Back to Basics – Bangi

After plying our golf in the upper market golf courses like Mines, Kota Permai, Palm Garden, Glenmarie and Tropicana, sprinkling in KGNS and Sungai Long; we decided to go back to our old haunt, Bangi Golf Resort. I have not played there in more than a year and a half. I don’t recall the last time I played there but it’s probably back in 2014 or so. Nothing much has changed, except I don’t recall it being a cow grass course. I always imagined it to be a bermuda fairway!

We teed up on Bangi 1 and 2, taking care to avoid the 3rd nine – and I promptly sent my first tee shot OB, and ended up with a triple bogey to begin my round. The second hole par 3, I three putted for a bogey and I thought, ah shit, here it goes again – I am having one of those stupid game days.

Then a funny thing happened.

I birdied my next hole, a Par 5 which I drove and my second shot landed just off the fringe of the green. The other hole I wanted to one on the green but failed and plopped into the water, but at least I still bogeyed it. I played pretty well, and at one point, between the last 2 holes of the front and the first 3 holes of the back nine, I parred 5 in a row. The 12th hole was a par 5 which after cutting the corner, I found myself with a 9-iron into the green. For a Par 5. I sent it into the bunker but I used my putter to tap it out of the lipless bunker to around 4 feet of the hole to set up a birdie putt.

At that point, me and my partner were playing against the other two guys and we were setting up fringes for the following:

a) Twin pars or better in a hole – 1 fringe – we were both going for birdie putts and his was 3 feet away

b) Sandy par or better – 2 fringes – both of us were hitting from the bunker our 3rd shot and both ended up 3, 4 feet away from the hole respectively

c) Birdie putts – 2 fringes – both of us were going for birdie putts

d) Escalation – 2 fringes – We were hitting our escalation for 3 or more pars or better in a row.

And we were going for a full house having won the game, up the dormie and playing for the buy (or bye?), so we were on the verge of hitting them for 11 balls for that sixer frame. Because we are not Dato’s or Tan Sri’s, we usually attach RM5 or RM10 to 1 ball so imagine the stake for us cheapskates.

Amazingly I missed my birdie putt right. But we still settled for the rest of the fringes. That was the most complete wallop I ever experienced in a hole and I am glad I wasn’t on the receiving end of it.

Overall, I ended up with 86, with that birdie miss my biggest, but also compounded with a two more 3 foot putts I missed, so the score could be a lot better. But hey, that’s golf.

The next round we are trying to book KGPA, as they now have a new nine set up and I am looking forward to playing there.

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Renewing Maid Permit in Malaysia

Due to my limited activity in golf, I’ve decided to start writing about other stuff that I want to complain/bring attention to in this blog. Else, I will probably not be updating it for months.

OK – just to share my experience to renew my maid permit in Malaysia – in 2016. Strangely – it was quite a pleasant one, which is a first.

I think Malaysia has come a long way from the days of absolutely horrendous quality in government services. Those days, simply to renew your IC would be akin to you walking naked in the Sahara desert for 40 days and drinking your own piss. Everyone dreaded going to that place at the old State – where death awaited you in the form of government servants working with the KPI of serving a total of two citizens in a year. I remember one time, I was queuing up for the bloody IC thing for 3 hours from Lunch time. Finally, there were only about 3 people in front of me and I thought I would get through, when they announced they were going off for the day and to come back again tomorrow. W.T.F. Angry also cannot. Shout also cannot. So go back lor. And wake up tomorrow at 6 am and start sitting in front of the bloody office for them to open at 9 am.

We have come a long way since then. Nowadays I go to the Immigration Department in Sri Hartamas. The one opposite Publika. I renewed my IC the other day and really, it was FAST. I mean less than half hour my name was called, I did all the necessary photos etc and in 2 hours time, I can come back to pick up the new IC.

So how about renewing your maid work permit?

a) For maid less than 4 years, it’s mandatory for you to get a health check via Fomema. To be honest, even after that, it would be wise to just go for a yearly healthcheck. We had an incident where previously our friend’s maid had a tumour that was cancerous, which would have been caught if she had gone for regular checkups. Maids are humans too, and they deserve medical rights like everyone else, because they become almost part of the family.

b) So download the Fomema form. Link is as below http://www.fomema.com.my/images/Forms/Foreign_Worker_Medical_Examination_Registration_Form.pdf

c) Fill up the form. If you don’t know your worker’s code, the one starting with W, it’s ok, you don’t need to fill that up. For clinic name, you need to decide where you want to take your maid to.

d) List of clinic found at http://www.fomema.com.my/index.php/doctor-availability?view=doctoravailability

e) I would recommend if you can get a booking at clinic with Allocated X-Ray facility it would help. You can opt not to fill this up and only fill it up later, because you might not get a slot at the clinic you want. So get them to check first. I think those with X-Ray facility is devilish difficult to book. So just fill up what you can.

f) Pay around 200 bucks (for female maid. Never seen a male maid before). How to pay? I think cheque might work, but for the sake of ease, I just went and do an online payment via CIMBClicks. Under Billers -> Fomema Registration.

g) Once paid, get the receipt of payment, and print it out as well as your filled up form. You need to photocopy your maids passport first page as well as work permit page.

h) Now, you need to get your butt to Fomema with all the documents and maid actual passport. We thought everything was online, but no, we still needed to take a day off and go to the Fomema office at Menara Takaful. You can google map it. Parking is expensive there but easy to get. Fomema is on the first floor.

i) Once you are there, pick a number, wait, go to counter and show them all your stuff. You can pick your clinic then and there, show them you already paid and the process is less than half hour. They print out something to you and you just need to take that form to all the clinics you go to. I have no clue what is the value add of Fomema in this instance except that it may just be another scheme to add a middle agency to fleece off our money. I don’t know. Its not very painful though so what the heck.

j) So now you have the Fomema printout and in it you have worker’s code and the clinic you are supposed to go to. You can do it another day once you set a time with the clinic. For me, I went the next day with the actual maid (cannot photocopy maid, mah). I chose a clinic in TTDI called Mahanum and it was FAST. I think looking for parking took longer. Just show the paper, the doctor will see the maid, get all the sample urine etc or whatever and tell you to go to the X-ray. They will recommend one and the one they asked us to go was nearby.

k) There is an X-ray facility clinic Mediviron at TTDI itself, near the VADs building. It has is own parking for customer in front, so we just went there, did the X-Ray and that was it. No need to shuttle back and forth the other clinic. Overall, spent less than 1 hour to get everything done. Take leave for the morning is enough. Got time to play golf some more. And also no payment, just show the Fomema printout.

l) So now, just wait for the results – it should be out within 7 days. You can check online at http://www.fomema.com.my/index.php/online-results?view=onlineresult either the worker code or passport number. If you see “Suitable please proceed to immigration” you are almost there.

m) So here is the weird thing. It tells us to ‘proceed to immigration’ but immigration no longer handles this. They stopped processing maid renewal 2 years back. So if you are an idiot like me who believes everything this stupid Fomema says, you would take another morning off and go to your favourite Immigration centre (mine at Hartamas), park and go to the counter and ask: Where to renew maid work permit, ah?

n) And you will be told you have wasted your life there because now, everything needs to go through the richest middle agency of all time: My EG. Yes. The one that will make billions because everything is forced to go through them.

o) So technically Fomema = Stupid. Tell us wrong thing. They deserve their own bullet point for stupidity. Like it would kill them to just say: “Please contact MyEG now because we are living in the electronic era”

p) OK – now MyEG is like Fomema. Middle guys that sleeps with our government so everyone makes money together. No matter, what to do? You can opt to go to MyEG at Bandar Utama (KPMG building, first floor) and go through the maid renewal there or you can login their portal and do everything there.

q) Depending on whether you are comfortable to transact via their portal (It looks like it was designed by a bunch of Iguanas), you can opt to pay via Visa/Mastercard or via online banking. I selected online banking as I didn’t really trust their system (again – it looks hilariously horrible, which just shows all the billions have been pocketed to God knows where and they paid an online agency RM600 to build the website).  Again – what to do? Complain also useless.

r) So we put our entire personal information and financial information at risk by using their payment facility and pay RM631 for the renewal. That is a lot of money, but I suppose with so many middle men, everyone needs to be fed. The process charge is around 125RM. So if say, 200,000 maids present in Malaysia needs to be renewed, My Eg has made RM25,000,000 just like that. If you put in the other non-maid foreigners, My Eg will make A LOT OF MONEY. Now, why can’t they get a proper portal? Like, even after we pay, for me to go back and see the history of what I did on the portal is impossible. It’s like literally the most hogshit service website in the entire planet.

s) Now, once you have paid you will be given option to either deliver to your house or you can opt to collect onsite (at their HQ in Bandar Utama). I suggest you do the latter because you will not have a clue when these jokers will come to your house. If you need to have someone else be at home (like your angry mother in law), you need to write a proxy letter and make sure she is also holding the maid passport.

t) After 2 – 3 days, I suggest you call MyEg 03-7801 8888 to check if its ready. Good luck getting through. They are a bit like Telekom, Tenaga whereby their call centers are generally manned by simians. It took me around 40 minutes to get through, and you pray dear God don’t let my call drop. Once through you can give the passport number, they will tell its ready and you can come. I did note that if you call early morning around 9 – 9.30 am you can get through easier. Now, hilariously, while waiting on the call, they request you to email them at their support email address and they add: For faster response, please email us at blah blah. They actually said that. So I emailed them for fun. It’s going into 15 days now and the only thing I hear are crickets. Faster response my foot.

u) So finally – you go to KPMG building level 1. First, print out the payment receipts and the MyEg document after you made your payment. Of course, bring your maid original passport and your own IC. MyEg seems to be renovating their office because I was directed to some makeshift waiting area that smells suspiciously funny. Walk in and tell them you want to renew maid permit, you will be sent to a room, and asked for documents, your IC etc. Then you wait a bit and they will call you to another room where the nice gentleman will stick the new work permit on the passport and tell you to go on your merry way.

There. The full steps. Total money will be RM631 for MyEG + RM201 for Fomema medical. Total time taken – around 1 hour for the Fomema form, 1 hour for checkup and x-ray, and 1 hour for the actual getting permit pasted onsite.Online process includes Fomema forms and payment, MyEg forms and payments. I’m writing this down also in part because I am very forgetful and I have to go through this cursed process next year again.

To be honest I am pretty OK with the whole process, except that it cost quite a lot. Because I am flexible in my time as I run my own business (I say take leave doesn’t actually mean I take leave lah), it’s no issue for me, but I suppose it can be frustrating if you have to actually take leave and then find out you are being given the runaround like that Fomema telling us to go to immigration crap. However, I must say this really beats queuing up for the whole day and then being told I didn’t make the cut. Damn you, old IC department in State!

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Birdies Galore

I have recently gone on a purple patch in my golf game of late.

Playing three games previous at Tropicana, Palm and Kota Permai, yielded me birdies in each round. Anyone knowing a 16 handicaper struggles will know that getting a birdie is as rare as spotting a pink hyena doing a riverdance.

The Palm garden birdies were probably the most memorable – two in a row to end the front nine, and for Kota Permai, the very first hole Par 5. Strangely even with these birdies, I still ended up shooting 87,88 and 89 on these courses, showing that gross score improvement is still difficult to come by.

This year, with much less golfing, is turning out overall, better golf. My drives are less wild eversince I decided to shorten my grip to the point of my right hand almost gripping the shaft itself. Another change I did was instead of tackling the green, I am almost always going short of the green. The reason is because I can then approach with a shorter club, and I am not too worried about controlling and can just muscle the whole thing in. I am dropping to a 9-iron now for my 150 meter shots, and a 6-iron for 170 meters. I am not saying I am reaching these distances with these irons, but they are close – even if I drop at 140 meter with my 9-iron, the ball can still roll onto the green without taking those bunkers into consideration.

Where my game need utmost upgrade is in chipping. I am still yipping it like a monkey on opium and I lose amazing amount of strokes due to bad chips, bad punch outs from the woods and overall just horrendous management of these supposedly easy shots.

Also this year I’ve stopped taking in all the statistics on my game and just take in the score. It seems with less calculations on the course and analysis, I am playing better. I don’t care about my 3 putts anymore and I putt better. I don’t care about missing the fairway anymore and I am hitting those fairways. I don’t care about how far I drive anymore and I am booming it. It seems like the less I scrutinise myself, my immense natural talents are now shining and I am achieving my God-given destiny of playing a consistent 16 handicap. Yes. I am being sarcastic.

Also – I have had some emails (thank you) wondering if this blog is ever going to be updated. To be honest, I don’t really have a lot to update on golf. Ever since that Pussycat Woods decided to call it quits and then do a comeback and then decide to quit again, I’ve been more than disillusioned that the game of golf is actually going backwards – which it is. If you look at how Taylormade is struggling and part of it is being farmed out by Adidas, and how Nike has stopped producing golf clubs and how overall, nobody really gives a crap anymore about golf and everyone is into cycling or jogging or swimming or lawn bowling – the trajectory of golf as a popular sport is somewhat declining – even with the yawn fest of Olympic golf not doing it any favours. Of course, this is my opinion based on extensive research of looking at Google for the past 2 minutes.

I can actually see the disinterest in it. In early 2000s, a lot of my colleagues were eager to try out golf. We even set a pool fund and get people together to play golf together, and organised outings to golf clubs like that stinkhole Bandar Utama golf course. We went to the driving range. Of course, the fact that we were all single and there were girls we wanted to tackle also picking up golf had a major impact to our motivations. Especially if you are already familiar with the sport, we can do the “OK, here is how you grip it” and then taking the advantage of holding her hand without getting a slap in the face or a call for harassment. Yup, it was a great maneuver.

But nowadays, when we talk about golf to my younger employees, they just go “meh”. The fact is, we are regressing back to the point where golf is now an old man sport. Because we are, naturally becoming “old men” as we hit our 40s or so. The younger generation doesn’t pick it up. Instead they pick up this strange activity called ‘jogging’. Which is significantly cheaper. All you need are shoes and a road.

So – I suppose, I will consolidate other articles into this blog. I run a blog called Giladad where I write about my travails as a father, but that readership has around 1 person- my wife so she knows what I am complaining about (her).

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The Long Absence

Wow!

It has been ages since my last update. Some kindly souls have actually emailed me wondering if there was a reason for the absence, inclusive:

a) Giving up golf

b) Started another Blog elsewhere

c) Struck by lightning on the course and rotting away peacefully under the trees

As it is, none of the above.

I do have my #2 son and he plays a big part in my limited golf time now. And also my #1 is in school, and we generally start our day as drivers, ferrying one after another – so golf (if any) only can start after 9 am or so and most of my kakis prefer not to do that.

There have been some opportunities to play, and again on some fine courses like Tropicana, Kota Permai, thanks to our credit card. My golf game has yet to improve, but I am feeling OK with it so far. Once, I was struggling massively with my chips but now for some reason it seems to be OK, and now my putts are like bird shit.

Nothing can summarise my current state of golf than a recent game I had in Palm Garden. I was playing pretty normal on my first six (which to say, is not great) – one par, a couple of bogeys and two doubles. Then I meandered to a 47 on my front nine, but managed to hit a birdie on the Index 1 hole. I blasted my driver way left and from the rough, somehow my pitching wedge sailed perfectly to about 1 feet of the hole. Don’t ask me how I ended up with a pitching wedge second shot on an index 1 hole. I must have hit a tree or something and rebounded forward.

Front nine, I went on a crazy tear – birdie, par, birdie, which could have been 3 birdies in a row as I missed a 5 footer birdie putt on my second. So you think I would be playing like a king from there on right?

Nope. Par 5 next hole, instead of laying up which is what I normally would do, I was challenged by one friend to go for 2 on (which is not really possible unless you are extremely accurate, which I am not). One OB and a few hacks later, I ended up with an 8. And from there on, slide all the way into hellhole and ended up with a 46. So, I shot 3 birdies, 4 pars and still ended up with a 93? Man, golf sucks.

Anyway – that’s what it’s been so far – intermittent golf, and I apologise for not writing often – its not because I have given up the game, but it’s just that with the new kid + Tiger Woods retiring, there really hasn’t been much to write about lately at all!

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Last in Tournament

After the relative high when I won the closed tournament among around 16 people, and scoring a very good score, I came dead last in my team as our team lost out to another team for number 1 in a bigger tournament last week.

There are 12 players from each team, which top 8 makes the total score. We lost with 287 points to 289 of the first team. I came dead last with a score of 32 stableford points and obviously not contributing to the score.

I started extremely bad – true, I was rushing and nearly did not make the tee time as I was stuck in a massive traffic and had to change in the car. So I stepped up to make my first swing and it OB’ed. I was triple bogey first hole. The second hole, I kept topping the ball and made quintuple bogey (without losing the ball!) and my third hole, I plonked into the water for a double bogey. I was +10 over the first 3 holes!

I had another triple later on and one more at the back nine, but I did come back with 7 pars and some wondrous escapes, but the blow holes really did me in as we were playing handicap of the day. I wasn’t that bad, really, it just was very unfortunate that the first 3 holes I was up against the wall and I had to really gun for a lot of the shots – normally I would play safe or putt safe, but playing too aggressive has its downside.

So it just goes to show:- if you are honest with your game, golf giveth and taketh.

Incidentally, the overall single winner was the guy that I had total beef with because he cheats. I have no proof this round as I wasn’t playing with him, but when he came in the clubhouse and said he scored 4 birdies – I was very skeptical. I have seen his ‘birdies’. He downright cheats when he plays non tournament with us so what stops him from doing the same in tournament?

I hate to be a sore loser actually, which I am not. I am gracious and thankful I still managed to enjoy my game – but any win from that guy will be forever questioned by me, even if he did play an honest game.

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Weighing in on Lane Graves

By now, if you are on Facebook or any sort of social media, you probably heard of a few issues: In US – Orlando, specifically, you have the assassination of Christina Grimmie, a singer; the mass shooting at a gay club that killed 50+ people, and the alligator attack at Disney World’s resort on a 2 year old boy, that tragically ended in him drowning. Also, the assassination of a parliament member in UK – and in Malaysia, amidst all this, we have a runaway ostrich and yet another idiotic comment from our politicians on ransom money being donated to welfare charities. It’s pretty sad. If the entire world was a living organism, our politicians have successfully made our beautiful country the arsehole of the world where shit after shit is spewed out from. If the genie gave a wish, I’d wish these politicians can crawl back into whichever hole they slithered up from and forever disappear from the face of this universe.

But back to the Orlando news – and this has nothing to do with golf, even if the US Open is up and running and Rory is playing like crap dirt, and Jordan Spieth is cursing and Jason Day is not leading….everything suddenly seems so trivial, when you hear about a 2 year old boy being dragged and killed by an alligator while on a holiday with his parents. While in a Disney resort.

Of course, everyone have their opinions but it seems to fall into two camps, whether the parents are to blame or not. I think a lot of people made this into a racial thing, which is understandable, since a couple of weeks ago, when the gorilla vs boy story blew the internet and the gorilla had to be killed, initially the mother is being taken into questioning to be charged (which has since been rescinded). The mother of the boy in the gorilla pit is black. The family of the alligator attack is white. The problem to compare was that the boy in the gorilla pit survived, the gorilla was killed. Here, the boy is killed, and the alligator (presumably) survived.

Some of the comments blamed the parents for neglect. I was just thinking, if I was there on a holiday in a bloody DISNEY resort, the last thing I am thinking about is a damn alligator coming into 2 feet of water and killing my son. Should my son be in the water? Well, yes, boys are boys. And what’s more, this family was from NEBRASKA. If you know Nebraska, there is not a single drop of ocean or water within a thousand miles. It’s the freaking midwest. So yeah, a family comes to Disney, a 2 year old boy wants to experience the beach and water , plus it’s man made – plus it’s bloody DISNEY. So to those who says that the parents are stupid to allow their son into the water in Florida shows these guys (the commenters) are absolutely retarded. As retarded as our politicians, apparently so it seems that we are not the only arsehole of the world. Part of America is. Obviously they don’t have children of their own. Or they smoke weed for a living and comment on facebook.

While sympathy is there for the family, and of course, me being a parent, I immediately superimpose the “what if it was my family” connundrum into the situation…I cannot imagine the pain they must be going through. Sympathy is not enough. The fault is not the parent’s. The fault isnt even on the alligators. They were just doing what they were created to do by nature – and then so many alligators were killed unnecessarily.

If anyone is at fault, it should be Disney. The company.

Yes, the CEO apparently visited the family and paid his condolences. No, he shouldn’t just do that as if that was a big deal. So what? Because you are CEO the family should appreciate your time? Who cares? You are just a human, like everyone else. The fact was, Disney failed to put up a sign to state there were bloody alligators. And why are there alligators roaming around your bloody Resort? If it’s a natural lake, sure. But this is a man made lake belonging to the resort. And the sign stated ‘No Swimming’. WTF does that mean? Why not put, “No swimming because a crocodile is going to snatch up your kids”? The kid wasn’t even swimming, he was wading on the shore, looking for treasures. Just like my kid would do.

Disney just made 1 billion with their new movie Zootopia. They have a few more movies coming out that will cross that mark – Finding Dory and another one about a hawaiian princess, Moana. They make millions from their parks and endorsements and copyright.

Disney should own up on their fault here and they should pay this family at LEAST 20  million USD. The money won’t bring Lane Graves back, but the company should be punished for severe negligence on their part.

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First Tournament Win

cropped-gilagolf2.jpgI’ve been playing recreational golf for more than 10 years. Started in 2004, first time swinging the club and now it’s a dozen years and I’ve gotten my game down to 12 at one point before ballooning up to 24 and now re-settled back at 16.

We had a small, closed tournament recently and amazingly, this is the first time I won. As in win anything at all in golf. Here’s my theory on my game:

My weight had also ballooned up, till a point one of my regular kakis whom I have not met for a long time kept commented how bloated I am when I met him at the tournament. He was a strange fella. He’s the type of golfer who talks a lot and analyzes a lot but still plays like crap. I mean not total crap, but I’ve never really seen him play well before in my life but the way he talks makes you think he is scoring regularly in the 70s. But he doesn’t. He scores well into the 90s and sometimes even 3 digits.  I suppose he is marketing guy. He kept going on about my weight and being so amazed etc, until it was getting slightly awkward as I wanted to just retort to him that while weight can change, unfortunately his face cannot. He has a face like an avocado, as in pockmarked and completely brutal to look at. The sort that only his wife would probably appreciate. In the dark. He’s like Deadpool, without the mask.

But I treasured our friendship a lot over the years and just smiled politely. He’s a really nice guy under all the golf BS, really and I didn’t want my silly sarcasm to spoil anything between us. Besides, I wasn’t offended or anything, but it’s just sort of natural for me to start bantering and has gotten me into all sorts of scraps previously. So I’ve learnt to shut my gap more.

Anyway – why I’m saying this is I think my weight has added some good stuff to my game, while subtracting from my lifespan. I’ve gained around 8 kilos since my second son came out and due to less golf and more food, gotten to a point where I can’t fit into a lot of my pants. However, for some reason, my golf game has improved.

I feel a lot more stable now on my irons and my drive. I don’t know if the weight has anything to do with it, but I am totally clobbering my irons. As in, murdering. I was standing at around 120 meters at one point in the game and overshot the uphill green with my gap wedge. Right now, for anything 140 meters, I am taking out a pitching or at most a half swing 9-iron. 100 meters, I am looking at a sand wedge. Anything in the 180s I am hitting my 5-iron. I regularly take 2 clubs less than my playing partners – and while my score is floating in the high 80s to low 90s level, I am a lot more confident approaching most of the greens with a 9 iron than a 7 iron.

The tourney was in KGSAAS and I havent played there in years. The first nine, I reeled off 4 pars in a row to end the nine, all with makeable birdies which I missed badly, and ended the game with 89. This includes a triple, and 5 greens where I 3-putted. My putting for some reason has become like a retarded platypus.

Now the competition was not PGA Tour standard by any means, in fact, there were no buayas (it was a very friendly competition) – and the winning score was actually 35 on stableford. In fact 5 people tied for 35 but because of my eight pars, my handicap was the lowest and I won. Yea.

It’s still a milestone though.

And I think I’ve got my weight gain to thank for this. So. More Durians!

 

 

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Sungai Long, Luckiest Day and Bad Caddies

cropped-gilagolf2.jpg

Based on our previous experience with Sungai Long the conclusion was nice course, crap service. And there has been no changes since.

But firstly – more optimistically – the game at Sungai Long recently will forever be rated as the luckiest day of our collective lives.

I am usually not a firm believer of luck – but thanks to today, I am now pretty sure there’s some sort of lucky counter up there that’s helping us out.

a) My first drive was a hook into the trees on the way to OB – and yet it spilled out nicely onto the fairway.

b) Twice, my playing partner’s drives were all headed into oblivion only for the trees to spit them out.

c) My playing partner skulled his ball from the bunker, zipped over the green over our heads, hit the stationary cart parked opposite and dropped to about 8 feet from the hole.

d) My 10th drive was an exact same drive as my first, but this time, the hook hit the SIDE of the cart path (where the stones were angled at a 45 degree angle), and bounced so hard to the opposite direction, that it landed smack in the middle of the fairway, about 20 meters from the green, which technically made it my first 300 meter drive.

e) A few drives after that, my drive hit the cart path again on the left and bounced again onto the fairway, around 60 meters from the green.

f) And finally – on par 5, and hitting my 3 wood second shot to around 250 meters: the ball faded right and hit (again) the 45 degree angled road bank and bounced back left so hard  that it landed on the green around 10 feet from the hole! I missed the darn eagle but it was the easiest birdie of my life.

I mean one time, two times OK – but this was like constantly LUCKY. I should go and buy me some number.

Anyway even with such divine help, I could only limp to a 91 – Sungai Long has never been easy for me, but the caddies …. If Glenmarie caddies were a bunch of crooks, then Sungai Long caddies are a bunch of idiotic gerbils.

Actually, we expected that anyway yet it’s our fault for taking up the caddies. First, they only gave us one guy at the first tee, promising they will send us another one. It was only through the 3rd hole, that the guy came.

The first caddy didn’t really speak any English and his Malay was only very primitive, so communication was devilish difficult. He was constantly smoking so throughout the 18th, our buggy smelled like a tobacco factory. Not cool, even when we made it clear we didn’t want him to smoke, he would keep his smoke up his sleeves and drag it when we are hitting our shots.

Look – I am willing to overlook all these. Really, it’s our fault for not learning. He didn’t read any greens and was slow in getting our clubs. He was just a terrible caddy…but I don’t blame him. He’s just a labourer, who worked in maintaining the course but because Sungai Long couldn’t afford proper caddies, they just sort of promoted these labourers to become caddies. At least that is in our opinion, since he would stop by and chat with the labourers all the time in (I think) Bangladeshi.

But what we cannot overlook is this: At the end, we go, alright, let’s just give him RM30 because we are kind. As in, he is ABSOLUTELY, PAINFULLY USELESS. Yet, because of our stupid culture of tolerance and kindness that my parents had instilled in me, I was still compassionate enough to give that money to him.

And he looks back and says bluntly in barely intelligible Malay, “You should be giving me RM50. That is standard, boss”.

We were like, WTF?

As in W.T.F.??!

I wanted to retort, yeah, standard if we get standard caddies and not some sort of parasitical organism that happens to be growing at the back of my buggy and smoking the crap out of his life the entire game!

I know Sungai Long is basically going down the toilet, but this is truly humiliating. I bet if Jack Nicklaus knew what they are doing to the club  he designed, he would be telling them to close it down and turn it into a cattle farm.

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Glenmarie’s Thieving Caddy

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It’s been a while since my last post!

The thing is, the amount of golf played this year has been absolutely minuscule – since my second son came out around Christmas, it has been almost six months, and the amount of golf I’ve played is probably – 4 or 5 rounds, I can’t really recall. Only in the past 4 weeks I’ve managed to play twice – 2 weeks ago I played in KGNS Kelana Course after laying off for months and promptly scored 83, my best score for a long time. This included 8 pars, 2 double bogeys and 8 bogeys. And this was walking the course, with the last 4 holes played with an excruciating cramp in my left leg.

This week, managed to play a round at the Valley course in Glenmarie and scored around 92. I played the front at 43 and just had a bad streak in the back 9 with a double, triple, triple scored due to bad breaks and over clubbing. I was hitting my driver and irons way better than I was hitting in KGNS but that’s how golf works you know. Sometimes you play badly and score well and sometimes you score badly and you play well.

Glenmarie has always been a little of a sore course for me. The course itself is ok, but the management of the course is just stupid. It’s stupid. Go read the reviews of the course in this blog and you will find I have no issues with the course, but with the people running it and the people in it.

This round, we had a caddy who was a little too chatty for my liking. He seemed very eager to talk, and asked us if we were betting and such. I said, just a bit, nothing big. Then in a few holes, he cracked some jokes which were just a little off, I felt. Like he was high on drugs or something. He didn’t do anything bad but he didn’t do anything good either – he was bad at reading greens and basically, not extremely helpful at all. No biggie.

We tipped him after the round and finished the game and left. After lunch my buggy mate texted me and asked if I was missing any money. I wasn’t sure, since I didn’t even know how much I had in my wallet to begin with. He said he lost RM500. As in, missing from his wallet. I told him to call up the club and check on the caddy because the caddy seemed very off. It’s just a gut feeling, you know, when you don’t have proof.

Sure enough, a few days on, Glenmarie calls back and they said they have recovered back RM400 from that caddy.

Wait – ok, thank you Glenmarie for being prompt, but what about the RM100? And What did you do to that caddy? Did you make sure you fired him and ensure he never ever gets any job within a 100 mile radius of a golf course again and spend his entire life sifting through shit to get his daily meals? What is your hiring policy? Is it going to change? How do you ensure the peace of mind of golfers if your caddies are thieves?

I think Glenmarie should make a public statement on this to ensure golfers are at peace with their game in the club. They should publish it and say that they apologise for hiring thieves and that they will do everything they can to shore up their hiring process to make sure these drug addicts don’t see the light of day again.

Also – they should give us a free round at least as an apology.

So Gilagofers going to Glenmarie – BEWARE! You might be having a thief in your buggy with you!

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Schadenfreude for Spieth?

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One of the first German words I learnt was schadenfreude. At least I think it’s german. Ich weiss nicht, tut mir leid.

It means that we are happy over someone else’s misfortune. For instance, the BMW that just cut into my lane this morning and immediately ends up in a horrific crash…but of course he escapes and his entire car bursts into flames. Man, that feels good. Or the car that parked in two parking lots suddenly randomly bursts into flames.

Or take Tiger – after years of dominance and arrogance, suddenly to be reduced to a lousy hacker that cannot chip – tell you what, a lot of people had that schadenfreude feeling.

But Spieth?

I saw his trainwreck in Augusta back nine. It’s similar to the one that Rory endured in 2011. Unlike Spieth, Rory was already struggling on the front nine before exploding to a back nine 43 and a final score of 80. That’s like us hackers scoring 110 on the final day.

Jordan? No one saw it coming on the front nine. He was at one time -7 and 4 under for his round. After he reeled off 3 birdies in a row including an extremely difficult one on the 9th, most people just thought, just give him the damn jacket.

Then came the implosion.

10 was a bad drive, 11 was a bad putt where he missed a 4 footer after an incredible 3rd shot. And then, came the 12th. Amen corner, at least 11 and 12 are.

Remarkably, his total strokes on 10,11 and 12th is exactly the same as Rory’s in 2011. Rory scored 7-5-5 and Jordan scored 5-5-7. Unfortunately his meltdown of 7 came on the par 3, so he played it 6 over as opposed to Rory’s 5 over. So it’s worse.

But while Rory was shaking his head, throwing his putter, untucking his shirt and looking like he had the worst job on earth collecting shit; Jordan did not throw his club once, did not slam his club into the ground, did not slam his club into his bag, and when he chunked his second into the water on the 12th – he just calmly ask for another ball. When he putted out for a 7, he just walked off, disappointed obviously but all the while as if he was just 1 down on a 15-5-5 betting game instead of the bloody Masters at bloody Augusta.

Its impossible to not like Jordan Spieth. Welcome to the world of sports, where you can be a good guy and also the best in the world. The world of Michael Jordan thrash talking is replaced by the mild mannered Stephen Curry – the world of Tiger Woods replaced by Jordan Spieth, who has a little sister with Autism and started a foundation for special children’s needs.

When you have him say, “Being Ellie’s brother humbles me every day of my life.”, you know his guy is honest-to-God a great guy and there is no way anybody on this God given earth can have a bad thought about him. Check out this clip on him and slowly clap your hands.

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