Plenty of spectators have been out and about watching the players practising ahead of this week's WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan. Members of the Chinese women's national squad, whose goal it is to shine at the 2016 Olympics, were among them and, with most of the squad members in their teens, they were in a hurry to catch up with Rory McIlroy.
"He hits the ball long distances and is full of confidence," explained Zhang yu yang, who is an ace table-tennis player as well as a golfer..."Also, his swing is pretty nice. We like him a lot."
The girls had their photo taken with Paul Casey, who gave them 15 minutes of his time, while they also received some words of wisdom from Liang Wen-chong, the Chinese No. 1. "You will have ups and downs," he advised, "but you have to stay positive. Always believe in yourselves and never give up."
The women are being taught by Michael Dickie, a Scottish professional whose aim it is to produce the first Chinese winner of an Olympic gold medal or a major champion.
On a typical day, Dickie's players get up at 6.30 and have a run before breakfast. They then spend an hour or so working on their weaknesses prior to playing nine holes. After lunch, there is more golf followed by fitness training, followed by dinner.
Only then do they relax - mostly by doing homework. The younger members of the squad are all home-schooled but work no less hard than if they were attending some academy on an every-day basis. Lucy Shi Yu ting, aged 13, is the youngest among them. Lucy won the Chinese national junior championship last year and was still only 12 when she finished third in a Chinese LPGA event over a course measuring 6,400 yards.
Dickie has explained that teaching Chinese children is altogether different from teaching their counterparts in the UK. "Over here," he explained, "the school system encourages the children to be more disciplined. They have more homework and less play-time. They are used to being told what to do."
He went on to say that children he knew from his teaching days in the UK were less disciplined and less likely to adhere to instructions. On the plus side, he felt that they were probably the more inventive and eager to experiment with this shot and that.
Dickie and his students enjoyed a half-hour sit-down with Chubby Chandler in which this former Tour player-turned manager advised on scheduling. Chandler explained that Lee Westwood is given a 52-week year planner every Christmas and starts by penning in the four majors.
"Everything else is arranged around them," said Chandler.
As a rule, Westwood will spend a week in the gym a fortnight ahead of a major, before playing in a tournament in the week immediately ahead of the big event. After that, it is a matter of picking out his favourite tournaments and the WGC events. All told, he will probably play around 25 weeks a year.
The Chinese women's squad is a mix of amateurs and professionals. Lin Xi Yu, who played in this year's US Open and the US Amateur, has already turned professional at 15, the feeling among the Chinese golfing hierarchy being that the best place for the girls to prepare for 2016 is in the professional game.
Chinese squad members at Sheshan: Lin Xi Yu, aged 15; Shi Yu ting, aged 13; Jennifer yan jing, aged 15; Zhang yu yang
Coaches: Michael Dickie and Zhang jie.