Swing Overhaul Part 6: The course

You always hear: I can hit it well on the range, but I cant do it on the course.

It’s very true and real hackers (and even Pros) will admit to this. You can hit it well when there is a level ground, and consistency on the driving range, but once you go out into the battlefield, everything changes. It applies to everything I think – from flying a plane, driving a car, riding a bike. I recalled when I had to drive in America for the first time. I downloaded a driving simulator a few weeks before I went to the states to get used to driving on the left hand side. My God, when I was in that American made Pontiac on the San Diego freeway, everything changes. It was the most stressful drive of my life.

And same here for golf.

I’ve been hitting it reasonably well (not great) on the range. I knew to translate this to the course would take a long time and I would struggle very badly for the first few games.

Was I every right. It was an early 9 hole tee off in my home course.

My first tee off (I used driver), I completely missed the ball and it just tottered over 10 feet. This is in front of a whole gallery of people watching. My second shot (simple 9 iron), I topped it again and it went around 15 feet or so. The next shot, I thought I was ok to use my hybrid since I was hammering it on the range. Another top, another 5 feet. Thank you, pick up the ball, move on.

Next tee, my driver at least contacted the ball but duck hook so badly it went out of bounds. Second shot, hybrid – topped 15 feet. Third shot, topped again the hybird to 10 feet. At this point, I sort of said, Shit, lets go with irons. So for that par 5, I used my 9 iron and for the first time, hit a flushed shot. Second 9 iron, with this new stack and tilt, hit it well but into the bunker. Bunker back and forth, pick it up, thank you.

Third hole, again, at least my driver hit the ball, but it was hooked. My eight iron was topped and then just chip on and 2 putted for bogey. Not too bad.

The next hole, par 3, I topped my hybrid again!! From there, 9 iron was hit well.

Finally on the fifth hole, was the first time I hit my driver the way I wanted. Boom. It was hot off the surface, unfortunately into the trees. From there, back and forth again, topping to the green.

Sixth hole, a so-so driver with a hook, but my next shot was the first time I pounded it with a hybrid and man, it flew. A perfect 9 iron then saw me hit green in regulation for the first time, and missed my birdie by an inch. This was a perfect hole for me and made me believe again I am on the right track.

Next hole, pounded right (so my driver seems to be sorting out) but after that, another back and forth sort of recovery.

The next hole my 3 wood tee off was topped , but my 2 iron shots were actually not too bad. And finally, the final par 3, I flushed my hybrid so well, it flew past the green 180 meters away. Great way to end it.

Conclusion: It was expected. I knew I would find it very difficult to hit the ball, because on the course, the expanse of it makes it very different. You feel different. You aren’t compartmentalised like you are on the range – everything feels very wide. Your body tends to revert back to what its comfortable with and for many many instances, I sensed even when I forced my weight forward, my swing invariably went back to my old way. I know this because I felt my elbows disconnected and my body stopped turning. Yet, I am firing my hips but without a body turn, my hands have no where to go but to come down, and began topping every single ball.

I know the issue – the body isn’t moving as a unit. It’s all dis-synchornised. I don’t feel any connection to my left at all and I have no clue where my hands and clubface is. Its all very disconcerting – as if I am learning golf for the first time.

My playing partners were curious, since my last time out with them, I was shooting in low 80s. I explained that this was a process I need to commit to, because my old swing had an expiry date. I had that since I was in my 20s. I just needed a swing for my 40s, 50, 60s and hopefully 70s.  If it’s going to take time, then I will take time.

But overall, even though I scored almost all tripe/quadruple except for a lone par and 2 bogeys and lost half a dozen balls – I felt positive about it. There were enough good shots in there that makes me believe the method works – I just need to get the execution correct!

Swing Overhaul Part 5: Knee Problems

So one of the conclusion of my previous range session where I was twacking the bejeezus out of the ball with the new Stack and Tilt swing, was that I began to feel my left knee a little sore the next day. OK – a lot more sore. I didn’t think SnT would cause knee problems, but the problem was the stand up motion and the straightening (or jerking up) of the left knee would be naturally stressful for someone who has never had that part of the body worked out before. While I liked the results of the swing on the golf ball, I didn’t really enjoy the results of the swing on my knee, which isn’t strong to begin with.

So again, back to reading and researching, and one of the ways I learn on how to alleviate knee problems was to flare out the left knee and feet. This is also advocated by Hogan, but I always thought this opens up the body somewhat for an outside-in swing path. But because I’m using a few concepts from Venetos where I pre-set my body in a closed position, the flaring of my feet generally doesn’t change my swing patch much. But what it theoretically should be doing is to relieve the stress of the knee, since my knee isn’t rotating as much. It’s like I am also pre-setting my knee post-swing.

Additionally, I found that the right knee straightening up too much lends too much weight on my already weak left side, which made it all the more uncomfortable, so for this round, I had to experiment with these concepts of flaring out the feet and ensuring I maintain a bit of flex on my right knee and not do the Hogan stance at the top of my swing.

The results was mixed, I am still getting used to my shoulder turn, but I did find that flaring out my feet did alleviate my pain a fair bit. I didn’t feel so stressed on the knee after a session of 200 balls (as opposed to 100 balls previous). I also tried working on the flex on the right knee and not have such an extreme amount of weight on my left, but maintain a bit more like 60-40 favoring my left. Again, these are tweaks.

But the driver swing is coming along. Although my stance now, with my flare feet makes me look like a clown, I don’t care because I was now blasting the ball the way I’ve never done before.

The other issue I find now is that because my right elbow is ‘connected’ to my body, I don’t get the super arch I try to get on my driver. When I do try to do it, my left arm ends up bending like below and this usually results in the club dropping without speed on impact.

 

This is why the advice of ‘Relax’ on golf swing is quite stupid. The golf swing is never relaxed. Sleeping on a hammock is relaxed. The golf swing is like a loaded gun. It has a tension associated to the body especially on the back swing, where it’s coiled with stored energy about to be released on the ball with the Wrath of God.

So to keep the left hand straight is a key thought and if it starts ‘breaking’ then you know you are overswinging. It doesn’t really matter, because even with a bit of a half or three quarter swing, I still can whack the ball further than I ever did with a ‘big arch’ swing.

I think the swing, after around 600 balls and four session on the range is shaping up ok. There is a drill I even do where I consciously just do a half swing with my right elbow tucked close to the body on my long irons. My five iron is still slightly problematic, as my 3 wood, but these are problems I already had in my previous swing, so it’s no big loss that I still can’t hit them properly. I would say, my driver right now is further than my previous, it’s more hot off the face, but the dispersion is a little worse – sometimes, the ball can go straight, sometimes left and sometimes right – a bit more than my previous swing.

But again, these are attributable to an overhaul of swing after 16 years. It’s not going to happen overnight. It will get worse before it gets better. I think with this mantra, I can try to get a balance of this SnT swing that fits the limitation of my body and see if I can play golf better, and more importantly – longer.

Swing Overhaul Part 4: Sorting out the Driver

With renewed vigour, I couldn’t wait for the new week to hit, so I can get some time to go to the range. I tried going over the weekend but the driving range during CMCO period in the weekend is like attending a rock concert and I saw people actually queuing up to go in. I think a lot of people get stressed out over CMCO and they take to the range to whack balls.

The best time on the range is weekday – over lunch period or sometime around 2. Anything after 3.30pm, you get a crowd all the way until 5 pm or 6pm.

So I’ve been visiting Nick Taylor YouTube channel a bit and he gave us some tips on how to get the driver working on a Stack and Tilt swing. The key point is to ensure you have the correct knee flex, and what they call the stand-up motion in Stack and Tilt, where you straighten your left knee to ‘shallow’ out the swing  and making sure you hit up on the ball.

This is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1omWUJtTow

The summary is as below:

So there were a few things I really didn’t do much which meant I was attacking my driver too steeply in the last practice. For the hybrid and shorter irons, this is fine, as these clubs are designed to work with a steeper angle but when it comes to long irons, driver and woods, this wouldn’t be great, so we need to try to implement this to ensure we hit the ball on an upward angle.

So to the range again and once more, I am getting a lot better at the irons and hybrid as I learn to trust the shoulder turn more. There are moments where I revert back to my old level shoulder swing but that’s expected. 16 years of a swing is difficult to change overnight. But for this round, my longer irons are better but the focus was really to see if I can get the driver to work better.

I shortened by driver swing considerably and consciously tried to keep my right elbow tucked in and left arm straight and start the backswing with my chest. I find this a lot flatter approach much easier to control than a flying elbow where I end up chopping down on the ball from the top.

Another thing about this Stack and Tilt is because the weight is very much on the left side, on the top swing you have a distinct straightening of the right leg, like Hogan below.

This is very different from how I used to swing, as I would sway far right and break my left knee inwards as below:

So with all these in mind, was the 3rd session on range better?

By far, yes. Generally using the tips from the Nick Taylor video, I am now able to hit my driver with this new swing, and like the trajectory from my hybrid, I could see it was HOT. As in off the face, it was going much hotter than I ever whacked the ball before. I had to really consciously stand up, though, as if I was chopping a block of wood, and while I am completely loaded on my left, I still feel that I had to work out some sort of timing on this stand up motion.

But by and large, I am seeing some dividends on this new swing on the range at least. I was hammering my old Cobra Fly-Z+ with ball flights I have never encountered before. It’s too bad I sold off my Titleist 917D2, which I feel would be more suitable, but I’ll see if I can get another one for Christmas.

So 3rd Range session – very good!

Swing Overhaul Part 3: Second Session and some progress

So, after the first disastrous range outing, I went back to do a bit more research and study. One of the interesting thing I went through was this guy called Jim Venetos (https://www.youtube.com/user/jimvenetosgolf). He advocates the simple concept of playing from a ‘position’. I.e to present your position before you take a swing. So, set your position on impact, and that’s your position from your swing. This means, he sets up to address the ball, but then closes his entire body at address to promote the inside out swing. He makes it sound so easy. And also, his videos are always taken in a jungle, forest, desert and shows him whacking golf balls into nowhere. VERY interesting, but not for everyone, as he doesn’t take any traditional approach to the golf swing. However, I do see his swing resembling the one-piece takeaway we are trying to work on here.  Another thing I felt I did not do in the first session was to turn my body more, and downwards (i.e the shoulder points down as opposed to across, where I end up straightening my body).

I also went through Saguto golf and Nick Taylor who are more pronounced Stack and Tilt advocates than Venetos, and realised in my first range session, I was shifting my head to the right still, and allowing my hands to be high on the back swing. From these videos, I am now made to realise that the flatter the swing becomes, and more rounded, the swing becomes shallower and less ‘diggy’, which has always been my swing. I dig the ground as I always have been thought that a descending blow will get the ball higher and further.

So with all these mechanics in mind, I trudged to the range, fearing that it will end up sucking as bad as the first session.

Well.

What a difference a session makes.

Again, I started with short irons. Crisp.

Long iron 5? Bad. Again, I wasn’t hitting it well, but I felt a little more control now, as instead of just stacking left, I am focusing on keeping my head still, and try to move my shoulder downwards as opposed to across. I am chunking the long irons, but my 8-iron is suddenly coming off hot.

Now the biggest difference? Hybrid.

I wasn’t able to hit my hybrid at all in the first range session, which is frustrating, because my M4 23 degree has always been my go to hybrid and I’ve always hit it fairly well, though not extremely far.

Today, the M4 was hitting shots that I’ve never seen before.

When I connect, the sound was solid, with a satisfyingly loud click when you know you have centered it and the ball flight was like a howitzer shooting upwards and plunging into the net 170 meters away. From its trajectory, I am pretty certain that is going further than what my normal hybrid is hitting.

I have never hit the hybrid so crisp before. Sure, there were a few VERY bad ones. But even if I hit 2 out of 10 good shots, I know at least there is progress. In fact, I was so encouraged, I ordered another 100 and just started whacking it. I tried my driver without great results, but the very few ones that came off, yes, this was very different from the first session.

Conclusion of the second session: Progress.  Honestly, anything is progress compared to my first session. But this was definitely encouraging progress. I could see where the power is from. Previously, I always thought – wider the arch, the more power, narrower the arch more control. But in keeping my elbows tucked into my left and forcing my body to turn (not my hands), and shoulder to drop downwards, I am aiming to get the top of the swing in a classic Hogan look:

Man, that is a handsome devil of a swing.

But that means moving that body and shoulder in a way I have never ever done before in 16 years. Mine has always been a minimum shoulder turn and even so, my back swing has been more lateral move of the shoulder where the shoulder is more or less level, as opposed to turning down (as above, where the left shoulder is pointing towards the ball).

Part of this is that I simply do not trust that my shoulder turning like Hogan will put me square with the ball. I always think by dropping my shoulder, I will chunk the club behind the ball as I am thinking I am moving closer to the ball.

But actually we are not. It’s an illusion. We are actually maintaining the distance to the ball by doing that, and allowing the club to circle around the body like a trebuchet. When we level our shoulders, we lose that relationship with our ball and we try to look for it on the downswing with varying degrees of success. We will still hit the ball despite of the level shoulders not because of it. All the years of golf has conditioned our body to get the level of variance down so we can still hit the ball, but when we need a swing to be called upon, it fails (e.g my 70 meter sand wedge shot to break 80 for the first time and completely shanking the shit out of it). A good article is here https://www.golfdigest.com/story/swing-by-numbers-new-study-unlocks-6-swing-secrets.

You can see when we swing level, our body tends to straighten up and on our down swing, we will need to figure out how to maintain that distance from the ball, so we drop down again or hope that the club magically becomes longer our your arm grows longer. But why would we want to do it, as opposed to simply swinging your shoulder around it?

Once this was implemented, I found that the point of impact was more predictable and more consistent. And surprisingly, without the arch (as I am trying to tuck in my right elbow to my side), I could still hit the ball, if not slightly further, then the same distance as I always hit my hybrid. But the most encouraging part was the trajectory of the ball.

The problem I still had was the driver. I can’t seem to get my driver to have a proper flight, as I am thinking I am hitting the driver down (as my weight on the left would prescribe) as opposed to hitting it upwards. Thus, my driver trajectory is generally low and not very far and skimming off the ground. But for a second session, there is enough encouragement that I seem to be on the right track.

Swing Overhaul Part 2: First Range

So out to the first range after doing just indoor swing testing and out in the garden. For the indoor testing, I simply stacked up a pile of pillows together against the table leg and swung my pitching wedge with this new style.

It’s weird.

For 16 years of swinging from the right and shifting to the left…to stay stacked on left the whole way through is not natural to me and the tendency to shift and move the head is always there. But I do get the drift of it. The turning of the shoulders enable a really strong and firm whack into the pillows.

So to the first 100 balls – and it was an unequivocal…disaster!

Conceptually I understood some parts of it, just staying stacked on the left, so instead of putting my weight on the right, I mirrored it to put most of my weight on the left.

Now for short irons from 9-iron inwards, it was fine. Because naturally on shorter irons, I set up stable 50-50 or even leaning to the left side a bit like chipping and pitching. I didn’t see much difference there.

But come to the longer irons and the wood, hybrid and driver – nothing came out of it. I was chunking, clunking, bashing the ground. The ball was coming up left, right, high, low etc. It’s very frustrating to go back to the beginning, after this many years of golfing ‘experience’ down the drain.

Conclusion of first 100 balls: I may revert back to my right side and move to the left. Or maybe even do a bit of both – as in Stack left for short irons and longer irons/woods to favour my previous swing. The problem with this approach is that my body may not be able to adjust to both separate swings and might end up making its own decisions independent of my brains (which sometimes do happen). In this case, having two swings – I may not be smart enough to do this, so it’s a risk.

I may also be missing some parts of this stack and tilt thing and I need to back to the basics and read up more and learn more.

The only thing encouraging so far, is that for the short irons, I am hitting it crispier. I can sense that, as it comes off hotter on the clubface, because I am assuming, my weight is already shifted (or rather, stayed) on my left side and I am just hitting through the ball.

But overall – it’s discouraging. Very poor results and disappointing, after feeling really positive on those air swings at home and whacking those pillows (much to my wife’s utter annoyance).

Well, another good news is that, I am suddenly motivated to go to the range again, since now I have something to work on!

Swing Overhaul Part 1: The Reason

So here we are, stuck in CMCO again till December (and likely extended) with minimal golf all round. While the golf courses seems to be full, the preference is to avoid (for now) as there seems to be absolute idiots all round who are supposed to be self-quarantined but instead gallivanting around the golf courses playing. Utter stupidity is the actual disease here, not COVID-19.

I thought this might be a good time to explore something I had wanted to do for a while: a swing overhaul.

My swing, as I always say, has an expiry date. I’ve been having this quackery of swing for 16 years now. It has gone through a few changes, a few updates but overall, I think its broken. It’s not a swing I can count on, as evidenced when I just had to bogey the last hole to break 80 in Mines, and I screwed up from 70 meters for my third stroke on a par 5 and ended up double bogeying. I don’t even know why I screwed up. I generally have an excessive wide take away, move my weight almost fully on my right side and try to shift back my weight to the left for maximum power.

Recently, I’ve adopted the ‘Hogan Elbow’ after a random browsing of a YouTube video (which I don’t even know which one now) – basically to ensure the right elbow (or trailing elbow) is tucked closer to the body, with the inside of the elbow pointing upwards.

It was pure desperation to get something going. This was around late 2019 and I started to hit my driver a little bit better, brought my scoring down to somewhere mid 80s. I was still shifting my weight all around, but it became clearer that I was a little more consistent and more trusting with this Hogan Elbow thingy.

From there, I began to explore the concept of the Hogan Swing, which brought me to this concept of Stack and Tilt , which goes against everything I have learnt to play this darn game for 16 years. Instead of moving the weight to the right and then move to the left for power, Stack and Tilt tells us to keep our weight on the left all the way, keep our elbows tucked in and shift our hips lateral for speed through the ball.

This is very, very confusing to me.

In all my years of playing shitty golf, I have always thought the source of power is from having a very wide swing and arch, hence my takeaway especially on the driver is to separate my arms from my body as much as possible, something that we see a lot of pros doing.

I can actually get some distance on my driver with this, as I completely shift to the right and try to finish off on the left, like a guy throwing a punch. The problem here is that often when my timing is out, the shot becomes either a really bad push or an absolutely horrendous duck hook or whatever in between that resembles a monkey wrestling with a snake.

Exploring the concept of Stack and Tilt, I am drawn by the fact that the body itself stays relatively still, and it acts as a central ‘cog’ in which the body, arms and ultimately the golf club circles around. That word circle is intriguing, as I often struggle with an over the top cast swing where I just drop the club and completely chunk the crap out of my irons and even 3 wood. I can never hit my 3 wood or long irons with any degree of consistency.

The Stack and Tilt ensures you turn your shoulder, while keeping your head relatively still, and the distance of your head to the ball consistent. It relies on your shoulder to turn down as oppose to across. Its very conceptual, and I would recommend to read the book “The Stack and Tilt Swing” by Michael Bennett and Andy Plummer.  It beats the hell out of reading about IT security during this CMCO period.

To throw out 16 years worth of ‘knowledge’ to overhaul my swing is based on two motivations:

a) To have a more consistent golf

b) To ensure I can still play this game when I am 60 years old, when my current swing has expired.

And since I am not going onto the course for the forseeable future (or more accurately, not going to be betting on golf), it might be a good time to hit the range and try out these concepts.

Some of the good YouTube proponents of Stack and Tilt are

a) Nick Taylor Golf (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoskRiKxy06HM5kXxhNiQ1w)

b)  Saguto Golf

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC62Ygv4OmSNZBFkL6A7KDQg

c) Rob Cheney

https://www.youtube.com/user/robcheneygolf

Of the 3 above, I enjoy watching Saguto the best – this is a Paul Rudd lookalike who is so damn funny and also hits bad shots like us.

Stack and Tilt or whatever you call it is about keeping the weight on the left instead of shifting around like you are stirring a cup of coffee each time you swing. It appeals to me because I am turning old and still playing shitty golf and I am just tired of hacking my life away and getting pissed off all the time.

Only time will tell if anything turns out well from this!

There is a ball of a difference

So before the lockdown, I managed to squeeze in a few games of golf in Mines, Palm, Glenmarie and Kota Permai. It was good to be back out on the course again for sure – and while this second CMCO isn’t half as bad – the fact that we have the kids home with us makes it more difficult to take the whole morning/afternoon off for a game. Plus golf courses now seem to be a hotspot in itself, with Tropicana having a number of COVID cases.

It was during my round in Palm garden where I scored an 84 that I realised my game has somewhat reached a level where playing the shitty golf ball that I picked up from the bushes may have a difference in how I play. I was gaming the Inesis 500 Soft 2 piece ball that day and for some reason or another, my drives were just hopelessly short. It would be carrying a huge amount of spin and dropped off the sky like a rock and land very short from where I know I should be hitting. I game the Inesis mainly because it’s a cheap ball (I think like RM50 for a dozen) and I like the matte finish. And also because I was using this when I scored 80 on Mines about a year back.

But after researching a bit, I took it out from my bag and started gaming the Srixon Z Star and the Z Star XV from a very reasonably priced second hand seller – the new ones were just a bit too expensive for now – and I took it to Kota Permai.

Wow.

Yes, I did score 92 instead and mainly because Kota Permai greens were so crazy fast and I was tweaking my 917 Titliest 4 different times, to adjust the loft, the weight etc. And I was horrible from my bunkers, which isn’t usually the case, so I easily lost 3 strokes on bunkers, and 3 strokes from putting like an idiot.

But the ball was a huge difference. The time it stayed in the air, the trajectory of it – boring through and landing and rolling for miles – it 100% confirms to me that I will not be gaming any more Inesis moving forward (although the 900 Inesis had very good reviews, so I may use that). For now, it’s Srixon Z Star (XV) for me.

Just as I was getting used to it, the game ended and two days later, the CMCO was announced, slamming shut another golf window for a few weeks. Hope to get back on track at least in November, or the very least in December.

Till then – stay safe everyone!

AND WE’RE BAAACK!

Just thought to write something on this blog after so long.

It’s been almost a year since a post but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been doing anything!

Golf obviously has taken a back seat due to the Covid-19 and frankly, gives us a time to ponder how life is. To all the front liners, risking their health and life to keep us safe, kudos and thank you.

For all those other jokers who decided to break their quarantine and make trouble to everyone during the MCO, shame on you.

To all fellow golfers walking out of their homes like blind bats living in a cave for their whole lives – welcome back!

Golf has basically started ok since the lockdown. Been playing a lot at the home course – but the RHB courses hopefully will start playing next month onwards.

In terms of skills – rusty is all I can say, but surprisingly, the chipping has improved due to the countless hours of practicing at home due to the lockdown.

So now – back to golf, but keep your distance!!!

Maid Contract Renewal 2019

Another year, another headache. Since the article on how to renew maid VISA + contract received so many hits, I thought of just updating it to reflect the most current procedures.

a) Fomema

Fomema now has given options to do alternate year after the third year of checkup. So for instance year 1,2 and 3, then year 4 you can skip, year 5 do, year 6 skip and so on. Else, if you are like us, just do it each year. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and health is everyone’s rights.

So head over to https://portal.fomema.my/

Register worker – for some reason, workers registered previous year is not saved.

You can’t use worker code. So remove worker code and re-register again and it should work.

Pay online around RM191 and if you are like me, paranoid about credit card, just use FPX and select your bank.

Once paid we are done, print the invoice and details. We will need also the Fomema medical form by clicking the trans_id in red.

Make sure your insurance for the maid has been paid as well.

Check the portal again after a few days and you should see “Suitable, please proceed to Immigration. Thank you”. DO NOT PROCEED TO IMMIGRATION. There is nothing for you there. It’s a trick.

b) Renew VISA

There is not much difference from previous procedure. Just go over to the Myeg website, login, click on immigration and “Maid Permit Renewal”.

There you need to key in all the details of your maid, make sure you get everything correct. Including your IC, which has ‘-‘ in them.  I would suggest to collect through the e-service centre due to convenience.

You will end up paying around RM631 for the maid renewal.

MYEG may call you or they may not, but within a week, you should go ahead and just ping them to check. Once the Visa is ready you can head over to their new office @ Empire City. Just take your IC and maid’s passport, no need maid.

It takes a little getting used to. When you drive into the parking, just drive straight all the way until you hit a junction.  You will see a sign in front of you.

 

 

Like all things in Malaysia, do not follow this sign. Just park your car around here, and walk to the right of this sign, going diagonally. You will eventually come upon the entrance to MyEg. You need to register with the guard, get a tag then take the stairs to downstairs one flight, then take the elevator to Ground from there. It’s a very roundabout way to enter the building, so obviously its very poorly thought of. Empire City seems like a real mess.

Once on the ground, just enquire one of the guards for MyEG and he will direct you to the turnstiles where you use your tag and just head towards the new office.

MyEG new office is super different from their old place. Their old place in BU was like a trashy public motel that charges per hour. This new place is VERY professionally done and super impressive. Even more impressive was the service (granted I went on a weekday, off peak). Just take a number, and get called, pass the maid’s passport and your IC and you are done. Wait for around 15 minutes or so, and they will ping you and you now have a new VISA. SUPER! Well done, MyEG!

c) Renew VISA

Renewal of contract needs to occur every two years. I’ll admit, you probably can get this done yourself, but it depends. For me, it just seemed more convenient to get the agent to help out. I paid around 1.5K all in, which, again, could be saved but I think it’s fine.

So Contract. First of all get your documents ready.

a) Most recent contract, original, not photocopy. To be save, just bring all the past year contracts

b) Current insurance certificate (renewed)

c) Current insurance receipt

d) Current maid passport (and any old one if she has)

e) Employer’s IC

f) Maid

Photostat all of it (not the maid of course, silly) It’s important to bring the maid because you need to sign!

Set apart one day – Unfortunately I got held up in a jam and only arrived at the embassy at around 9.30 am. Previously we did it in half a day before lunch we were done when I reached at 9 am. By 9.30am the embassy was full and we were in trouble.

Don’t wear slippers! Wear shoes!

Once there, I met up with my agent, she gave me a bunch of forms to sign and so I went ahead and signed. She basically settled everything for us, including submission etc. As employer, you can leave already and go back to work. The maid technically can also leave but she needs to stay there in case her signature doesn’t get through. Also, if both of you leave, you need to arrange with your agent to get back the contract and passport. What I did was to just leave after signing and then arrange Grab for her to go back. She finished almost at 1.45 pm. So the moral of the story is to GO EARLY!

So another year is done. It’s not cheap! The whole process sets me back almost 2,300MYR, but thats the cost of upkeeping a maid these days.

Lesson Learnt: Don’t Binge Buy

So after struggling for two games in a row with the 917D stiff shaft, I decided to go and see a Fitter at the superstore MST along Federal Highway. Now, do note that I didn’t play that badly in my second game at Glenmarie. I scored 89, but struggled with my irons a bit and just completely sucked at my hybrid. So my driver wasn’t half bad – much better than my previous game, but I just felt like I was wrestling with a snake and I am not sure why.

So I thought maybe I could change my shaft a bit, hence went to the Fitter.

He brought me to a Trackman (I think it was another brand but I don’t recall) and here are my launch stats average:

BallSpeed: 137.9

Total Spin: 2475

Carry: 212m

Total: 230m

Club Head Speed: 96.2mph

Those are really decent numbers, to be honest. I thought I was higher in my swing speed but at 96.2, I am not a slouch either. According to this helpful chart below:

I should be playing to a 9-12 handicap which is what I’ve generally been playing to on great days – on normal days, maybe to 13 – 15 range. But banging it fast doesn’t mean I can score well. Case in point, in the few games I’ve missed absolute sitters for birdies – 3 footers, 4 footers just completely missing the putt. But overall, according to the stats I have above, I don’t seem to have an overall concern to my swing speed.

Funny thing, when I changed shafts to regular shaft (I tried a variety), the improvement was negative!

I was averaging 94 to 95 on the regular shafts, total carry distance wasn’t even past 220m and my spin was all higher. True, it’s probably because I was progressively getting tired, and maybe I was over compensating, but I was NOT hitting the ball better with the newer shafts. So maybe I have to stick back to the old shaft, or better still go back to my old Driver for the next game and see if there’s any improvement in the game.