Chinese kids who feel tee'd off at their teacher might want to consider enrolling at the Shanghai-based Yongchang Private School, where golf has been made a mandatory course for the school's Grade One and Two students.
It's a surprising move for China, where golf is still considered to be a rich man's hobby, but teachers at the posh Yongchang Private School think learning the sport at an early age could be good for their students.
“Learning golf is not only about cultivating certain skills, it is also all about raising the standards of living and making people happier as it is both a physical exercise and an entertainment,” according to Li Yuhua, principal of the Yongchang Private School. “We hope that golf can be an effective way of improving the abilities of students and have a positive effect on their future development, as they have to communicate in English and learn to respect others when playing the sport.” Obviously throwing clubs and picking fights with Bob Barker will not be tolerated at YPS.
The Yongchang Private School is not alone in promoting golf as a complement to their purely academic offerings. Since the start of the school year last August, the Chengdu Era School and Kindergarten in southwestern China's Sichuan province has made golf a mandatory course beginning with kindergarten and continuing up to Grade Six.
“Golf is all about learning etiquette and communication skills and building integrity apart from keeping fit,” stated 8-year-old Liao Zebin, who went on to say “My parents and teachers feel that the golfing lessons have made me more gentleman-like.”
One wonders whether China's experiment in social engineering is truly an effective educational innovation or, dare I say, just par for the course. We may one day see dozens, if not hundreds, of John Daly and Tiger Woods clones graduating from China's top-ranked schools. I, for one, can't wait. (via China Daily, title image via Golf For Beginners)