China's government-run television network CCTV has been broadcasting public information films to coincide with this week's golf World Cup in Hainan, to instruct fans on how to behave on the links.
The etiquette campaign tells spectators to stop chatting, taking photos, to switch off their phones and stay within the ropes at the November 23-27 event, staged at the five-star Missions Hills golf complex in south China. “A month prior to this event, we approached the government to shoot a short film showing the golf etiquette expected to be shown by spectators," said Mission Hills vice-chairman Tenniel Chu. “The film has been shown regularly on terrestrial TV channels to teach the Chinese golf fans the do's and don'ts on the golf course,” he added.
And it seems the master class in manners is working at the World Cup, claims Chu. “We had over 20,000 fans on the first day of the World Cup. I walked a few holes on the first morning and I did not hear one phone go off. It was good to see the sophistication and maturity of the spectators,” he said.
Chinese fans are notoriously restless and noisy at sporting events. World number three Lee Westwood was annoyed with fans taking photos as he teed off and his caddy tried to wrestle a camera from one fan. And a loud clearing of throat by one fan during a tee off caused world number two Rory McIlroy and his caddy to shake their heads and laugh in disbelief.