cultural stop-overs. There a lot of things to do even far from the classical must-see spots and cities.â€ In the end, is a well prepared holiday package that can lure a first wave of Chinese golfers.