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China Renews Golf Crackdown, Shutters More than 100 Courses

FILE - Broken pieces of glass protrude from a wall to keep out trespassers at an illegal golf course which was demolished and turned into a cornfield in the suburbs of Beijing, June 16, 2014.

China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links in an effort to conserve water and land.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday the courses were closed for improperly using groundwater, arable land or land in nature reserves. It said authorities have imposed restrictions on 65 more courses.

China banned the development of new golf courses in 2004, when it had fewer than 200. The ban was meant to conserve farmland and water supplies. But the number in operation has more than tripled since.

Developers build courses under the guise of parks or other projects, often with approval of local officials.

The party has fired local leaders for accepting free rounds.