Zhou Xunshu: A pro golfer on the China Tour Rotating Header Image

November, 2007:

Zhou Xunshu featured on ESPN.com

Sorry for the lack of updates here of late. We’ll summarize the last couple months: Zhou struggled after Day 1 in Xiamen to finish 29th and he failed to make the cut in Beijing at the Omega Championship, thus dropping out of the top 20 on the China Tour’s Order of Merit (he finished No. 22). Zhou’s mind was elsewhere. With money he saved from teaching golf over the past few years, Zhou bought an apartment in Chongqing and was busy focusing on the interior design, he got married in November (pics coming soon) to longtime girlfriend/fiancee Liu Yan (a former caddie in Guangzhou) and he learned the happy couple was going to become a threesome — they are expecting a child in 2008. Golf took a backseat to life.

But what an interesting life it is. At least ESPN.com thinks so. Click here to read the feature story about Zhou that ran last week. Here is how it begins:

In 1984, when China ushered in its first modern-day golf course, Zhou Xunshu was 12 years old, living in an impoverished mountain village in the country’s midsection. At his school, light came from kerosene lamps, heat from a coal furnace in the middle of the classroom. At home, Zhou worked in the fields, cutting tall grass with a sickle. He didn’t know a sport called golf existed.

In 1994, when China first acknowledged “golf pro” as a profession, Zhou enrolled in a military-operated police school, trying to find direction in his life. He had spent the previous four years studying to pass the senior high school entrance exam — his parents had hoped he would be the first family member to do so — but schooling was never Zhou’s strong suit. Four years in a row he went through the motions, and four years in a row he failed. Now 22, Zhou had still never heard the word “golf.”

A year later, Zhou made a move that would alter the course of his life in the most unexpected way. He left police school early and hopped on a train to Guangzhou after hearing there were jobs to be had in the southern boomtown. Zhou landed a gig as a security guard … at something called a “golf course.” Things would never be the same.

Here are links to all the stories ESPN.com ran on the China Tour:

Zhou makes remarkable leap into professional golf
How they got to the China Tour
Golf in China: All growing, all new, all raw

Zhou is also going to be featured in an upcoming book about golf in China, Par for China.

2008 should be an exciting year!