It may seem like a crazy golf idea but there are Chinese whispers one course is now offering Mandarin lessons to all its caddies.

In a bid to capitalise on the rising number of Chinese golfers, Dale Hill golf course in Ticehurst has insisted staff know their yangcong (onions) in a language spoken by more than 1.3 billion people.

Bosses have called in language expert, Paul Noble, to give the employees a crash course.

Owners hope to encourage some of the estimated 150,000 Chinese tourist visiting the UK every year, each spending an average of £1,300 on retail and leisure, to choose East Sussex as their destination of choice.

Paul Gibbons, the chairman of Leaderboard Golf, which runs the course, said: “The Chinese have developed a love for golf and in a tough economic climate when British golf courses are fighting hard to get new members, we felt it logical to reach out to this new tourist g roup and make it clear they are welcome at our courses.

“We want the Chinese to understand that nothing can come close to playing a round in the UK, the country that invented the sport.”

The origin of the game is a matter of dispute between the two countries, with Chinese academics insisting it has its origins in Chui Wan (‘strike pellet’) – a game first recorded in China during the Song Dynasty, around the 11th century.

Some argue this was brought to Europe by traders along the ancient Silk Route in the 14th century and developed into modern golf.