The Before Trilogy and random thoughts

I’ll be honest, I’m a bimbo movie go-er. That means, my preference is always going to movies or watching movies to be mind numbed. Case in point – Godzilla, The Equalizer, John Wick, Edge of Tomorrow… the movie needs to be a) Lots of killing b) Super big special effects c) Not much thinking involved.

However, every once in a while, some inspired thing called ‘time’ shows up at my door and I find that I have some good movies, like really good movies to crunch through. I was on my way to Japan (I can’t sleep on flights) and managed to watch two good ones – the first was the One Hundred Foot Journey – excellent. But the second – Boyhood – was just amazing. Google ‘Boyhood’ and you will understand what so special about this movie.

Anyway, I became very curious of the director Richard Linklater and found that he directed other movies – and some of them I’ve heard before but never got to watch–the Before trilogy. It’s three movies – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight that followed the lives of two people, separated by 9 years each movie. The thing about it, like Boyhood, it’s actually real-time. Meaning, it’s REALLY 9 years between the movies and not just the word “9 years later” and then makeup to make the actors look older or younger. It’s ridiculous.

It helps to have Ethan Hawke who is a very underated actor to be honest. I think he’s up there with Christian Bale but just never got the breaks. And Julie Delphy, who is of course, this amazing French actress who can really act (watch the scene in Before Midnight in the hotel room and you will understand).

Anyway, I won’t go into the movies, but if you have the time, watch the Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight in sequence. You won’t regret it.

It doesn’t have much drama or plot…just a LOT of talking. I mean, I never knew conversation could be so enjoyable to watch, but it is. There is like a sequence of 20 minutes of long takes of both of them (Celine and Jesse in the movie), just talking. Why is it interesting? Well, for anyone who had ever gone on any relationship – this really reflects a little of what we go through.

Awkward talking in the beginning – natural flow of conversation after a while. I recall in my college years, when you know, we were starting to move from oogling girls, to getting to know them – there were exactly those times when I was just walking and talking with a girl, exchanging ideas, philosophies, opinions. In Australia, there were plenty. Most of them were just very close friends who remain close till today, but one or two were actually people I would develop a deeper relationship with…and of course, one of them happened to be my wife today. We would go on long walks and talks, similar to the movie, and I guess that’s why it’s so relatable and watchable. It was like having our own lives being played out on screen. The mundane, yet interesting subjects we would so randomly touch on. The jokes that didn’t work. The transitionary vision of people and things.

The last is actually very vivid in the scene in Before Sunrise, where Jesse and Celine asks direction from two guys at the bridge in Vienna. They start talking and the guys invite them for a play that night, and we all think, well, that’s part of the plot. They would go to the play and have fun with the locals and develop some drama. But only….no. As the movie meander on, no other appearance from the guys at the bridge and they did not go to the play, instead hanging out alone playing pinball at a random bar. Only in the morning did Jesse passingly joked: “You know what – we didn’t go to that play.”

It’s just genius. Because that’s how we are at life. Everything and everyone is somewhat transitionary, especially if two people are in love…they forget others, not out of selfishness, but out of nature. Victor Hugo, the dude who wrote Les Mis said: “Loving is almost a substitute for thinking. Love is a burning forgetfulness of all other things.”

Sometimes, my literary side comes up, amidst all the rants on golf and hacking courses. If you have time to waste and want to watch 3 movies before you get married, or just got married, or having some issues with the other half – watch these 3 movies. Love isn’t so much of a feeling, after a while; it’s more of a decision and a lot of work. But I think to many of us, it’s worth it.

Best scenes of the movies:

a) Before Sunrise – the part where both of them pretended to be talking to their best friends over the phone (they were actually pretend-calling each other across the table) about their feelings for the other person. Genius. I should have used that as my go-to ‘kau-lui’ move in college!

b) Before Sunset – the apartment scene, I guess, when Julie Delphy (Celine) played the song about Ethan Hawke (Jesse) on the guitar about the previous meeting 9 years back. It was written by her actually and it’s actually a good waltz!

c) Before Midnight - by far, the final argument scene in the hotel room. It’s so real. It’s like me and my wife battering each other verbally before calling a truce, then battering again, then calling a truce and finally me trying to crack a joke to solve everything. Modus Operandi!

OK, have a great week and Happy hacking!

Posted in Gilalogy, GilaMovies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And so, the season begins

The PGA season began last week – and some news worthy stuff was how Martin Kaymer lost a 10 stroke lead in the final round of the Abu Dhabi tournament. Yes. A 10 stroke lead. That’s like a football equivalent to leading by 5 goals and then losing 6-5. That’s a basketball equivalent of leading 60 points at the half and then losing by 1. This is a collapse of monumental proportion, but then again we know Martin Kaymer is not that great a player. I covered it well here at this link: Martin Kaymer cannot draw.

Another notable is that Robert Allenby got kidnapped after he got cut in Hawaii and beaten. I frankly don’t think its a coincidence. Robert Allenby has a reputation of being a major a-hole, and he probably pissed off a few locals in the bar and probably had a beer too many. He once wanted to fight with fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy for what he thought was a sarcastic tweet. Yes, he’s not 15 years old, he’s a lot older than that. Probably more than a few people had thought if anyone deserved to be kidnapped and whacked up, it would have been him.

Finally – golf this week. I played in my old haunt, Rahman Putra and shot an amazing 96. Yes, I am being sarcastic, and likely Allenby will take offense. I didn’t play too bad actually. I was banging my drives like a king. The problem was the rough was just ridiculously difficult to play. I had two holes where I saw the ball land but had to declare lost ball because I just couldn’t find it. It was extremely thick.

However, at least I got my birdie at the 10th. It’s the reachable par 5, where a long drive leaves you around 210. My 3 wood was good, but right, so it went into the bunker, where using my new Titleist Wedge, I got it out to 5 feet and I sank it. Unfortunately that was the only highlight as I sleepwalked with only 3 pars and a few lost balls to a yawning 96. Still, sometimes you take the positives and there were heaps of it, like finally a consistent driving round. The greens were very, very slow even by Rahman Putra’s standard, and I had around 4 -5 3 putts to compliment my great game all round. Again, sarcasm.

So my resolution of shooting below 90 average for 2015 is still quite a distance away after a 93 – 96 score to start the year!

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Resolution Quick Check

New_Year_ResolutionIn keeping up with my resolution of one post a week, here is one, in the final hour of the week.

1) Score an average of 89.9. Well, we had our first game in – of all places – KRTU. As you would know me, this is not a course that I fancy at all. However, despite a downpour the day before, the course has actually improved a bit, in that it no longer represent a swamp in Florida. You can actually PLAY. I shot a respectable 44 on the front nine, but completely got overwhelmed with lousy tee offs for a 49 in my back nine. So, 93, 4 shots off my resolution. It’s just the first game. Many more to go.

2) Play Proper Golf. As in no cheats or bad drops. Not bad. The only one I had was when my ball was nestled between some roots and I requested for a free drop. Otherwise, the closest I came to breaking this resolution was when I hit one shot that I saw land, bounce but when I went there, we could not find it at all. The hole was soggy and bad, and it probably went deep into the soil. I could have dropped and asked for free drop, but its obviously a lost ball. +2. Another instance was when I was teeing off, and just as I was on my downswing, the ball Fell off the tee. I still managed to whacked it, but only around 120 – 150 meters into the jungle. Play as it lies, no freebies.

3) Learn German. Ich Spechen ein wenig und verstehe ein wenig. German is considered one of the easiest language to learn but the problem is you can’t learn it with Google Translate. Google gives a literal translation, whereas German grammar is different from English. For instance, if we asked, What time it is please, Google translate gives Wie Spat Ist es bitte? However, this is broken German as the correct way to say it is Wie Viel uhr ist es bitte? In English, it means “How many clock is it please”? Or Was machen sie? It means what are you doing, but literal translation is “what doing you?”. Darn, it’s hard! Scheisse !(which means sh*t)

4)Write an article per week – here it is.

5) Cut down the swear words – I just say it now in German instead.

6) Play KLGCC – Nicht.

7) Use my golf membership properly – Nicht.My regular foursome has abandoned me. They now have their regular group and only have me as their 3rd option if the first two cant make it, and one of their grandmother opts not to play.

8) Lower my weight to 72. Um, no. Not yet.

9) Read a book in top 10 – Not yet.

10) Go to top 10 places before I die – not yet. As in not yet gone to the place, not, not yet die.

11) Play Wasteland 2 – bought it, and playing it, to the detriment of my business. Will be writing about it soon.

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 Resolutions

So here we are, New Year’s Day for 2015. These are the following lists of resolutions (which likely will be kept only within the first week, if lucky).

1) Score an average of Sub-90 for golf. 89.9 counts. I have been playing this game for more than 10 years now and I still struggle like a cow to break 90. It’s a mental block – like even if I know that using Driver will KILL me in that hole, and I am hitting my 3 wood like a god, I will still use driver because it’s the most expensive club in the bag. This retardedness must be suppressed in 2015.

2) Play proper golf – see my previous article on cheating and you will get what I am saying.

3) Learn German – enough to pass off as a tourist with a horrible accent trying to speak German. I was juggling between French, Italian, Spanish and German. Someone asked, why don’t you just speak Mandarin? Well – because I don’t want to visit China. I want to go Europe!

4) Write an article at least once a week – I have gone months without writing anything and am still surprised by the visits to this blog every day, s0 I’ve decided to regale the faithful readers with more ridiculousity from golf and life.

5) Cut down on the swear words – this is more personal than anything, because I have a 2 year old kid now who just the other day said something that I would love to slap it out of him – only that it came from me, and my wife probably wants to slap the crap out of me.

6) Play KLGCC – obviously no need for explanation…amazingly Gilagolf has never stepped into the hallowed grounds of KLGCC

7) Use my golf membership properly – I only played twice in Rahman Putra last year. And probably around  5-6 times in KGNS. It’s really a waste of money. To break even, I think I need to play at least 10 rounds in each club per year.

8) Lower my weight to 72. I am hovering at 76 – 78 now. I don’t know how I will do this. Probably stop snacking after midnight while watching football?

9) Read a book in the top 10 books to read before I die from the list http://www.thegreatestbooks.org/. I have actually read Don Quixote, Moby Dick, War and Peace, Great Gatsby and the Brothers Karamazov. So that’s 50% already. I will probably try and read Marcel Proust’s book. Just one book. In my heydays I used to go through 20 books a year – we’re talking about tomes from Dickens etc. Then, I was introduced to golf and became an addict overnight. So much for my love for literature.

10) Go to the one of these places before I die – http://www.ibtimes.com/20-places-see-you-die-ultimate-travel-bucket-list-1429536. I have only been to Angkor Wat, Sydney Opera House and Stonehenge.

11) I’ve added one more to the top 10 list – Play and finish Wasteland 2. This is a computer game. I generally do not play computer games due to the time wasting issues in it, and the fact I nearly failed my university by missing 2 weeks of classes and tutorials while completing Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment. I was an addict. Anyway, I haven’t touched a PC game in years, but Wasteland 2 is a different story. Aside from contributing via kickstarter, it was also one of the first RPG games I’ve played back when I was a kid in the old 386 PC I had. It took almost 26 years to get this thing to a sequel and I need to play it!

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Amverton Cove Thumbs Down

As the year winds down, 12 Gilagolfers headed off to Amverton Cove, a previously reviewed golf course with a ranking of Not Too Shabby. Well, we are revising it. It is VERY shabby. You can tell from the picture that it has been badly photoshopped. The golf ball is the size of a basketball. And the fairway looks nothing like that.

It was supposed to be the ultimate golf game to end all golf games for 2014, so we decided to take the day off and head off far into the outer reaches of civilisation to Amverton Cove. Now, we have already mentioned how far this Amverton Cove is, but the previous experience of it has been reasonably good. It wasn’t a great course and certainly not worth RM138 they want to charge unsuspecting golfers, but we had a bunch of seniors with us who could get cheaper and we dumped all our premier vouchers in there so the game itself was around RM110 per person. Which is still pricey but I thought should be fine.

I scored a birdie and overall 90. This included a triple bogey out of nowhere on a par 5. I played reasonably OK – it wasn’t the worst game ever, but again, about 4 -5 iron shots I had were from the fairway into the green and I just completely mishit it with my MPs. These suckers are really hard to hit. But when you hit it, you hit it.

The other problem was the course. There is a difference between a course set up to be tough and a course neglected. Amverton is the latter. It’s pretty sad to see a promising golf course turn into a turd-bath just because

a) There is not enough money, so no maintenance

b) There is enough money but not enough maintenance

Of course b) is speculative, if you know what I am getting at – but in either case, the once reasonable looking course turns into a UPM look alike. Still, black waters like the ones you find in Mordor litter the course. One hole, I swear, the whole black pond (which is not moving at all) is probably full of shit – because that’s what it smelled like. My ball was near it and I just couldn’t hit because of the smell – it was like my 2 year old’s diaper filled with 2 weeks worth of crap. The rough – unhittable – if you can find it. It was just allowed to grow so there is no first cut – fairway and then bam – ridiculous rough that is so heavy you cannot get out nor find your ball. I am sure whoever owns Amverton will say that this was purposely done – but yes, in the same way North Korea purposely set up their country so they can test how human beings have limitations to nuclear exposure. Of course. Come on – it’s neglect. Let’s just call it that. Setting up requires effort. Neglect means, let’s forget about this darn course.

Recommendations for 2015 – avoid Amverton. It’s not worth the trip and it’s trying to pass as a premier course. Let them knock the price down to around RM80 and then it would be more of a fair shake of a course that is slightly below the standard of KRTU. Amverton people – you have a nice course in your hands. Why don’t you manage it and get your maintenance program going? And get rid of that darn shit-lake!

Posted in Gilalogy, Gilanalysis, Selangor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tis the year to change your Iron Set – MP-52

I have had my Taylormade RAC-LT for more than 8 years now. I like it. It’s a great iron to hit, and I’ve hit some ridiculously good shots with it. It’s not too difficult and only occasionally gives me the duck hook on the long ones simply because of my horrendous swing. I had no intentions to change it, until a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to switch with him.

He bought a Mizuno MP-52 set and couldn’t hit it. He’s a half beginner of sorts, and the MP-52, is really not easy to hit. Really. I tried it and I shanked the devil out of it.

But oh, it looks good. So good. It’s like a car that will definitely get you a speeding ticket. It’s like a durian that will cause you a heart attack. It’s like a girl that will definitely get you into loads of trouble with her extended family and have her brothers murder you for breaking her heart.

 

So I said yes.

I traded away the RAC which had been so ingrained in my muscles that it was like an extension of my arm, for a really really, ridiculously sexy set of irons.

I would love to say that I played like a king when I teed up a few weeks back. The truth was, I sucked. My drive was fine. My wedges were ok. My irons? My gawd. It was awful to a point no return. See the MPs are is a different beast. While the RAC is like a comforting friend whom you can be so natural with without any effort – the MP requires the utmost concentration when you swing. Be careful not to let the head drop. Be careful not to cross over your right hand. Be careful not to overswing. Be careful not to stab it.

The MP head is way, way heavier than the RAC, so I had a bad time adjusting to it. Many, many iron shots were stubbed into the ground like 5 feet away from the ball (exaggeration obviously), resulting in wet earth pounding further away than my ball. On most of my par 3s, I duffed, either ending up in the water or before the ladies tee box. On some par 3s where I remembered to extend a bit more effort in not letting the head drop, and I pured it —heaven. The 5 iron I hit to 10 feet on one hole was a thing of wonderment — straight, no slice, no hook, just pure straight, with a bit of feedback residual on the NS PRO shaft.

Problem was – I only bashed like 10% of that. The others were like horrendous.

And then distance. Now, on paper, one of the reasons why I agreed to the MP was its similarity in loft with my LT. Both are tweaked slightly lower loft – for instance, PW to 47 degrees, as opposed to 48, which most of the Cleveland wedges I have is tweaked to. Then again, some irons like Ping tweaks the PW to 46.

The problem here could be the lie angle. I won’t lie. I have no bloody idea what difference it makes. And of course the offset. For the six iron,  it’s about 0.2mm less, and the lie angle is 1 degree less…I suppose it just means it’s flatter, which…I have no idea what it does to me. Slice more? Anyway, I was very comfortable hitting my LT, and with the MPs, it’s just all over the place. That being said, I think I’m one of those guys that are not so good, who will adjust to the club as opposed to having a swing consistent enough for the club to adjust to.

As you can tell, this is not much of a club review. The fact is, I don’t really know. But I’ll just put some fancy specs here to make this site have more dignity in the golf community.

The RAC specs:

 

MP Specs:

Also, there is a saying that the MP52 is only for low-mid handicappers.

I kinda disagree to that. How do you actually know WHY I am a high handicapper? I could be a God at my irons, and a twit in my short game. Wouldn’t then I might be better off being even BETTER at my irons by upgrading to a player iron, even if I am a 24 handicapper? I suppose, it’s something we should know. I think I hit it decent with my RAC. It’s just that I can’t chip because of the yips. So does it make sense for me to upgrade to the MP?

I think maybe 3 – 4 rounds of it should give it a fair shake whether I can handle it. If I can’t, I can’t. I’ll go back to the RAC. But I think maybe the philosophy should be:

“Get an iron set that requires you to improve – and you will improve” – Gilagolf Mantra.

Welcome, 2015, and let’s see if the MP works out.

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Confession of a Golf Cheater

This is probably going to be the last for 2014 and possibly controversial post but I’m going ahead to do it since 2014 is now officially over for golf, and I probably won’t play another round until mid January 2015. There is a lot of time to reflect on the year playing and not improving in this stupid game.

Golf cheating – now, out of all the 21 readers of this site, how many of you actually ‘cheat’? I know it’s a little bit of a taboo in golf and we like to always judge ourselves as the paragon of honesty and that nobody cheats — but I’ll be the first one to raise my hand. I’ve done it. I’ve cheated.

Golf is a strange game. It allows you to call a penalty on yourself. In fact, it requires you to do so because nobody else can. It is the only sport where ‘conflict of interest’ is there – you audit your own work. You referee your own game.

Take football for example. How many times we see Ronaldo/Messi/suarez flop around like a rag doll to get a penalty or to get someone sent off? How many times we see people who did not break the offside trap, but scored and then celebrated, knowing that the referee did not spot the infringement? Can you imagine someone who scored with his arm from a corner kick and remonstrate to the ref to disallow the goal because it came off his arm?

So golf – it is truly unique, because when  you cheat no one knows.

Have I ever improved a lie? Yes. Have I ever taken a wrong drop? Yes. Have I ever capped my score at triple bogey? Yes. Have I ever accidentally skimmed the sand in the bunker on my back swing and then did not tell anyone about it? Yes. Have I ever grounded my club and then the ball moved a little and i did not tell people about it? Yes. Have I ever OB-ed the ball and knowing it’s OB, dropped and say it’s hazard? Not often – but yes. Have I ever moved my ball in the jungle away from the roots or rocks to a nicer spot (though still in the jungle) behind the original lie because I don’t want to crack my wrist or destroy my club? Yes. Yes. Yes.

I am probably not the most honest golfer around, and unfortunately, I’ll admit that, and probably have my playing partners crucify me. But tell it as it is.

Improving the lie is probably the biggest culprit. I did that a few times when my perfect drive was on the fairway on par 5s and it has landed into a damn divot. I put it out, and lie it for my 3 wood to go for 2. The reasoning is that, hell, I am going to risk it all and go for 2, so why not just put it at the best lie. If I am going for 3 on, then I won’t be too bothered about it.

Wrong drop – yup – a lot of times, especially after it goes off into OB and I am dropping for 4. Its usually at the middle of the fairway or a little longer than my greatest ever drive ever. Or a purposely wrong interpretation of ‘point of entry’, or two club lengths actually becoming 2 flag pole lengths etc. My reasoning is, that I am out of play already for the betting, so who cares (unless everyone else OBs). It is a rather dangerous assumption obviously as many times, my other flight members manage to sabotage themselves as well…this is probably a guilt justification.

The reason flows is that as long as I am not putting myself at a severe advantage, then it’s ok. Like moving the ball out of the roots – I won’t put it closer to the hole, I’ll put it deeper into the jungle but on a softer ground. The problem here is – in golf, it’s not ok. No matter how we view it, it’s cheating, and cheating in golf is cheating yourself.

The reason for this confession is this:

I played a final round of the year with a bunch of good friends, and also with someone whom I looked up to a lot, since he was a very good player. I don’t play often with him. But he is good. But throughout the round, something really gnawed me – it seems no matter how bad his shot is (there were only a few), he always would put it regulation on. I thought it was just because he was damn good. Until I found something – we were both in the jungle. I sprayed my shot into the trees and bounded off right. He hit an even worse shot…just a straight skull that went probably 10 meters. I was relieved, since I was betting with him. I walked out, hit my third and to my surprise, he was there at my ball, his ball perfectly positioned on the fairway. I thought he had hit his third as well, so we went on playing. When we finally finished the hole, he said he parred it, and I thought, yeah, if we are playing par six. But he said his second shot had got to where my third shot was. Which, was probably 150 – 160 meters away from our second shot…which wasn’t possible because I saw it skull a miserable 10 -20 meters. As in I actually saw his ball was still in the rough. With my own eyes.

When I started observing, then it became more telling – like near the green, he would walk up to his ball, pick it up with his towel, wipe the ball and then place it a lot nearer than before. The most obvious one came when we both saw his ball on a tough lie sideways greenside. I even said to him, “Damn,that is going to be a hell of a shot”. When we walked up to the green and I prepared my putting, I saw him pick up that ball, walk a few feet towards the green and place it nicely on the fringe to putt. There is cheating, and there is epic cheating. I wondered if I should go and talk to him about it, since we were technically betting, but I guess I didn’t want to wreck the day for everyone, and also, I do feel guilty, like a pot calling a kettle black.

I must say, it startled even me, and I don’t mean to be so self righteous, even if I am just a big sinner as he is, even if I do it less. Far less and probably when it doesn’t matter to anyone anymore. The one memorable time I ‘cheated’ and it mattered was some time back when I was partnering this same ‘good player’ guy and he had even with the other team’s best ball. How we play is, when the best ball of the team is even, then the second ball comes in play. He announced that I had tripled the hole, which made us square the hole. However, I knew (and I think he knew) I quadrupled it, because I didn’t really care anymore when I thought I was out of contention, I just sort of halfheartedly whacked my bunker shot twice. I didn’t know that he was going to four putt and even the first ball at double bogey, did I?  I am absolutely ashamed to say that I didn’t correct him, and I was troubled by it for weeks, to a point where I told myself I would never ever do that again (cheat when it mattered), and I would make up for it by taking the other guys out for lunch, which I did, although I didn’t tell them why. The wager for the hole? RM2. The guilt? Priceless.

So you see, I am a sort of a conflicted golfer. I know there is no excuse to cheat and many of you would be tsk-ing me. But if we are honest with ourselves, even a survey done on PGA tour caddies said that 54% of them has seen pros cheat. But I think my recent observation has got me thinking: my scores never improve anyway, so what’s the point? Usually it’s just frustration – that the round was so bad, that I need to make a break on my own since I am not getting any – or that my ball is in a divot or an unraked footprint in the bunker, and it is not my fault. The justifications are there. But it’s never a good reason. Now I can see how someone can really go overboard in cheating and I don’t think I want to go there. And the thing is, he is too good to resort to this. He only hits a few bad shots, unlike me, whose one game probably has 94 bad shots. But I suppose when the habit is there, it becomes so ingrained, that it just becomes natural…and I don’t want that to happen. I love this game, but a few bad habits have crept in. I rather be honestly awful, than dishonestly good.

So here is to 2015 – a year where even the slightest ‘cheat’ or ‘justification’ will no longer be part of my golf game and that I will play it as it should always be played – honestly, even if it doesn’t matter to anyone. And maybe…just maybe, I will finally play better.

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Farewell Perangsang Templer

perangsang

Goodbye to you my trusted friend – so goes the first line of one of my all time favourites, “Seasons in the Sun”, that can be applied to almost everything in life, including long lost friends, and your long lost swing.

Perangsang Templer, often the sickly cousin of the more famous and more haunted Templer’s Park Golf Course, is now on her last legs. Like many other golf courses that have fell under the unfortunate progress of man’s astounding greed, it will make way soon for a housing development plan under SP Setia, the greedy bugg*rs that also developed such monstrosity as the Setia Alam, and also guilty of jointly destroying close to 13% of Malaysian’s rainforest in creating their so called Eco-Parks, which the only thing Eco about it is how Economically Gargantuan it had made their coffers out to be. As we all know, housing developers are every golfer’s nemesis. Like the venerable Kajang Hills, now forever just a memory, extinct like the black rhino. Soon, like KGSAAS, also giving way to development. My two clubs, Rahman Putra and KGNS are fighting tooth and nail against these developer sharks who constantly throw money at us to sell our membership and to sell out our clubs. Well – to be totally honest, if they are going to give me something extraordinarily stupid, like 300K for my membership that I bought for 10K, then I would be extraordinarily stupid not to consider it. But I doubt it will come to that point, so until then, everything is no.

Anyways, back to the tragic Perangsang course. It seems like only yesterday (probably 2 years back) that I did a writeup on it for ParGolf Magazine, stating the great potential it had as a golf course. It has never been my favourite, thanks to the sickly narrow back nine hole 12 and 13. But we decided, in the memory of it, as it closes down end of this month November 2014, to play our final game there.

And boy, did it sucked.

There were a few reasons why I shot 99, all of which are poor excuses of a golfer hacking his way around like a mad clown high on cocaine. First, I got this sorry-a$$ putter called the Alien Golf Tutch Mallet II for free from a yard sale and it looked pretty nice so I thought to try it out. Thank you, it is by far the worst putter I have ever yielded and the creator, Pat Simmons, should jump into the lake himself, followed by the entire Alien Brand, which is aptly named, since probably only Aliens would find it easy to use. It was jut weightless. No weight. It looked heavy, but upon research, the head material is made out of a composite of 40% foam used in beanbags and 60% hardened flour. Truly. I was surprised that it looked almost edible.

Additionally, my driver and swing decided, of all times to suddenly give me a nice fade from the tee. I usually set myself up for a right to left draw, so when it faded…hello OB! And finally, I was just a jackass at my chipping as usual. The only consolation I had was I birdied the final hole par 5 of Perangsang in the final game on the course, and that’s a good memory. A good drive and a duffed 3 wood left me around 80 meters from the flag. A 60 degree wedge to about 8 feet from the pin on the fringe and by some stroke of luck using my crap putter that made me miss half a dozen of easy ones, stroked an extremely difficult putt in. Hello, dopamine!

Anyhoos, for those of you who still have time, the course is in a pretty good shape. I think there’s a final tournament there this week, and I would recommend to do a last check on it before it goes down to the graveyard of golf courses. Leaving you, I will post up some golden nuggets from the fat asses who decided to destroy this course:

Report from Star: “State-owned KPS had learnt after a study to evaluate the redevelopment potential of the 18-hole golf course that it was “strategically-located” but “not-fully optimised in its current form and utilisation”.” – Myth. KPS actually did a 15 minute study by surveying the course from their nasi lemak on the terrace and decided, with only 2 old uncles walking the course, that it was not fully optimised and it would be better to sell out and retire rich with undeserved money.

Report from Star: ““The location of the land amidst lush green surroundings and its close proximity to KL and Selangor’s main cities such as Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya make it ideal for an eco-themed, premium development.” – Myth. There is no such thing as an Eco-Themed development. The only type is found in Honduras, where they destroyed houses, built trees and made people live in cubby holes in the trees and eat jackfruits. The stupidest thing I ever head in my life is an Ec0-Themed Development. It’s an oxy moron, which isn’t a moron with lots of pimples – but rather an incongruity of life – like Tiger Woods having just one woman in his bed each night.

“Through the proposed conversion of the land use to a mixed development, the true value of the land can be unlocked, realised and optimised for the benefit of shareholders” – I really hate it when people start using this spin for their own gain. Everyone suddenly looks as if they are Donald Trump, talking about shareholders, ‘true value’ and all the BS. Having been in corporate all my life, I can honestly say, this is complete BS. What is the true value of land? ‘Optimised’ – what the he*l does this even mean? Whoever said this is probably undergoing an optimised surgical removal of his brain to create true value in his BS coming out of his mouth.

“Nonetheless, it said the management was confident that the proposal would be “well-received due to its prime locality” and contribute positively to its earnings and cash flow in the future.” – Ask the golfers, stupid.

“The development, to be located some 20km from the city centre and ringed by lush greenery from nearby tropical rainforests, will adopt an eco-theme similar to Setia Eco Park in Shah Alam, SP Setia said.” – Eco-Park is a graveyard for trees. I counted the trees still living there, and so far, in the barren landscape resembling the Mozambique Desert, I counted around 16 living trees in 13 million square meters of land.

And here is the classic talk from Mah Sing’s Leong Hoy Kum, or Hocum, for the sake of shortening this article and Henry Butcher’s Tan Chee Meng.

“Most of the golf courses in the Klang Valley were planned to be part of a comprehensive development with luxury housing and sometimes, commercial components like resort hotel and office park.” – Not really, Mr Tan. Seriously, no. This is classic BS and spin. I don’t see how RSGC or KGNS would be developed to have a bloody shopping mall in the center of the 18th hole. What a jackfruit.

“But as time goes by when the development matures and the land and house prices increase in the area, it makes better sense financially for the golf course land to be used for higher value developments such as luxury housing,”- That’s just retarded reasoning. Again, value here is truly subjective. To Mr Tan, value = money he puts (and receives) in his pocket. To a cow, value means more grass to eat. Value is the biggest spin crap I have heard in corporate world, which is one of the reasons why I hate it so much. We immediately assume our ‘value’ = everybody else’s value. Ask the black rhino. Oh wait, it is extinct due to it giving its value of his horns to you. I bet that’s amazing value for the whole damned species.

OK, enough of these clowns. Let’s have a moment of silence to mourn for the passing of Perangsang. Happy hacking, people, while we still have golf courses left in Malaysia. By the time my kid grows up, the only golf he will experience is virtual golf in the living room of his “value home” that was probably built on top of Perangsang Templer.

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kotono Kozuma – Hot or Not?

It’s a well known fact that in golf there is a huge discrimination within viewing fans between the men and women’s game. For instance, people flock all over the place to see a fat walrus like John Daly play, because, well, he’s John Daly. However badly he hacks, he’s sure to give you some sort of entertainment. Or how about Phil, who had been resembling somewhat of another walrus of late. We still go up to him and watch him play because he hits the sickest flop shots ever. Or maybe even Tiger, who is actually not that bad looking, but seriously, he probably would not grace any GQ magazine but for the fact that he used to be the top player that slept with 650 women, including pornstars.

Unfortunately, the ladies game is slightly different. I for one, can’t actually tell the difference between one Korean from another, or whether they are Japanese or not. And I am Asian. It’s weird. It’s like the entire LPGA tour is inundated with clones of Grace Park or her daughters. So it seems strange that one girl can stand out from this sea of clones – Kotono Kozuma. If you haven’t heard of her before, well, you’re hearing from us here in Gilagolf.

Yup, this is her.

She recently was in a playoff at the Mizuno classic, where she lost  in a playoff to the eventual winner Mi Hyang Lee, after 5 playoff holes. Five. But it doesn’t matter, because Kozuma is hot. As in like, maybe borderline cute and hot. For the final round, she had on white cargo pants, and a sweater that says Samantha, not her name, but the brand Samantha Thavasa. I don’t know what it is, but it will be famous like the golfer in about a year, so you better go and get it while cheap.

kotono2

She plays like us. Or rather, we think she plays like us. Emotions on her sleeves. She skips around like a little kid (which she is, she is born 17 April 1992, which will soon be a Japanese public holiday). She has a cute overswing that obviously needs more work, yet for some reason it works. She grimaces, grins, smiles, signs in frustration, opens her eyes wide in surprise, cries when she loses. OK, actually, you know what, I take that back. I don’t think any of us will look cute playing like that, because we are all overweight hackers who would be put into the mental asylum if we were to exhibit any of Kotono’s attributes.

For the final regulation hole when one of the women was trying to drain the putt to win it, the camera was fixed on Kotono’s face, and not once showed the other poor golfer’s face who was also in the playoff. Such discrimination. Because the other golfer wasn’t that bad looking — it was just that she looked like a hag next to Kotono. Anyone would look like Laura Davies next to Kotono.

Here comes the boom.

Anyway, it’s hardly fair to compare them both. Kotono hasn’t won anything yet. Or any tournament that is of note for that matter. But would you rather turn up to watch the player above (no matter that she is really good at golf at 51 and can probably slaughter us physically) or the one below:

kotono1

kotono3

kotono6

She could have won the Mizuno classic on the 2nd playoff hole, when she missed a 8 footer by an inch, and on the 3rd, hit a miracle 30 footer putt, only for the two other players to drain their 25 footer and 20 footer respectively. It was ridiculous. These girls were like Putting Goddesses.

Unfortunately our Kotono didn’t make it past the 4th playoff hole, but she’s still hot. So it doesn’t matter she missed out on 180K USD and a Mercedes Benz prize money, and to do it on her home soil – you can bet she hated that the Koreans won it. But never mind, she gets the Vote of Confidence and Potential Player of the Century from Gilagolf.net.

Here we go again, Miss Kotono Kozuma!

kotonoprofile

 

kotono5 kotono7
kotono8

kotono4

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Apple – You suck worse than Samsung

Dear Apple,

I would like to formally lodge a complaint against one of your resellers, Mac City Malaysia, specifically the service center located at 1 Utama Shopping Center, Lot S330, 2nd Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Center New Wing.

My iphone 5 Serial number C36JVVUUDTWF is eligible for the sleep/wake button recall at https://www.apple.com/my/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/

I have been living with this issue for some time, and finally found time to go to this service center. Once there, they did their checks and agreed it was eligible. They asked if I backed up my data and when I said yes, we agreed to do a wipe and they would replace it, after a few days.

Then, after consulting with his senior ‘technician’, a person by the name of Calvin, they informed me that I am not eligible for this recall because my volume button also appeared to be faulty. One of the volume button (decrease volume) required some extra strength to use it because it has also been semi-stuck. I didn’t have a problem with that, my problem is my sleep/wake button, which has caused me to misdial different people because I didn’t lock the phone. They insisted that until I fix my volume button (for around SGD450!), they will never accept my phone for sleep/wake recall. I argued that it’s the same controller, sitting on the same ribbon. I couldn’t believe that I was teaching an Apple ‘technician’ rudimentary knowledge on their own products. Of course, if the controller is faulty, those connected to it will naturally have issues. It’s not as if these two issues are not related. They are on the same RIBBON!

However, they refused to accept my reasoning, and completely disregarded any more attempts to even try or help me. Their attention then focused on another unfortunate person unlucky enough to come to this ‘service center’.

My complaints are this:

  • The service I received was bad. While they were not rude or anything (I need to be fair), the only word to describe these people were: soul-less. Like robots, who kept repeating that the policy from apple is that if anything else other than the sleep/wake button is not working, Apple will not accept the recall. They told me to fix my volume first, then send in for recall.
  • The senior technician had no knowledge on his product. By reasoning, if I fixed my volume button, that would mean replacing the ribbon, which would also fix my sleep/wake button. Isn’t that the point? Did he not know they resided on the same controller? Instead, he demonstrated an absolute lack of knowledge, which even me, a non technical customer knows. It’s embarrassing.
  • They do not understand customer experience. A guy called Steve Jobs said: “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” They weren’t interested to solve my concern and problems. I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief and ridicule from them as I turned away to go. No, they were only interested to sell products but not to service them.
  • The worst of all – They DO NOT REPRESENT THE SPIRIT OF APPLE. This is the worst sin of all. I am a lifelong Apple advocate. I have Macs, I use IPhone first gen till now, I never jailbreak my phones, and I have multiple apple Ipad, Ipad Minis at home. It’s very tough to understand how Mac City can take an institution like Apple and basically stampede the life out of it, and represent one of the world’s best brand with this vapid, emotionless, incapable service paralysis. I am in shock that someone is allowed to do this to Apple, and I am afraid your Reseller quality program needs a re-look.

What to do next? I concede, Mr Calvin and his team in Mac City Service Center @ One Utama might be an anomaly. I’ve been to Apple Stores all over the world, and in US, their service would be ridiculously good. Even in Singapore at your center in Wheelock, they would never consider treating a customer like garbage as I have been treated here in this service center. They would at least consider to help and with a good reasoning behind it, create the ‘customer experience’ that Mr Jobs founded this company on.

I think Apple Asia needs to relook at their resellers. Most of these resellers are interested to ‘sell’. Their culture is never to treat the customer with respect, but always attach a number to them. A price. A value. That’s not Apple. Maybe you should rename them Apple Authorised Re-Service-rs. Please do not sell out your brand. In times like this with the Chinese brands, Korean brands and what not coming in, Apple must be the bastion of quality and supremacy, and must always remember, without your customer base, amazing products will be left on the shelf. Improve our people, improve your support personnel, because the battle is always won in the hearts of your consumer.

I will give Apple another chance, but please consider this letter. I took so long to write this because I care for the brand. I will pay top dollar for quality and service. But you need to relook at resellers like Mac City or remove/revamp their extremely poor service center in One Utama, and relook at how to win us back. Be devoted to us fanboys, as we are devoted to you. Thank you.

p/s – I have written to Mac City regarding this complaint but as usual, I expect not a word from them in response. I will need to live with this problem with my Iphone until I change it. Or perhaps, finally after years of resistance, give Android a chance. It’s just sad, that it wasn’t Samsung or HTC or Xiaomi who won a customer, but it was Apple who lost it.

Posted in Gilalogy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment