Original liuyong juchao WAVE
Text | liuyong
Editor | Yang Xuran
One day in December 2021, Zhang Xuhao released a circle of friends:
"Our aim is that 2680 yuan must be used in playgolf for everyone to learn golf. In fact, this movement is very simple and very civilian, and it cannot be demonized by past thinking. "
Only then did people find out what Zhang Xuhao had been doing quietly in recent years.
Back in April 2018, he sold "Hungry" to Alibaba for $9.5 billion, and then fell into silence-perhaps this silence is just an external manifestation of enjoying life.
In fact, people found that after he left hungry, he registered several companies soon: in March 2018, he registered Shanghai Puguan Business Consulting Partnership (Limited Partnership) and set foot in the consulting field, but at present it shows that it has been cancelled; In April of the same year, Shanghai Yuduo Business Consulting Co., Ltd. was registered with a registered capital of 5 million yuan.
Since then, he has taken a stake in Shanghai Yangwan Network Technology, which is a blockchain company mainly established by technical backbones who have been working hard with Zhang Xuhao for many years, but there is no following after 2020.
Besides, he once worked as an investment partner in Yuanjing Capital, an Ali-based capital company. But this is not the career he wants.
Until now, Zhang Xuhao, with a fiery personality and a strong desire to win, finally returned to the battlefield with another attitude. It’s just that few people can imagine that his eye will be on golf-it’s hard to be called an excellent track, so that to many people, his second venture is a bit like a ticket game, even a bit like into the pit.
A veritable "minority movement"
"Golf is actually not difficult. The small white group only needs 10 classes, which is only 2680 …"
Just like the low-price strategy adopted when he was hungry, Zhang Xuhao still wants to stick to the low-price model this time. He believes in the development potential of China’s sports industry, and thinks that it is not necessary to imagine golf as unattainable. "Golf is actually very simple".
The origin of golf in China happened to be the same year that Zhang Xuhao was born. At that time, for the purpose of providing leisure and entertainment for foreign businessmen, golf courses first appeared in cities where foreign companies gathered, such as Guangzhou and Shanghai. In other words, it is aimed at high-income business people from the beginning.
Golf courses usually serve urban business people.
In the actual stadium operation, from design to maintenance and operation, it also shows that this is a veritable "minority" movement.
Head leopard research institute has calculated such an account:
First of all, the design of golf courses is very professional, but there is a serious shortage of talents in this respect in China, so it is usually necessary to hire foreign designers. Generally, the design cost of an 18-hole standard course is as high as 500 thousand to 2 million dollars, and the design price of celebrities is higher. For example, the design cost of two courses designed by professional golfer Tiger Woods under the name of Beijing Tianan Holiday Golf Club is as high as $16.5 million;
Secondly, the investment in fixed assets and daily maintenance of golf courses are "burning money". Golf courses must occupy a lot of land. The standard 18-hole course is usually about 750 to 1500 mu, and the cost of land acquisition accounts for 70% of the total fixed assets cost. The remaining 30% is spent on paving lawns and importing some professional maintenance equipment such as punching machines and lawn mowers.
At the same time, lawn maintenance also needs a lot of water. According to the report, its average water consumption is 46 times that of cereal crops of the same area, and the daily water consumption of standard courses is as high as 2,000 to 2,500 tons, which is a huge burden for cities with high water consumption costs.
Therefore, the tax authorities in China set the business tax of golf and other industries at 20%, and some areas also levy high water resource use fees on water used in special places such as golf courses, which will inevitably further push up its operating costs.
The agency estimates that it usually takes 14 years for a standard golf course to recover the cost of fixed assets.
The high fixed cost of golf courses has created high prices.
All this is bound to be passed on to consumers without exception. At present, golf in China is basically a private venue, with a membership system, and the individual price is higher. Generally speaking, the price of a membership card is in the range of more than 100,000 to hundreds of thousands or even millions of RMB, and the individual plays a game in the range of two or three thousand yuan.
PLAYGOLF CLUB tries to break such a high-priced convention-the exquisite 20-seat private room of 50 square meters distinguishes the prices of visitors and members. The price of two-hour leisure package visitors is 1040 (weekdays) and 1280 yuan (holidays), and the member is 1000 yuan; The exclusive package for 4 hours (including one extra hour) costs 1560 yuan (weekdays) and 1920 yuan (holidays) for visitors and 1500 yuan for members.
In addition, the training course for "Xiaobai" is 2680 yuan for 10 classes.
Compared with other professional courses, the price offered by Zhang Xuhao is not much different from that of a bowling or tennis game, and it is really very close to the people, which may attract a group of urban middle class. However, the question is whether there are enough consumers, and whether it can help Zhang Xuhao cover all costs and even profits by taking the volume.
Golf has neither a huge mass base nor a future.
Zhang Xuhao has a lasting enthusiasm for sports, and his habit of playing basketball continued until he was hungry.
Obviously, golf has become his latest hobby. He once said that the balance required by golf is his pursuit, and he also tried to turn this hobby into his next career. In order to promote the project, he spent 150 million yuan to renovate Huangxing Golf Course, which may be the biggest investment since he was hungry after selling it.
However, the golf course in China has never been seen in sturm und drang. According to the statistics of Huajing Industrial Research Institute, the size of China’s golf market in 2020 is only about 10.26 billion yuan, up 4.37% year-on-year-which is already a good year for this sport in recent years.
However, this figure is still in sharp contrast with the rapid growth of economy and residents’ consumption expenditure in the past years: in 2021, the per capita consumption expenditure of residents actually increased by 12.6%, reaching 24,100 yuan, of which the expenditure on culture and education increased rapidly, with the per capita consumption expenditure on education, culture and entertainment increasing by 27.9%, accounting for 10.8% of the per capita consumption expenditure.
The ugly data indicates that golf has neither a huge mass base nor a bright future.
Golf is a typical foreign product.
As early as 1997, the State Council issued the "Notice on Further Strengthening Land Management and Effectively Protecting Cultivated Land", which laid the policy tone for strict examination and approval of new golf courses. Until 2003, the then Ministry of Land and Resources regarded the golf project as a local "image project" and demanded that "no land should be submitted for approval".
Since then, this policy has been reiterated again and again. By 2014, the phenomenon of official corruption involving high consumption of golf balls was extremely common, which even stimulated the official to check and rectify the industry.
"Corruption in playing golf illegally" once became a high-frequency word. For example, Bai Enpei, the former secretary of Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, was exposed to play golf three times a week and usually played with businessmen. "Playing golf is gambling. If any developer wants to send money to him, then play golf, deliberately lose to him, and bribe in disguise …"
The National Development and Reform Commission and other 11 departments jointly requested to sort out the existing golf courses, of which more than 100 closed down and only 400 remained.
It’s hard to say whether Zhang Xuhao was influenced by his hobbies.
This situation did not basically end until 2016. In the following six years until today, golf has been officially restored as a sport, but in all sports industries, it still hides in a dark corner and becomes synonymous with corruption and luxury. It is divorced from most people’s lives, floating in the air like clouds, but it is not white and beautiful.
start a new undertaking
The "phantom of the policy" has never subsided.
Unlike the hungry from scratch that catered to the rise of takeout and the popularity of smart phones, Zhang Xuhao now faces a completely different reality.
As mentioned above, the fate of golf seems to have ushered in a turning point after 2016, and the outside world is optimistic about the future development prospects. But in fact, the "phantom of the policy" has never subsided, and the construction of new golf courses is still banned.
Even PLAYGOLF is not a new project. It is just that Zhang Xuhao has integrated several golf clubs that were originally subcontracted by Huangxing Sports Park and re-opened them in the name of golf training ground after spending 150 million yuan to rebuild them. Even today, some public opinion still thinks that Zhang Xuhao has played a policy "edge ball".
PLAYGOLF project integrates several clubs in Shanghai.
In fact, the scale of golf industry in China has been hovering at a low level in recent years, which not only has the influence of past policies, but also has the factors of weak consumption.
Statistics show that the number of golf facilities in China in 2019 was 380, down 1.3% year-on-year; The number of golf holes in China is 8,360, down 5.5% year-on-year. Of course, the golf market in China will still grow by 4.4% in 2020, but the main reason may be the investment in youth training supported by the state.
When Zhang Xuhao aimed at the middle-income group of 400 million in the future, it probably didn’t consider the possibility that the situation of this group would deteriorate. Although the total economic output of China has successively exceeded the scale of 100 trillion yuan and 110 trillion yuan, the economic growth rate has rapidly dropped from "9" to "5" in the past 10 years. It is extremely doubtful whether the high-speed growth of first-tier cities with concentrated golf courses such as Beijing and Shanghai will be more unsustainable due to economic restructuring and other reasons.
As a result, the general social anxiety leads to weak consumption, which has become one of the main economic problems facing China at present. From the actual situation since 2020, the urban middle class is becoming increasingly cautious in consumption, and it is doubtful whether experiencing golf will become a part of their consumption list.
Zhang Xuhao is the biggest entrepreneur in the history of golf industry.
What’s more, the short-term impact of the epidemic is like a house leak that rains all night.
Established in 2020 and after more than 300 days and nights of renovation, when PLAYGOLF CLUB announced its "return" in March 2021, the COVID-19 epidemic was still not over. In fact, in the past year or so, PLAYGOLF CLUB has been repeatedly closed for business-of course, there are also reasons for renovation and maintenance.
On April 25th, it said in an article on the official website "When the Pause button was pressed in Shanghai" that it was the 25th day that it was impossible to practice in PLAYGOLF CLUB …
Going against the current at this historical node, the resistance that Zhang Xuhao faced in his new career can be imagined.
In those days, when he was hungry, Zhang Xuhao cashed in billions of huge wealth, and in a few years, he walked the road of many entrepreneurs all his life. This is his success. But I’m afraid the money was not burned casually.
Write it at the end
Most successful entrepreneurs can’t copy their own legends. How many people succeeded in digging up the first bucket of gold in life, but they only stopped at the first bucket of gold.
For example, in the internet field, in the past, there were not a few people who sold their companies and gained huge wealth in the internet field, and there were not a few entrepreneurs who rejoined the business world, but there were almost no winners again.
For Zhang Xuhao, Hungry’s entrepreneurial experience is full of legend, and he has gained the wealth and success that countless people hope to achieve. As a post-80s rich man in the sunshine, we hope his experience can inspire more people. I hope that his golf popularization route is only a temporary misfortune, just like the early days of the take-away market, which is "mistaken" by more people.
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Original title: "Zhang Xuhao held a" pit "for four years | Tide"